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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Are police allowed to coerce you into chosing which ticket

Customer Question

Are police allowed to coerce you into chosing which ticket they will write you between a choice of 2? Specifically, I was pulled over and the female officer cited me for both cell phone and tinted windows. She offered a deal and told me she would count to 5 and if I do not chose, then I will be cited for both offenses. Also I find it weird that the officer claims I was on my cell phone but that my windows were to dark to see me. Do I have a case And how do I go about it? I chose the cellphone ticket btw.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

It seems this police officer was toying with you. However, the police officer could have written both tickets. It is generally within the police officer's discretion on whether or no to give you a ticket. This particular officer exercised her discretion and allowed you to pick which ticket she was going to give you. There is nothing illegal about this, although it does sound childish and unprofessional. I do not think this could be labelled police coercion though.

In regard to your defense that she could not see you had a cell phone because your windows were too dark, yes you have a good defense with that. You can bring up the fact that the police officer was going to write both tickets and tell the story to the court. It doesn't make sense if she was going to cite you for the dark windows that she would have been able to actually see you using a cell phone. You should have pictures taken of you in the car with a cell phone and the windows up and use these as proof to establish that there is no way she could have seen you using the cell phone. The fact that she did not cite you for the dark tint means you cannot be charged with it in court during the cellphone ticket case.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Zachary,

OK it makes sense on the second part to argue the officer couldn't see. I have the copy of the ticket and both offenses are written on there clearly but she marked the cell phone, which is the one I chose when she started counting to 5. I did however admit to being on the phone hoping honesty would get a warning. I was wrong. Will this be used against me?
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
Yes. It will be used against you. However, you can roll the dice by stating you are not guilty and perhaps she won't show up to your trial and you can get the ticket dismissed. Even if she does show up to trial, you don't have to take the stand. You can argue that she couldn't see you and then cast suspicion on her story that you admitted it (which she probably won't remember) by asking her questions about the 5 second choice game she played with you. That will make her look bad in front of the court and perhaps they won't believe her.
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3915
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 10 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK I'm going to gamble and pray she does not show up in court, then I will deny the phone usage. If she does show up then I will have a tough time. Usually judges take the word of police plus the squad car I'm sure has a dash cam with audio recording me admitting to being on the phone. If that's the case, can I then chose to plea and pay a lesser fine?
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
You can choose to plea, but once you've started a trial, it is unlikely that you will be allowed to pay a lesser fine. That's the gamble.

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