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JD
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 charged with reckless driving and disobeying an officer.

Resolved Question:

I was charged with reckless driving and disobeying an officer.

How should I plea
Should i get an attorney
In general what should i do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

While we are probably only looking a fines here.. a conviction would result in license points as well as a probably increase in your insurance premiums. It would be worth having a local attorney review the facts involved as well as the actual citations you were issued. If the attorney feels the citations are sound and indefensible then you should still go to your court date and ask for leniency. Judges will routinely reduce traffic citations in court for people who appear and express remorse (assuming they have little history of such things).

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok so, heres my next questions. When/where would/should I find an attorney. Would it cost anything? Is there any way I can get the charges removed? And I have a written report of what happened, would you be able to look through it and give me a heads up for what my chances are? And just for your information, I'm in the army reserves at pay grade E-6. Would that help with lowering the fines/removing the charges?
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

The best way to find a good lawyer is by referral from friends, coworkers, neighbors and the like. Initial consultations are almost always free of charge, but check when you call to make the appointment. I would get on this now... no need to wait. Unfortunately I cannot represent you and therefore cannot review the actual reports. If you'll give me a basic idea of what happened I may be able to comment further, however you probably have already made that assessment yourself. If your case lacks defenses, your being in the military can certainly aid your efforts for leniency with the court...

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

On Friday, April 23 2010 I was pulled over. I was charged with reckless driving and disobeying an officer.

 

SITUATION-

I was driving down a hill after passing where people were working on the road. At the crest, I noted my speed was 75. Coming down the said hill, a car in the right lane moved in the left. They were quite close, so I moved to the left to avoid making them nervosa and following too close. As I moved over, I saw 2 men in the break down lane in safety vests. While still moving over and realizing why the other car (that happened to be a maroon jeep grand Cherokee) moved over I proceeded to make sure I was as close to the dashed white lines to not cause the two workers to be stressed or feel that they were in danger. I made sure I was very close, and because of this most of my focus was on the road and not what the 2 men were doing. The guy riding in the passenger seat told me that they were throwing their arms up in the air. I assumed that they were angry that I had not moved over, but I was really upset and nervous at that point. I had not wanted to do that and I knew I shouldn't have. I then got off at the next exit because I was afraid and needed to regroup and calm down. After driving for about 2 min I turned around and got back on the highway. Traveling for about 5 to 10 minutes I ran into State trooper, and at this point I realized that the two men on the side of the road were not road workers but state troopers. He proceeded to charge me with reckless driving and disobeying an officer.

 

PLEA-

I'm going to plead not guilty to disobeying an officer for-

  • 1) I had no idea that they were police officers (mistake of fact)
  • 2) I had not seen their hand signals myself and when I was informed by my friend that hand signals were being made I assumed they were of a derogatory nature

If the police officer brings up that I admitted to dodging him, it's because there were two answers I could have given. Yes I dodged and no I didn't. Technically I did dodge him, but not because I knew he we police.

 

I'm going to plead not guilty for reckless driving because

  • 1) I was in complete control
  • 2) I took every precaution to keep the people in the breakdown lane safe
  • 3) And the situation required that I move into the left lane.
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

New Hampshire defines reckless as follows:

 

"Recklessly.'' A person acts recklessly with respect to a material element of an offense when he is aware of and consciously disregards XXXXX XXXXX and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the circumstances known to him, its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the conduct that a law-abiding person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but is unaware thereof solely by reason of having voluntarily engaged in intoxication or hypnosis also acts recklessly with respect thereto.

 

......................

 

Thus, driving "recklessly" is a crime. As you can see, reckless driving requires you are "aware of" and "consciously disregard(s)" a risk. The same logic follows with the failing to obey charge. In order to knowingly disobey an officer, you must first recognize they are officers and that they are giving you a lawful command.

 

If you were unaware of the situation, you cannot be guilty of the infractions.

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Alright so this is my final question. Do you think that if I plead not guilty and explain all that, do you think its reasonable to have hope that I could get rid of both of those charges?
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

It is impossible to predict without hearing the officer's side of things. If the scenario is as you said, I can certainly see a dismissal of the citations. It would be difficult for the officer to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this was not a simple error. If there is more to the story from the officer's perspective then who knows...

 

________________________

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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