Greetings all. I'm new to the forum, but hopefully I can stay around and help with what little knowledge of the law I do have. Traffic Law and procedure, however, is not my specialty.
(Moral Disclaimer, Haha. Please Skip if you don't plan on lecturing)
Please reserve judgement of me. Yes I am guilty, Yes I was driving careless, and Yes, I should just plead guilty and pay the tickets. However, that is not the course of action I plan on taking, especially because I do not have the money to pay for them. Obviously, this is a good reason to not drive poorly, But I did, and I can't do anything about it now. Please save your lectures, and help me out with some solid advice.
I am going to be totally honest, once again, I'm not posting this for moral advice, I'd prefer strictly legal.
8/26/06. 1:36 am. 2000 Red Mustang. 2 occupants, Myself, and a friend.
We were both smoking a Marijuana Blunt, and had 7 grams in the car. I ran a red light after the turning light turned green, out of poor reflex. No cars were nearby; the road was otherwise empty. Approx, 1/8th of a mile behind us, a Police officer was parked at the entrance of a neighborhood. After I passed the light, he pulled out, and tailed us for about 3/4ths of a mile. It was for quite some time. During this time, knowing that I would be pulled over, My friend ate the blunt, and I went to work on the marijuana. By the time he had us pulled over, about 1-2 grams of stems that I couldn't swallow and residue that I had spit up were left in my slurpie cup and on the passenger floor. An important note is that I also smoke Black and Milds, whic hare legal tobacco. I had a few buts in my ashtray, between myself and the passenger. The cop took my information, and came back to the car. He was shining the light very curiously throughout the car. He said "I smell something, but i can't tell if its marijuana or those cigars in your ashtray." I showed him my package, and tried to explain that that was what he was probably smelling. He went back to his car, and shortly after, backup arrived. He asked us to step out of the car. He asked us if we had any weapons, and My friend peacefully produced a small knife, and handed it to the cop. He then asked us where we were coming from, etc. He asked me why my eyes were red, I simply said I was tired from work, which is where i was coming from. I gave nothing up, my friend didn't either. Shortly after, the k9 cop that had arrived climbed out of his car with a dog, which began to search around the perimeter of my car. I said "why are you searching?" and he replied "I smell something, but I can't distinguish it" The dog made its way around my car, and the cop continued to question us. I told him that I objected to the search, but my friend smartly interjected at the perfect time and said "Its whatever, don't even sweat it" I replied "I know, I know, but they're wasting our time" The dog got a little excited when he got to the passenger side, but The police did not further the search and enter the car. They told us they were going to write me a ticket for running the red light. After that, I apoligized for troubling them, and even made a few jokes. we went on our way.
----- Now, my question is, was the search legal? Is it grounds for getting the traffic violation dismissed? What are some defenses I can use to fight the traffic violation? Was the dog just a scare tactic, to try to scare us or buy time for us to incriminate ourselves? Can I fight this at all?
9/9/06 9:52 Pm 2000 red mustang. 1 occupant, Myself.
-- two police were pulled over on the right side for a traffic stop, under a light rain. I sped by them in the right lane, going about 70 miles an hour. Posted speed was 45. Both cops were not in their cars. About 1/4 of a mile ahead, I made a right turn, and reduced my speed. about 1/8th of a mile late, an officer turned the corner, But I was not speeding at this point. I made a left turn in another 1/8th of a mile, and He followed, and turned on his lights. He asked me "Don't you know about the "move over law (i forgot his exact words)" and I replied "oh, sorry", hoping to be respectfull, without incriminating myself. I already had my liscense and registration, along with proof of insurance ready. 3 backups arrived ahortly after, lol. (low crime city) He came back in a little, and gave me three tickets, for ...
1- Failure to ise due care: excessive speed in rain. 316 183 (1)
2- Failure to move over/vacate lane for police vehicles 316 126 (1b1?)
3- I can't read it. Is says "Tws ____" The statue area on the ticket was left blank. It was for the plastic tint plate I have over my liscense plate. When I
This seems like a very weak case to me. I recently had a traffic violation dismissed at my pretrial hearing, when the officaer wrote "visual estimate of 55 (in a 45) They did not radar me, or signify how fast I was going. It was barely raining at the time of the offense, though it started to pour while he wrote the ticket. Also, I figure I can say that I could not move over into the next lane because traffic was too heavy / wouldn't let me in. When I purchased my black plate, It didn't say it was illegal in Florida, though it did specify a few midwestern states. any defense to that ticket?
How can I defend myself against these three violations?
Will they even go to court, or will the pretrial judge likely dismiss them?
Any additional advice?
Im sorry these were so long. Thank you so much for taking the time to read these. If there is anything I can do in return for your response / advice, please let me know and I'll do my best. (ie - a referral somewhere, or signing up for a website. etc etc) THANKS A LOT EVERYONE! I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!