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Thu Jan 7, 2016, 07:47 AM

Have you been to traffic court in MD - specifically, PG County?

I'm contesting a ticket I got as a result of a hair-raising wreck on the beltway. The driver of the 18-wheeler that hit me said that I made an "unsafe lane change" and hit him. Bullshit. And I can demonstrate why it's bullshit.

Because we each blamed the other, we each got tickets. I'm not admitting to something I didn't do, so I'm going to court. "State of Maryland vs Bertha Venation." Don't you love it? (Maybe I'll go in drag. My court date's not until late next month; I have time to contact my drag king friends and go shopping. . . .)

I'm hoping someone reading this has been to traffic court in Maryland, but especially in PG County. I have no idea what to expect, and I would like very much to have some idea, however small. I've never been in traffic court in CA, my native home, either.

Even if you've been to traffic court in any other state, I think anything you can tell me would be helpful. Thanks.

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Reply Have you been to traffic court in MD - specifically, PG County? (Original post)
Bertha Venation Jan 2016 OP
MADem Jan 2016 #1
COLGATE4 Jan 2016 #2
Hoppy Jan 2016 #3
elleng Jan 2016 #4
elleng Jan 2016 #5
Bertha Venation Jan 2016 #6
elleng Jan 2016 #7
madinmaryland Jan 2016 #8
Bertha Venation Jan 2016 #9

Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 07:57 AM

1. Are you an attorney? Maybe you should consult one.

Good luck. I dodged a bad ticket in a MA traffic court before a magistrate, but I had help.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:39 AM

2. Get an attorney. Most people don't do well

in an unfamiliar situation like court, as well as not knowing the rules. If you're serious about contesting the ticket get professional help. It's well worth it.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:48 AM

3. Was it the cop or the truck driver who signed the ticket?

 

You go to an "arraignment" where you meet with the prosecutor. There, you will be offered a plea bargain. You can mount your "bullshit" argument with the prosecutor and you may get a dismissal right there.

If not, continue with the prosecutor.

Ask for the cop's written statement or deposition of the incident which caused him to write the summons. Also ask for copies of his notes from the incident. You probably won't get it. At trial, ask for a dismissal for refusal to provide such description.

If it goes to trial, ask where he was at the time of the accident. Object to his testimony as he wasn't a witness.



You must also apply a positive defense. That means. "I was driving safely, below the speed limit and obeyed all traffic controls and regulations prior to the accident."

Write these things down and bring them with you as you are likely to be nervous at the court house and will forget stuff.

Logon to National Motorists Association. Their website has good stuff.

I am not a lawyer. This is not to be construed as legal advice nor legal representation. This information is based on representing my employer in municipal courts and winning many of the cases for him.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 11:29 AM

4. Good luck! Will look into it.

A friend has been, several times, in MontGo County (and son law is a deputy sheriff in PG, but I don't think has done much if any 'traffic' work.) My friend has been successful, I think largely due to calmly pleading a rational case.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Fri Jan 8, 2016, 04:22 PM

5. Just heard from my son-in-law:

Honestly depends on what judge is in the room on that day. She does not need an attorney for a traffic case. If the judge is not receptive she can ask for a trial.

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Response to elleng (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 8, 2016, 04:57 PM

6. Thank you, Ellen.

I appreciate that so much. Please thank your son-in-law for me.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 8, 2016, 06:19 PM

7. Will do.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Mon Jan 11, 2016, 09:00 PM

8. A couple of months after we move to Ohio, my wife and

daughter were driving back to Ohio, when they got turned around in Columbus. Our daughter was driving (with only a permit), made a left turn onto the highway, and got t-boned by another driver coming towards her. She was ok, but my wife ended up with three fractures in her pelvis. Our daughter was cited for illegal turning. She was 16 at the time.

We ended up going to court in January in Columbus (over an hour away) with no lawyer, and pleaded not guilty to the court. The Asst DA badgered us to plead guilty and move on, but we chose not to. As it turned out, the cop did not show up (apparently he had broken a leg a few weeks back - haha), and my wife was still able to make it there (with a little bit of diludid). The judge reamed out the asst DA, and we walked out with an apology from the judge!

I would definitely fight it, though you might want to speak to an attorney just for some advice. Since it is PG County, you probably will have a good chance of getting it dropped. Just plead not guilty, and don't listen to the BS from the prosectutor who is probably a flunky who just got admitted to the bar after barely making it through law school.

Good luck.

BTW, I am not an attorney.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 12, 2016, 07:32 AM

9. Damn, mad.

I'm so sorry to hear of this wreck. Did your wife recover fully? Is your daughter ok with driving?

Why would I have a chance of having it dropped specifically because it's PG County?

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