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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Should I Contest My "Failure to Maintain Control" Ticket or Pay Fine

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

    My court date is this coming monday and was wondering if I should contest the ticket in court or pay the fine. The ticket came as a result of an accident I had when my car lost traction on a wet (it was raining) dicey pot-hole ridden highway ramp. It was a two-lane ramp, as soon as the car skid my car began swerving (I think I oversteered it while trying to gain back control). I tried really hard to steer it to the left to avoid hitting the car in right lane beside me..ended up side swiping said car. The damage was considerable to their left passenger door, stayed there on the scene and we called the cops.

    I read somewhere that these "failure to maintain control" tickets are given out after accidents as standard protocol, but usually get dismissed/thrown out.

    I feel like my oversteering led to the ticket..what should I do? Is it worth it to explain my story again (stating the weather factor, road conditions) in court or should I just pay the fine? Also, I don't have the best driving record (I'm 20 and have two other tickets), I feel like the judge will sway towards keeping the fine. If I explain my side of the story, what are the chances the judge will reduce the fine? Also, what are the chances of the ticket being dismissed if the cop does not show up?

    All help is appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: URGENT- Should I Contest My "Failure to Maintain Control" Ticket or Pay Fine

    You should not "tell your story" .. what you going to tell them anyway? What did you tell the cop? You may have admitted your guilty to the cop already...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Re: URGENT- Should I Contest My "Failure to Maintain Control" Ticket or Pay Fine

    I don't see how you can argue the merits of the citation. You are required to use due care and caution to maintain control of your vehicle with full consideration for the weather, traffic, and road conditions. Unless something occurs that you TRUELY could not have anticipated (I'm talking about something like a meteorite crashing out of the sky or an earthquake opening up a fissure in the roadway!) you are required to take conditions into account when operating a vehicle. Since you lost control of your vehicle and collided with another car, it is pretty clear you, in fact, did not maintain control of your vehicle.

  4. #4

    Default Re: URGENT- Should I Contest My "Failure to Maintain Control" Ticket or Pay Fine

    did the Officer WITNESS the Accident ..???

    I think not
    all he offered was " Opinion , not "Testimony"

    file a Motion to Dismiss

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,034

    Default Re: URGENT- Should I Contest My "Failure to Maintain Control" Ticket or Pay Fine

    Quote Quoting J. Alfred Braun
    View Post
    did the Officer WITNESS the Accident ..???

    I think not
    all he offered was " Opinion , not "Testimony"

    file a Motion to Dismiss

    let's think about this for a minute.

    Officer responds to the scene. Observes the damage to the cars, maybe in exactly the same position as they were when they hit. Officer asks OP: so, what happened.

    OP says:

    It was a two-lane ramp, as soon as the car skid my car began swerving (I think I oversteered it while trying to gain back control). I tried really hard to steer it to the left to avoid hitting the car in right lane beside me..ended up side swiping said car.
    OP goes to court. Officers report is submitted. Prosecutor or judge asks OP: is this (referring to the report) what happened? Is this what you told the officer?

    Now, do we really have to guess the outcome after that?

    a confession is worth so much more than the officers opinion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: URGENT- Should I Contest My "Failure to Maintain Control" Ticket or Pay Fine

    Unless something occurs that you TRUELY could not have anticipated (I'm talking about something like a meteorite crashing out of the sky or an earthquake opening up a fissure in the roadway!)
    I didnt really anticipate the car skidding on the potholes..it just happened in a split second and I guess I reacted poorly, I understand that (I oversteered trying to keep the car on the left, which was how I hit the right lane car). I was driving within a reasonable limit, I was just on my way home. I'll just explain my story again (with a clear head) and see what the judge says, my dad told me to try in court and see what happens instead of paying the ticket outright.

    - - - Updated - - -

    did the Officer WITNESS the Accident ..???
    No, he did not. We called afterwards.

    file a Motion to Dismiss
    How would this work exactly?

    - - - Updated - - -

    a confession is worth so much more than the officers opinion.
    I knoww..when I told the officer what happened, I was still very distraught and emotional--I cried quite a lot in front of the other party and behind the officers back. I can now at least tell them with a clear head what happened, plain and simple.

    Or I could also mention: "fix your horrible roads!!" Seriously there are so many potholes on that ramp and all along that parkway, to the point that I feel it poses a serious threat to all drivers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,034

    Default Re: URGENT- Should I Contest My "Failure to Maintain Control" Ticket or Pay Fine

    =annonymous;622822]



    I knoww..when I told the officer what happened, I was still very distraught and emotional--I cried quite a lot in front of the other party and behind the officers back. I can now at least tell them with a clear head what happened, plain and simple.
    well, the problem is; you already did. The report will hold more weight than testimony after you have had time to formulate a defense.

    Or I could also mention: "fix your horrible roads!!" Seriously there are so many potholes on that ramp and all along that parkway, to the point that I feel it poses a serious threat to all drivers
    actually, if you want to spend a lot of time researching it, that could be a reasonable defense. Holes in the road that have been reported and not repaired throw some liability onto the municipality that maintains them. There are also engineering specs a road must comply with. If not maintained properly, it could throw culpability onto them. Very hard to argue completely but tossing it out there as a thought.

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