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JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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I was stop by a Bicycle Officer at Night for taking a right

Customer Question

I was stop by a Bicycle Officer at Night for taking a right on red. Which was also not clearly marked (I'll get to that more after).
As I took the right turn (after full stop) I proceeded onward when a person (the office) came darting out from behind a telephone pole, then started approaching my vehicle in a somewhat aggressive poise. I had thought it was a person in a drunken state until he started approaching my vehicle. Then at which time I had thought I may be under attack and almost fled in fear for my safety and that of my passenger. The officer was not in standard uniform and I have never seen a bicycle cop at night with shorts and polo shirt on as a uniform.
Had I listen to my instincts and fled for safety we can all imagine that would be a grave mistake. Had my instincts been correct and that person was a thug and not a cop it would have also been a possible grave mistake.
What would be the best way to defend against such a situation. Is it right for an officer to do that ?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 7 years ago.

I know this is not what you want to hear, but one issue really has nothing to do with the other. The officer was presumably on duty, wearing his standard issue uniform, and enforcing the traffic laws of your city/state. Neither his uniform nor his method of stopping your vehicle will nullify the alleged violation.


The intersection not being clearly marked and the fact that the officer's view of your driving may have been obstructed by the telephone pole may play a role in your defense. You can attend traffic court and likely get the citation dismissed if you explain the poor notice provided by the sign... assuming you can demonstrate the sign is insufficient.


As to the second issue, you should take that up with the police administration. Attempting to use the officer's actions and attire as a defense to your traffic violation will not only fail but also make you lose some credibility with the department. If you approach the department and explain the issue without precondition then you will probably get someone's attention (particularly since this officer could have been hurt by a perfectly reasonable reaction to his conduct).


Please reply if I can help further.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I thank you and understand the angle that you are taking this.

Credibility is something I wish to retain.

So, should have showed up for the meeting they offered ?

I have a better idea of how to approach this matter.

Basically, bite the bullet their bigger.

Expert:  JD replied 7 years ago.

Sorry for the delay. I was offline for a while and just got notice of your reply on my Blackberry.


I am uncertain as to your inquiry about whether or not you have a case. Do you mean the criminal case or a civil lawsuit?


I certainly would not mention "professional courtesy" in court since the exercise of unfair prejudice or professional courtesy is very common... but not exactly legal. Police are supposed to enforce violations regardless of who does the violating... even other police.


I am very curious as to why they offered a meeting over such an insignificant traffic citation. I wonder if they are possible fearful that you intend to sue the department for the officer's manner of approach. While it is possible to sue officers for not following procedures that leads to emotional or physical damages, it is a very unusual and unlikely lawsuit.


My opinion has not changed. I think you should speak with the police administration about the concerns you've raised. Photograph the intersection and present it to the court to defend yourself from this citation. The court will likely dismiss the citation with court costs (or something along those lines).


Please reply if I can help further... I will remain online for approximately another hour. Otherwise I will reply in the morning.



Expert:  JD replied 7 years ago.
Please let me know if you have any other informatoin to share or any follow up questions...

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