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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5

    Default Careless operation

    About 2 months ago, I was stopped for careless operation of a vehicle in South Carolina. More specifically, I passed a car trying to turn left on the right in the bike lane. A sheriff pulled me over and I tried to explain my position that the car in front of me stopped quickly and I was unable to avoid it. He wasn't buying my explaination, but he did agree to turn it over to the city officer, who arrived on the scene after the incident occurred. When he asked me about what happened, I just said that I was in a hurry and left it at that.

    Wouldn't I have a case to explain (guilty with explaination) before the judge since the officer who wrote the ticket wasn't the one who pulled me over and wasn't behind me when it happened? The information he got was from the sheriff/deputy officer who probably only told him that I passed someone in the right lane.

    My other option would be to go to traffic school I guess because I really don't want my insurance to go up over this.

    Thanks,

    JC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,620

    Default Avoiding a Ticket

    If you can avoid the points through traffic school, that's not such a bad option.

    It is possible that, whatever you say in court, the judge can reject your explanation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5

    Default

    According to the term "careless operation" of a vehicle in South Carolina, such an infraction doesn't carry any points. I just don't want my insurance rates to increase.

    JC

  4. #4

    Default

    Traffic school is usually not an option to keep the ticket from going on your record. Some cities do allow this. It just depends on what you want to do. I do not think this will even be sent in to the state since you were probably written up under the city statute.

    If you show up in court your first date is just an arraignment. You can plead nto guilty and they will set a new court date. It is unlikely that the sherrif will show so they will have to dismiss.

    You can also enter a not guilty by mail and skip the first date altogether. Be sure to check with the clerk that it was received and entered.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Update: I beat the system by entering a plea of not guilty and opting for the bench trial. I said very little, only explaining that I ended up in the bike/right lane to avoid a vehicle that was turning left. The officer who ended up writing my ticket didn't really have much to offer, although he did have some written information to help him recollect what the sheriff had told him about my infraction. Subsequently, the attorney in the courtroom, within one minute of me explaining my case and proceeding with the trial, called everyone up to the front of the courtroom (not including me) for a semi-lengthy side bar. Ultimately, since the sheriff who pulled me over wasn't there, the judge said he had no other recourse but to dismiss my case.

    Thanks for all the help and the information/articles I found on the website. I would have never thought to plead not guilty and fight the ticket in a courtroom. Just goes to show that every now and again, you can fight city hall...and win!

    JC

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