I was driving north on a 4 lane non-divided road (Handley-Ederville) that dead-ends into a 4 lane divided road (Baker Blvd.). At the "T" intersection, the Handley-Ederville has two left turn lanes for motorists to turn onto Baker Blvd. I was stopped at the red light in the left-most turn lane. When the light turned green, I made a U-turn to head back south on Handley-Ederville. When I made the U-turn, a cop was heading east-bound and stopped at the stop light (as I now had the right of way). After making the U-turn, the police officer pulled me over and cited me for an "Improper Left Turn".
I have consulted two lawyers and gotten completely opposite advice. One lawyer told me this was a perfectly valid U-turn and a bogus ticket. Another lawyer agreed with the police officer and said that I broke the law by "turning into" the east-bound traffic (which was stopped at the red light and did not have the right of way). This line of though would seem to indicate that any U-turns at an intersection would be illegal. This seems to me to be false.
The only relevant statute I can find is a municipal code for the municipality in which I was cited:
Sec. 82-184. Limitations on turning around.
(a) The driver of a vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any street except at an intersection, and the driver of a vehicle shall not turn such vehicle as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement can be made safely and without interfering with such other traffic.
(b) The driver of a vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any street in a business district or upon any through street which has been designated and signposted as such.
As far as state code, the only information I can find is this:
One of the most frequent questions I get is regarding U-turns. It seems everyone has a different idea of what is legal and isn't regarding U-turns. There is only one law specifically regarding U-turns: §545.102, which prohibits a U-turn if you cannot see 500 feet in front of you. Otherwise, U-turns are allowed anywhere as long as there is not a sign prohibiting it. If you want to make a U-turn at a traffic light, you cannot do so unless the left turn signal is green or, if there is no left turn signal, then the light for through traffic must green. Whenever you make a U-turn, you must, of course, yield to oncoming traffic just as if you were making a left turn.
I do not think I violated any laws that I can find, and I believe paragraph (a) of the municipal code specifically authorizes what I did. Does anybody have any similar experiences to share, thoughts, criticisms of my reasoning, reasons why I should not plead not guilty?