Hello and thanks for choosing Just Answer®. I am a licensed criminal defense attorney, and I will be glad to try and assist you.
To provide you with accurate information, could you please clarify these points so I can best address your inquiry:
Once I hear back from you, I will be glad to let you know my answer. There may be some delay as I am assisting other customers or am away from my computer. Please rest assured, however, that I will get back to you as soon as possible.
My thought would be to have the three witnesses type out statements as to what their testimony would be. They could describe their perspective as to what occurred which, hopefully, would contradict the officer. Their statements should also include their name, address and phone number. Additionally, notarizing the statements would be helpful as well.
You could then present the statements to the prosecutor. With the three witnesses (hopefully one of those is the operator of the ATV) providing testimony contradictory to the officer, the prosecutor would quite likely dismiss the charge, or certainly, at the very least, extend a very favorable offer of resolution.
Please let me know if anything requires clarification.
Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.
It certainly could be. As you have alluded to, police officers can typically only write reports for offenses that occurred within their own jurisdiction. If the offense was outside of their jurisdiction, it is certainly possible to have the charge dismissed altogether.
I apologize but before proceeding, I need to clarify something. In your first sentence, you stated that you "clicked on" the accept. That is not indicated on my side of the screen. As I have stated, I am only compensated if you do, in fact, click on the "accept". Are you stating that you believe you have already clicked the "accept" for my answer?
Do you have the specific charge that was leveled against you? It should be on the summons that you received. This information will help me give you a more accurate answer.
As you alluded to, this is a violation. Furthermore, violations are not considered criminal in nature and are not punishable by incarceration. However, a second offense under this statute becomes a criminal offense. As such, my speculation is that the "typo" in your case was that there was a prior offense. This would explain the matter being treated as if it were criminal.
As to your "recourse", you could consider filing a civil lawsuit for what you went through. the lawsuit would be based on a violation of your civil liberties. You could seek damages for being booked and processed.
Having said that, please know that this could be a difficult lawsuit for you to pursue. Law enforcement officers are protected by qualified immunity. This legal theory states that officers that act reasonably within the scope of their duties are protected from suit. While there is no doubt that what you went through was wrong, prevailing in court may be difficult.
My thought would be to consult with an attorney in your area about the matter. If you are interested, you would be seeking a civil attorney that focuses on lawsuits against law enforcement agencies. You might consider looking outside of your immediate area. As you can imagine, attorneys may be hesitant to sue police officers within their own geographic area. Contact a few attorneys and discuss the matter in detail. If they suggest that you have a viable lawsuit, then certainly consider pursuing the matter further.
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