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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1366
Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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I had auto accident Thurs. night 9/12/13, 10:30 PM on way home. It was thunder-storming &a

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I had auto accident Thurs. night 9/12/13, 10:30 PM on way home. It was thunder-storming & lightning. I was on last road to my cabin up in the mountains & a huge Owl flew out of the darkness startling me. I clipped the rt hand bridge railing. It dented my rt frt fender but I was not hurt & no one else was witness. At 10:40 PM my neighbor pulled up behind me & also saw the Owl. He owns a tow truck & suggested I go home & let him tow my truck. To make a long story short someone called 911 & they were on the scene when he got back with his tow truck. The Highway Patrol & EMS came to my house. The officer charged at me & stuck a breathalyzer in my mouth. I had just left work although very late but not drinking. He insisted I was impaired. He searched my medications. He gave me a citation for Reckless Driving but listed the Day as Fri 9/13/13, 12:27 AM & speed @ 45 mph. He listed weather as clear and visibility clear. He threatened to go to my employer & tell them I was impaired. Should I
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer. I think your question was cut-off after, "Should I". You can post a follow up to complete your question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you! I have been trying to figure out how to get back in the system and notify someone that I still need to ask question. What I was getting to is the Highway Patrol Officer Flat out lied or got mixed up because the accident was at 10:30 pm on 9/12/13 not 12:27 am on 9/13/13. The weather was thunder storms and lightning not clear and the visibility was very hazy not clear as the officer stated. Furthermore how can he come up with 45 mph and reckless driving? The officer did not see me. My neighbor that got to the scene at 10:40 PM was the 1st to see me and can witness the weather, time and owl flying around. I can't afford a reckless driving on my driving record. I have not reported anything to my insurance company yet. I don't really quite know what to ask you because there are so many variables. I am going to get a lawyer and have made some connections scheduled to talk tomorrow! I am not guilty am think the officer was mad because I went on home and he thought for sure I would be impaired and fail a alcohol or drug test and I did not so it made him madder. I guess my question is what to do about the false information on the citation and should I contact my insurance company before talking to attorney. I question his going through my stuff at my home looking for drugs. If there is an option to attach to this reply I will attach a copy of the citation. I look very forward to hear from you. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX cell XXXXXXXXXX home-8285863272 emailXXX@XXXXXX.XXX .

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer. All communications between us must go through this website. Unfortunately, I cannot call you or email you. Nor is there a way to attach documents.

I do not know where he came up with the 12:27 a.m. on 9/13. It could be when he wrote the ticket or when he completed his work on the case. Either way it doesn't really matter. A precise date and time on a citation or criminal charge is not required. In fact, on some crimes the prosecution can only narrow it down to a certain year so that is all that is specified.

Since you are going to hire an attorney, I would do that before I report it to my insurance company. The insurance company will likely take a statement over the phone from you regarding the circumstances of the accident and your attorney may want to be present for that. It is possible that the statement you give to your insurance company could later be obtained by the prosecution and used against you especially if there are any inconsistencies in what you tell your insurance company and what you told the police.

Regarding the 45 mph on the citation: That could just be a guess from looking at the extent of the damage on your car and the guardrail. If there were skid marks, it is possible he measured them to try to reach an estimation of speed as well. Regarding the weather conditions, that was probably just a mistake if it was still storming by the time the officer arrived. Your lawyer can obtain a copy of the weather report for that location if it becomes important later.

Regarding the reckless driving. Many officers always right a ticket for a collision. Either Reckless Driving, Careless or Inattentive Driving, or Speeding (too fast for conditions). It's quite possible your lawyer, if he/she cannot get the ticket dismissed, can get it reduced to a less serious violation or keep it off of your driving record.

If I missed any of your questions, please let me know. You are doing the right thing by contacting an attorney right away. I think your guess that the officer was angry at you because he assumed you were a drunk driver that fled the scene is probably pretty accurate. The good thing is your lawyer will not be negotiating with the angry officer, but with a (much less likely to be angry) prosecutor who is not emotionally invested in the incident.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much for addressing those issues. I will wait until I speak with an attorney for advice before contacting insurance company. I am researching the State of North Carolina sites for anything I can find that refers to making corrections to the citation data and will call Monday. I also requested local internet weather service to provide weather data for area of accident on 9/12/13 at the time of accident. Any thoughts on his actions coming up to my house on my private 15 acres with the EMS workers and giving me the breathalyzer test, coming in my garage, going through my brief case, medications, showing them to the EMS workers to look up in their book, opening my file cabinet and just because it had vitamins in it telling my wife I was a pill head, and even more. The most important thing is he threatened to go to see the Chancellor at the University where I am a professor and tell him I was driving under the influence and not fit to be teaching over at the university. This would be instant dismissal for me as for my job teaching since 2004. Just comment on what you can or I'll pay more if necessary. The attorney is to call me Monday afternoon sometime. Thank you very much.

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome. No need to pay more. Just please rate my answer accordingly.

(1) You probably will not find anything about amending citation data. It's just something that is allowed. A citation is a charging document like an "indictment" or an "information". A time/date error is not a fatal defect.

(2) Unless he obtained your consent to go through your personal effects or obtained a warrant, that could very well be an illegal search. If it was though, the remedy in the criminal realm is not dismissal of the charges. The remedy is suppression of any evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search. It does not sound like any evidence was obtained as a result of the search so there would be no remedy in the criminal realm.

You could always complain to his supervisor, and there are civil suits for violation of civil rights. These are called section 1983 lawsuits.

(3) If the officer did say that to your chancellor, you could sue him for slander. Let's hope it doesn't get that far.
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1366
Experience: Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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