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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 9296
Experience:  Since 1983
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Ticketed for crossing over a solid double yellow line on a

Customer Question

Ticketed for crossing over a solid double yellow line on a california freeway from a commuter lane to access an offramp. no signs that show where the commuter lane brakes are or will be. There were no breaks for about 5 miles from my desired offramp. Officer said I should have known where they were and planned in advance. I have had no tickets for over 15 years. Should I just pay the fine"?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 8 years ago.
You may get a reduction of the fine if you go to court and plead "guilty with an explanation". You can tell the Judge that you had to exit and there were no nearby breaks in the double yellow line separating the commuter lane from the other lanes.

Or you could just plead not guilty.

Vehicle Code
21460. (a) When double parallel solid lines are in place, no person
driving a vehicle shall drive to the left thereof, except as
permitted in this section.
(b) When the double parallel lines, one of which is broken, are in
place, no person driving a vehicle shall drive to the left thereof,
except as follows:
(1) That the driver on that side of the roadway in which the
broXXXXX XXXXXne is in place may cross over the double line or drive to
the left thereof when overtaking or passing other vehicles.
(2) As provided in Section 21460.5.
(c) Either of the markings as specified in subdivision (a) or (b)
does not prohibit a driver from crossing the marking when (1) turning
to the left at any intersection or into or out of a driveway or
private road, or (2) making a U-turn under the rules governing that
turn, and either of the markings shall be disregarded when authorized
signs have been erected designating offcenter traffic lanes as
permitted under Section 21657.
(d) Raised pavement markers may be used to simulate painted lines
described in this section when the markers are placed in accordance
with standards established by the Department of Transportation.

The statute says "no person shall drive to the left" of a double yellow line, but you apparently crosse to the right of the double line to get to the exit. So technically you are not guilty.

You can tell the judge you are either not guilty or might be guilty but give your explanation and point out that the statute does not prevent you from crossing over to the right side of a double yellow line in this situation. How else can you get to the exit?

I hope this information is helpful.
N Cal Attorney and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
The question I had was answered by one of your N. California lawyers who gave seemingly good advice, but did not cite the proper code violation with which I was charged. My citation shows a violation of code 21655 (exiting a carpool lane across a double yellow line) but the lawyer cites codes 21460 and 21657. I think that I must know whether this matters in my case. thanks
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I still need help. The question I had answered by the N. California Lawyer seemed like good advice, but I find that the lawyer did not cite the proper code violation with which I was charged. My citation shows a violation of code 21655 (exiting a carpool lane across a solid double yellow line). The lawyer cites codes 21460 and 21657. I need to have a further exlplanation by the lawyer as to the specific code violation 21655.8. If I went to court using the earlier advice, I think there would be trouble with my not guilty plea. Thanks.
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 8 years ago.
Here is the section, from http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=21001-22000&file=21650-21664

21655.8. (a) Except as required under subdivision (b), when
exclusive or preferential use lanes for high-occupancy vehicles are
established pursuant to Section 21655.5 and double parallel solid
lines are in place to the right thereof, no person driving a vehicle
may cross over these double lines to enter into or exit from the
exclusive or preferential use lanes, and entrance or exit may be made
only in areas designated for these purposes or where a single broken
line is in place to the right of the exclusive or preferential use
lanes.
(b) Upon the approach of an authorized emergency vehicle
displaying a red light or siren, as specified in Section 21806, a
person driving a vehicle in an exclusive or preferential use lane
shall exit that lane immediately upon determining that the exit can
be accomplished with reasonable safety.
(c) Raised pavement markers may be used to simulate painted lines
described in this section.

I'm sorry I did not understand the charges. It sounds like pleading guilty with an explanation may the be best option, but you should still plead not guilty at the first appearance and try to have a local attorney work out some kind of plea bargain.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
If I appear at "first appearance" and plead guilty with an explanation or not guilty, do I have to come back and have a trial or will the judge listen to the case at that time? The violation will cost me $436 if I just send it in. A local attorney probably would cost me $250 or $300 to work out a kind of plea bargain. Do you agree that the first option: guilty with explanation would be the best? I think so. thanks, XXXXX XXXXX
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
If I appear at "first appearance" court and plead guilty with an explanation, or plead not guilty, do I have to return for a trial or will the judge listen to the case when I first appear? Considering your more recent advice, the violation will cost me $436, if I just send it in, but hiring a local attorney to work ot a kind of plea bargain would cost me $250 or so. Do you agree that your first-mentioned option: i.e., guilty with explanation would be the best? Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX

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