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  1. #1

    Default Does an Officer Need to Witness a Civil Infraction

    My question involves a careless driving ticket from the State of: Michigan.On my way to work in the morning i drive across a toll bridge.Friday morning on my way to work i drove up to the speedpass scanner waved my pass.As i was attempting to drive away,i realized that my tire was up against the curb adjacent to the toll booth lane.I tried to steer away but,i could not turn the wheel when the car tire struck a cement post/barrier errected at the curb,10 to 15 feet from speedpass scanner,cause to vehicle to stop.I did not go over the curb,only rubbing against it.The distance i travel from the speedpass scanner to the cement barrier way about 10- 15 feet.(length +1/2 length of dodge neon)
    Bridge authority came to help.I appoligized and said i guess i was not paying close enough attention and pulled to close to the curb.Bridge authority says,not a problem it happens all the time,that is what the barriers are for,that's why they are painted yellow.Another bridge authority personal added that a semi-tractor trailer had pulled to close to the curb the day before and smashed the window on the toll booth,says it happens.i offer to pay they say no damage to the concrete,besides they have insurance for that.
    Next a state trooper pulls up in the next lane to the right of the incident.Bridge authority says "who called the cops?i didn't.i am the one with authority to call cops.I did not call cops.Officer motion for me to come to his car and asks what happened.i tell him.He gives me a ticket for careless driving.The officer did not even have the respect to get out of his car.From his vantage point, he could not have seen the left side of the car.The cop pulled up after the incident,never left his car to witness or inspect the car or damage.
    I went to another police post to get an opinion.only an opinion.The trooper stressed that the officer must witness the incident for civil infraction.He told me he lost a complaint/case that way.Wrote a ticket for to fast for conditions but, arrived after the accident took place.He said the judge dismissed the ticket.Civil infraction must be wittnessed.I compared this trooper with others on-line and found this is not true.A civil infraction does not always have to be wittnessed by the officer issueing the ticket.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Does an Officer Need to Witness the Civil Infraction;did I Incriminate Myself

    Unfortunately, it seems that you confessed to the infraction. Your confession can be used in court against you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Does an Officer Need to Witness a Civil Infraction

    No, an officer does not have to see you commit a traffic infraction in order to issue a ticket. The ticket can be issued based upon such evidence as witness statements, evidence from a collision, and any self-incriminating statements you make about what happened.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Does an Officer Need to Witness a Civil Infraction

    I agree with Mr. Knowitall ... you yourself gave him the evidence needed to issue the ticket & he can testify to what you said to him. You screwed yourself by talking to the cops.

    Sorry. Just the way it is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,653

    Default Re: Does an Officer Need to Witness a Civil Infraction

    And being that you incriminated yourself with your own statement to the trooper, you would have a hard time in court convincing a judge otherwise.

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