On Feb. 25, 2006, I received a ticket for reckless driving/racing. I was doing neither (in my opinion).
I was traveling south-bound on I-5 on my way to Portland to visit a friend. I had my boyfriend and my friend's boyfriend in the car with me. In an attempt to make good time, I decided to follow a brand new Acura RSX who was cutting lanes in the traffic while testing the abilities of his new car. Along the way, another brand new car decided to race the RSX. As they continued to cut lanes through the traffic, I continued to follow them. They began driving recklessly (passing on the shoulder, cutting drivers off), which I was unwilling to do in an attempt to keep up. Instead, I would simply wait for a lane to open up and was able to keep up with them without driving dangerously.
The two new cars got caught up in traffic and I ended up passing them somehow. It was then that I noticed a black SUV racing closely after the Acura. I assumed that it was road rage and got over into a right-hand lane in an attempt to distance myself from the situation. They passed me and shortly after, the Acura exited and the SUV returned to normal driving. The other new car (I believe to be a Chevy Cobalt) was still on the road and still cutting lanes through traffic, so I continued to follow that driver. I planned to follow her through the traffic until we got away from "the pack", at which point I would go about my driving as usual.
We were able to separate ourselves from the pack, at which point I slowed to the legal speed limit and got out of the left-hand passing lane. The other car (Chevy) continued on speeding down the road. A lane of traffic was merging onto the freeway to the right. I soon noticed a newer gray Impala with tinted windows pacing me, approximately one car length behind, in the passing lane. This car then took off traveling down the road quite quickly and pulled over the Chevy, which was at least three dozen car lengths ahead of me at that point.
Soon after passing them on the side of the road, I noticed what looked like a state trooper headed north-bound across the median. He then took advantage of a turn around point in the median, flipped on his siren and lights and came straight for me. I immediately pulled over. He asked for my license and upon returning to the car, asked me to step out of the car. My read me my rights and asked me to tell him how fast I had been going (gave me the impression that if I lied, he'd place me in cuffs and take me in). Scared, I said "I don't know. I think I might have hit 110mph at one point." He replied, "Well, I was pacing you at 95mph." I knew this was impossible, but having never been in trouble before, I wasn't about to argue the point.
He then asked my passengers if they had valid driver's licenses. They both did. He asked my boyfriend to get into the driver's seat, then told me to get in to the front passenger's seat. He told me not to drive for the rest of the evening, but sent us on our way.
Neither police officer saw any behaviour that would warrant a ticket like this. It is my belief that the SUV driver (or perhaps another) called in the plates of the three cars and mine was included simply because I was following them.
I have a court date on Wed., March 8th (this Wed.). It is a criminal violation that I was cited for. I am in the process of contacting a lawyer.
What are the general odds of me getting convicted of these crimes? I do not feel that my driving warranted either ticket and I am shocked that they can issue such a severe ticket based solely on the account of another driver on the road.
Sorry for the long post. Thanks for your consideration!