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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a Three Cars Accident

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    Let's all remember what the OP told the officer.
    Then he wrote the citation for the wrong offense...probably because he did not witness any of it.

    Is it illegal to change lanes to get around someone?

    Is it illegal to take evasive action?

    Do you know that it is legal to break any traffic law to avoid a collision. I'd bet that most cops don't even know that.

    Too bad he did not avoid a collision.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,522

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a Three Cars Accident

    Quote Quoting CONNOR99
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    An officer's collision report is easily not allowed into a personal injury courtroom because he was not a firsthand witness, and his report is full of hearsay. Therefore the officer himself would not be allowed to testify either with his hearsay.
    So not true. The officer can testify as to his observations and conclusions just as any other expert witness. Officers do it all the time, every day. Their testimony can be granted whatever weight that a jury or court might choose - just as any other expert witness’s testimony might be.

    Also, cops do not write traffic citations because they believe or assume you broke a law. They write citations knowing you broke a traffic law. Knowing so well that they should always be capable to testify under penalty of perjury that you broke the law. Not so with collision reports or citations resulting from a collision.
    A citation is written based upon the probable cause belief that a person broke the law - including traffic collisions. All it takes (for states like CA where these are ostensibly criminal matters) is probable cause. In states where traffic offenses are civil, the burden could be even lower. Probable cause does not require a belief beyond ALL doubt, or even beyond reasonable doubt. It only means that the officer possesses probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed the offense.

    Correct, they don't have to witness the crime but they then must have a witness to the crime. So, how can they write a citation that nobody witnessed. Isn't that strange to you?
    Many crimes do not have witnesses. They are solved by experts of one kind or another, and by follow-up investigation. Expert testimony is permitted. I have seen many criminal cases - including traffic matters - successfully prosecuted without an eyewitness. It happens ALL the time.

    Cops are not professionally trained and educated accident reconstructionists with engineering degrees. They cannot calculate the length of a skid-mark, size of tire, weight of car, slope of street like an accident recon professional can do, and determine speed.
    Not all of them are, but some of us DO have such training ... and an Engineering degree is not needed. The law does not require such degrees, and in most states (like mine), all that is required is that the officer meet a specified level of training. A court can determine the weight of the officer’s testimony/credibility later on.

    If he wants to write a speeding citation, it should be AFTER professionals scientifically determine that he was indeed speeding. Hitting a stationary object does not automatically mean you were speeding. Skidding out of control does not always indicate excessive speed either. It could be done to save your life.
    Hitting a stationary object almost always means that the driver committed some offense. What that offense might be will depend on the details. But, the stationary object did not leap into the road.

    IMO, a cop on the scene of an accident can testify as to what he saw firsthand...blood, dents, skid-marks. He should be able to testify to that in court. But he has no business writing citations for things he did not witness or can prove in court. By doing so he taints the jury pool which are the insurance companies that determine fault 97% of the time.
    Courts and the law would disagree with you.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,667

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a Three Cars Accident

    Quote Quoting CONNOR99
    View Post
    Then he wrote the citation for the wrong offense...probably because he did not witness any of it.

    Is it illegal to change lanes to get around someone?

    Is it illegal to take evasive action?

    Do you know that it is legal to break any traffic law to avoid a collision. I'd bet that most cops don't even know that.

    Too bad he did not avoid a collision.
    It is illegal to drive too fast for conditions and one of the conditions is the other traffic.

    I told the police I have to change the lane in order to avoid hitting the car in front of me.
    You have a cite for that?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,479

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a Three Cars Accident

    Then he wrote the citation for the wrong offense...probably because he did not witness any of it.
    He didn't write anything wrong. He's not required to WITNESS anything, just have probable cause that an offense existed. The testimony about the defendant's statements IS evidence.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a Three Cars Accident

    Quote Quoting CONNOR99
    View Post

    .............Do you know that it is legal to break any traffic law to avoid a collision. I'd bet that most cops don't even know that..........

    Citation please.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,522

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a Three Cars Accident

    A necessity defense (breaking the law to avoid a collision) would not eliminate the cause of the collision, it would simply provide a potential defense if criminally charged. The driver might still be civilly liable for the damage in any event. In THIS scenario, the emergency causing the OP to swerve into the adjacent lane to avoid a collision was the result of his own improper or unlawful actions, so ...
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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