This morning coming back from work I attempt to to make my exit off of northbound I-81 in Syracuse, NY. I applied the brakes and the car skids into the Exit sign which is right after the exit itself. I take out one of the three breakaway posts supporting the sign. There is no damage to the sign itself, but only to the post that is supposed to break away.
I tell the officer that my car hit ice and this is what he wrote in my statement on his police report. Everything is fine (so I think) and we get the car towed out (top of post stuck in windshield) and officer notifies me that he is going to issue me a ticket for being in violation of NYS VAT 1180A - 'Speed Not Reasonable & Prudent'. He says that my tires left skid marks, which indicates to him that I was traveling at an unsafe speed. The interstate is 65 MPH and the exit ramp is 25, which I was doing.
His comment to me was that the only reason I was being given a ticket was that there was property damage (I hit the sign) and that someone has to pay for it. He told me to go to court and see what I can do. I assume that if I did not hit the sign, no ticket would have been issued, but I can't be certain.
The ticket itself has boxes for 'MPH and 'MPH Zone', neither one of which are filled in. Can this be used in my favor, perhaps as means and justification for having the charges against me thrown out?
My appearance date is scheduled for the 17th of January and no supporting deposition was given to me at the scene by the reporting officer. Should I request one? Should I ask that the appearance date be postponed?
I know my options pretty much include either a) pleading guilty and paying the fine - what is it? b) showing up and pleading not guilty and hope that the officer doesnt show up - is this grounds for dismissal in itself or c) hiring a lawyer and attempting to bargain this down to a lesser charge or non moving violation.
Does anyone know if this infraction carries any points with it? How many? What does that mean for my license and insurance costs?
Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.
My driving record is clean, except for a speeding ticket that was issued about one year ago. It was reduced to a non moving violation and no points were taken off my license.
Again, what would you do in this situation? Was the officer justified in issuing me a ticket, seeing as my exact speed was not known by him (he did not observe the accident)? Is the ticket itself completed correctly, as neither my speed or the speed zone was completed?