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  1. #1

    Default Ticketed for Careless Driving in Arkansas

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Arkansas

    Good afternoon everyone! I was seeking a bit of advice regarding a citation I was issued in Sherwood, Arkansas recently. I know these sound like a broken record after a while, which is exactly why I seek some input as to whether I want to play this broken record for a judge, who may or may not care to hear it.

    I have been driving for about 6 years total, and I have a completely clean driving record. For two years, I was driving about 5,000 miles a month for work and around 2,500 miles a month personally. I mention this because I have a clean driving record, and no on-the-books citations. I did get a ticket for doing 20 over the speed limit in my commercial car, which I paid and was put on 6 month probation for. This was years ago.

    I was making a right hand turn in Sherwood, Arkansas while rolling (light had turned green as I was braking to a stop at the intersection). I downshifted to 2nd and made the turn into the far right lane. I heard someone's tires squeal as traffic began to move in the inside lane.

    Roughly 2 miles later, I noticed a Sherwood Police unit speeding up behind me (inside lane at this point) with his lights on. I assumed he was headed to a call, so I sped up and got in the outermost lane. He cut in behind me, and told me that he was sitting at the intersection and heard me squeal my tires. I didn't argue, but simply stated that "I wasn't aware I had done that but I apologize if I did."

    I took the citation, and it is a $235 fine. I have never appealed a citation for anything, but I find it hard to settle for paying this amount of money for something that I know I did not do. I feel like he heard the sound and saw a sports car turning and put those two pieces together.

    It was a completely dry day, and my rear tires are 9.5 inches wide. The Crossfire has a mere 185hp and an overzealous traction control system. Tires for this ridiculous car cost $800 for a set and only last 20,000 miles. It simply was not my car that the officer heard, with all due respect to him and his department. I do not drive like that, especially on a busy city street.

    Is this worth me showing up to the court date for, or should I just go in and pay the fine and get over it? As a 22 year old male with his own insurance policy, unfortunately a "careless driving" citation is likely to severely impact my insurance (which is $107 a month at the moment for full coverage).

    I found the following in Arkansas code (though the $100 max penalty confuses me, since the fine with Sherwood is $235.

    27-51-104. Careless and prohibited driving.

    (omitted irrelevant descriptions)

    (3) Driving in such a manner or at such a speed so as to cause a skidding, spinning, or sliding of tires or a sliding of the vehicle;

    (6) To operate any vehicle in such a manner which would cause a failure to maintain control;

    (c) A person who violates this section shall be subject to a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100).
    Here's a link to the Google StreetView for the intersection. I was in the outermost lane (where the red truck is) making a right into the outermost lane.
    http://g.co/maps/k5qkd

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ticketed for Careless Driving in Arkansas

    The court isn't going to buy a "my car's tires couldn't have squealed" argument - you can squeal the tires on a Yugo (do people still remember the Yugo?)....

    The officer's testimony, "That's the car", is also going to be compelling.

    That said, I think it's worth trying to see if you can get a reduction in the ticket, deferral, dismissal on costs, or some other more favorable resolution from the prosecutor. If you are so inclined you can also schedule a hearing and hope that the officer does not show up. I can't promise that the prosecutor's office in charge of your ticket will be inclined to deal, but many will deal.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ticketed for Careless Driving in Arkansas

    I went in to court today to enter a Not Guilty plea. I simply did not do this. I talked with the judge and he dismissed it pending 6 month probation. There were no officers present.

    Interesting inquiry here. I was pretty angry this weekend with a drunk friend of mine, and rushing to take them home. I was ticketed for 92mph in a 65mph zone on the interstate.

    I absolutely am guilty of this, but in Arkansas it requires a court appearance, so I can't just pay the fine and the consequences without going to court. My question -- the violation date was after my original careless ticket, but before my court date and before the judge offered the 6 month probation.

    Did I shoot myself in the foot with the second ticket, or do courts typically begin the probation on the day the judge offers it?

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