first traffic violation ticket-- should I get a lawyer?
August 30, 2013 7:22 PM Subscribe
I got a ticket for "disobeying traffic control device" for $138 and 2 points on my license. I've only ever had parking tickets in the past so I don't know if I'm supposed to fight this or what?
posted by DayTripper to law & government (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had no idea I was doing anything wrong, in fact I did the thing RIGHT IN FRONT OF A COP that's how fine I thought it was, but apparently it wasn't because he pulled me over. He wouldn't let me explain myself for even a millisecond or make eye contact and I'm still a little unclear about what exactly I did. There was an overpass thing in the middle of a parkway (?) where you can make left turns from. I missed the turn and my navigation said to make the left turn at the next opportunity, which was directly from my lane, cutting through the overpass. There were no cars in the middle section so I didn't even realize what its purpose was. I've also never driven in an area that had these before.
The cop did say that the traffic light (where I turned left) displayed a green arrow pointing straight. I could've sworn it was just a regular green light but I may be mistaken so I don't know if I should even bring that up in my defense. There were two ambiguous signs right next to each other, one that read "LEFT TURNS ONLY" and the other "NO LEFT TURNS." I assumed that my lane was the turning lane. In retrospect I realize mine must've been the no left turns lane, and left turns only was for the overpass (I think). But why the hell was there an opening to turn into if turns are not allowed!? Why not just section off that side of the overpass?
Anyway, to try to fight this ticket I'll have to set up a court date, which will take 5 weeks minimum for the state to process and the cop will be there. I feel like I will sound like a babbling idiot if I try to convey my defenses, and I'm getting the sense that honesty isn't necessarily the best policy when it comes to these things. Plus I reeeeally loathe this cop and I'm worried about getting a little emotional in his presence.
-Should I get a lawyer? Will a lawyer cost me a fortune?
-Is 2 points on my license a big deal? Is there another way to get them taken off that's cheaper?
Obviously I have a lot of resentment towards this police officer and am extremely bitter because I'm A Good Person who made an honest F-ing mistake. So I'm erring on the side of seeking revenge via a lawyer who can explain my stupid defense in a smarter way. But also I'm in a haze about what my rights were at the time of the ticket/what they are now/if I'm totally guilty/if this is even worth fighting for. FWIW, I don't have several hundreds of dollars lying around waiting to be spent on a traffic attorney. However, if it's in my best interest, I'll find a way. I want to be logical about this. Help!