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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Ticket for Squeezing Between Another Car and a Curb and Causing an Accident

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

    I was driving in the number 1 lane today and I needed to make a left-hand turn at the upcoming light. The car in front of me was moving up slowly and then stopped. I thought I might have enough room to get by and into the turn lane. Turns out I was wrong and scrapped her rear quarter-panel with my car. It did very little damage to her car but gave my car a couple of dents and scraped the paint. Nothing major though. We pulled over to the side and called the cops to take a police report. The police officer arrived and wrote me a citation for Careless Driving because he said the damage to my car exceeded $1000. He also said under the definition of the law he didn't have a choice but to charge me with Careless Driving and explained I would have a mandatory court appearance and could attempt to plea-bargain with the prosecutor at that time. I was literally going less than 5mph. I just made a poor judgment on the amount of room I had available between the car I hit and the curb. How is this sort of accident one that carries potential jail time? Does anyone have any experience plea bargaining in a case like this? I'm fine with the points on my license I'm just really concerned about getting a criminal record.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,988

    Default Re: Squeezing Between Another Car and a Curb

    unless you forgot to mention something huge, you are not going to jail for a minor property damage accident.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Squeezing Between Another Car and a Curb

    So those are the details. It seems absolutely crazy to me. The code appears to be a catch-all in the state of Colorado with the police having absolute discretion to apply it. My issue is more about being charged with a criminal misdemeanor than the possibility of jail time. If I catch a DA on a bad day that isn't willing to plea bargain basically then I end up with a criminal record. I have 1-point on my license and no accidents so I would like to assume that the DA will be willing to knock this down to a lesser charge. Just can't believe this type of accident can be categorized like this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Squeezing Between Another Car and a Curb

    This sounds alot like what happens in New Jersey. Look at what the fine is for the "lesser charge" with no points. I'll bet that it is twice the cost of the Careless Driving charge. If that is the case you can be sure the DA will offer the plea bargain to the lesser charge (assuming you don't have a record that is huge). It's all about them making money for the municipality and the State. And you don't need to hire a lawyer to get the plea bargain either, despite what you may be told here. Another wallet fattening ploy used against those not knowing the system.

    -=PO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Squeezing Between Another Car and a Curb

    Just as an update...I went to court prepared to discuss the situation. I had pictures of the cars, a map showing the intersection and a copy of my driving record. Basically, everything I thought I would need to show that this wasn't as serious as the charge would lead one to believe. I walked into the prosecutors office and sat down. She explained the charge, asked if I understood and then asked if insurance was covering the damage. I answered and she said she would offer me a plea of driving an unsafe vehicle which was an infraction. Of course I took it. Less than 2 minutes in her office and I was on my way to the judge to confirm I was taking the plea. This was very clearly about the money as the person above mentioned. I had to pay a fine, an accident fee and a court administration fee. Completely ridiculous. I would much rather my state taxes were a little higher than have to worry about the police being revenue generators and causing people to go through all this worry and time just to get to the same place anyway. Where I used to live in CA the police would not even come out for an accident unless someone was injured. They obviously had more important things to do than drum up money for the cities.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Squeezing Between Another Car and a Curb

    What in the world do you mean, "It was very clearly about the money"? You committed an offense, you paid a penalty.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    in alto mare
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: Squeezing Between Another Car and a Curb

    Yes, it's all about the money (snark on)

    You shouldn't have been ticketed for this? Poor judgement on the road kills people.

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