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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1

    Default Ticket for running a stop sign

    I have had a perfect driving record for more than 20 years. Tonight on our way to the grocery store I was pulled over for running a stop sign- a 4 way stop near my house. The cops were backed into a driveway out of sight. I KNOW that I didn't run the stop sign- I go through it every day. My son said that he saw me stop. I did not agree with the ticket and refused to sign. The cop told me that he would take me to jail if I didn't sign. My son got upset, so I went ahead and signed after I read it. Can they really take you to jail if you don't sign? I am so mad. I've got to get my thoughts together and prepare to go to court on Jan. 20. Will they give me a time to appear or do I have to sit in court all day? Should I take my 10 year old with me as a witness? I really don't want him to miss school. Any advice will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    73,036

    Default Re: stop sign

    Quote Quoting Jill
    I did not agree with the ticket and refused to sign. The cop told me that he would take me to jail if I didn't sign. My son got upset, so I went ahead and signed after I read it.
    The signature is not an admission of guilt - it is an acknowlegement that you have received the ticket. According to the Stone Mountain, Georgia Police Department, you are not required to sign and would have to appear in court even if you didn't sign. So it's hard to tell if the officer comes from a department with an excessively rigid ticket policy, or if he was being a horse's posterior.

    Quote Quoting Jill
    Will they give me a time to appear or do I have to sit in court all day?
    You may well have to sit in court all day - or at least through the session of court (morning or afternoon session). If a prosecutor is present, you may be given the opportunity to negotiate a deal (such as a dismissal on payment of costs).

    Quote Quoting Jill
    Should I take my 10 year old with me as a witness? I really don't want him to miss school.
    Understandable. But then, if he doesn't appear you won't have any witnesses. Yet if he does appear, the court may dismiss his testimony on the basis that he's your son.... No easy answer there.

    You may want to try consulting a local lawyer who handles traffic court matters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    9

    Default

    The quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to fight this ticket is to hire a traffic lawyer.

    It has been my experience that judges give much more weight to the testimony of an officer as compared with the testimony of a tax-paying citizen who unfairly was issued a ticket. When it comes down to a swearing contest between the cop and the defendant, the cop wins.

    If you want to take the case to trial, you will have to go to the first court date, wait your turn, enter a plea of not guilty, and have your case set for trial at a later date. Then, when your trial date arrives, you will have to go back to court, wait your turn, testify to the judge, and listen to the cop swear up and down that you didn't stop and lie in response to your questions on cross-examination. Just when you think you could be more frustrated, the judge will side with the officer and find you guilty of something you didn't do. If you think you are aggravated now, just wait....

    Your ten year-old son did get to learn from this whole debacle an important life lesson that we all wish he never would have to learn: The police lie and life isn't fair.

    On the other hand, you may win.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,576

    Default

    My wife was in a very similar situation about 15 years ago. She was issued a ticket for running a stop sign where the officer's car was on a turn-out about 75 feet away.

    My wife had, indeed, stopped at the line -- as prescribed by law -- but, because that position did not offer a clear view of oncoming traffic, coasted forward till she could see clearly and then proceeded through the intersection without stopping a second time.

    We took pictures from the turn-out showing that her car -- a Celica GT -- which is properly stopped is NOT clearly visible from the turn-out -- that it would be possible for such a car to come to a complete stop without the officer aware that there was even a car there.

    My wife was at a T-intersection making a right, however, your intersection was a 4-way stop -- even better. In other words, an officer's attention may have been distracted by other approaching cars, and he may have momentarily looked away from your car -- even for a second or two. The closer he was to the intersection, the more likely that he might have even turned his head away from your car.

    In any case, it worked for my wife, and she got off. It helped that she, too, had a clean record. Personally, I'd fight it.

    Good luck,
    Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Having demonstrable evidence, like the photographs of the intersection that Barry and his wife introduced at at trial, makes a huge difference. The introduction of the photographs as evidence made the case something other than purely a swearing contest between the defendant and the cop.

    Having a clean driving record also makes a huge difference, in that having a bad driving record would present an almost insurmountable obstacle to overcome.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ticket for running a stop sign

    Quote Quoting Jill
    View Post
    I have had a perfect driving record for more than 20 years. Tonight on our way to the grocery store I was pulled over for running a stop sign- a 4 way stop near my house. The cops were backed into a driveway out of sight. I KNOW that I didn't run the stop sign- I go through it every day. My son said that he saw me stop. I did not agree with the ticket and refused to sign. The cop told me that he would take me to jail if I didn't sign. My son got upset, so I went ahead and signed after I read it. Can they really take you to jail if you don't sign? I am so mad. I've got to get my thoughts together and prepare to go to court on Jan. 20. Will they give me a time to appear or do I have to sit in court all day? Should I take my 10 year old with me as a witness? I really don't want him to miss school. Any advice will be appreciated.
    I know this is old and the OP probably won't be back to the forum at this point. But this sounds a lot like me except I got a ticket for a T-Section, just like the post in this thread who's wife got out of the ticket. The sign was back about 30 feet form the road, I stopped then rolled forward and pulled out. Cops are really crazy for lying about things like this, but I guess they get away with it so much, and there's only a few who fight it and win.

    I don't know if I can prove my case. I've already done calculations to know they were lying about seeing me "run" the stop sign. I had to stop, even if there was NO stop sign, there's no choice but to stop and then turn at a T-Section. I don't see giving people tickets for things like that. They clearly cannot see the stop sign when approaching in this situation, so why do they write tickets for it? And they were kind enough to throw in a bogus seat belt charge too, without even mentioning it.

    My 9 year old was in the car, he KNOWS I was wearing my seat belt, and he knows I stopped. What kind of example is this for him? A very bad one.

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