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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11765
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I received a citation for ORC 4511.43a. I was going South

Customer Question

I received a citation for ORC 4511.43a.

I was going South bound up a steep hill. There is a 4 way stop. I can not see the intersecting road if I stop at the stop sign. There is not cross walk, sidewalk, or stop bar line on the road before the stop sign.

I passed the stop sign pulled up to the intersection to view all 4 lanes did a stop and proceeded.

The officer stated during the our conversation I went 15' too far before stopping at the stop sign.

If I read ORC (Ohio Revised Code) 4511.43a correctly, I did nothing wrong. I was to stop at the point of vision not at the stop sign. This is a rural area - zoned as Building/Commercial.

Please advise.
~ JM Valentine
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Did the officer think that you should have stopped at the stop sign?

ScottyMacEsq :

That is, was "15'" back from where you did stop perpendicular with the stop sign?

Customer:

He did not state that. My assumption, yes. He just stated, I went too far before stopping for the stop sign. His specific and recorded words are yes, you stopped just you went 15' too far before stopping.

Customer:

No one can see the intersecting road (or cars) to the left as the there is a burm built up at the residence house - on the left.

ScottyMacEsq :

And to be clear, there's no marked stop line or cross walk?

ScottyMacEsq :

(none whatsoever)>

ScottyMacEsq :

?

Customer:

Correct - No stop line, no cross walk and no side walks on either side of the south bound lane

Customer:

It's a country road with a hill, a stop sign and then about 15 feet after the stop sign the road to the right intersects and about 18 feet from the stop sign a road intersects to the left

ScottyMacEsq :

The good thing is that the police officer is on record acknowledging that you stopped. That shows that you were not trying to run the stop sign. The key is to show that you did not break any law.

ScottyMacEsq :

The law is clear when there is no stop line or cross walk that you shall (i.e. have to) stop at "the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it." Your reading of the law is correct in that regard.

ScottyMacEsq :

But essentially you need to plead "not guilty"/

ScottyMacEsq :

The state has the burden to prove that you violated the law. You don't have the burden to prove that you didn't.

ScottyMacEsq :

But you can certainly introduce evidence to show that there was no sooner point that you could have stopped.

ScottyMacEsq :

The key there is to take pictures.

ScottyMacEsq :

Take pictures from the same height and location of your vehicle directly perpendicular to the stop sign and where you actually stopped.

ScottyMacEsq :

In these pictures you will want to show the view of the oncoming traffic from your particular viewpoint in your vehicle.

Customer:

I did plead not guilty. My hearing is today. The video shows me braking going up the hill - passing the stop sign. The officer then proceeds to pull out of the business parking lot and you have me brake and do a quick stop at the intersection

ScottyMacEsq :

By "hearing", do you mean your actual trial? Or is it a pre-trial hearing, arraignment, etc...?

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you see my last follow up question?

Customer:

I'm not sure what you mean. I went before the Judge, He was a Guilty or Not Guilty only. He scheduled a date for me to come in to state what occured.

Customer:

He asked for a guilty or not guilty only - no other communication

ScottyMacEsq :

And that date is today, correct?

Customer:

Correct

ScottyMacEsq :

That would be the arraignment (the guilty/not guilty part).

ScottyMacEsq :

What time is that hearing?

Customer:

11 am EST

ScottyMacEsq :

If at all possible, you should still bring pictures to show that you could not have seen the approaching traffic from the viewpoint of where the police officer said you should have stopped. If the intersecting roadway did not have a stop sign, that would bolster your case (in that a berm would have obstructed speeding vehicles). Again, if possible, go to the place and take pictures, from your vehicle, and get those printed out. I realize that the time limits might make that unfeasible, but if it's something that you can do, you should do it. Get as much information about that intersection as possible (such as whether there is a stop sign for the intersecting road, etc...)

ScottyMacEsq :

You should also print out the specific code section (which you can find here: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4511.43) and take it with you to court so that you can show the judge that this is the law.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now even if you don't get the pictures (which you should do, if possible) the state still has the burden of proving that you violated the law.

ScottyMacEsq :

That means that the state would need to prove that you stopped beyond the point where you had a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.

ScottyMacEsq :

That means that the state would, at minimum, need to establish where that particular point would be.

ScottyMacEsq :

It's not enough to say that you didn't stop at exactly at the stop sign (as the law does not require that, but rather stopping at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where you would have a view of the approaching traffic.

Customer:

So there is no ORC or stated number of feet a person must stop when they pass a stop sign before it is considered a "point of view"

ScottyMacEsq :

And so it's entirely possible that your defense is that the state did not establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

ScottyMacEsq :

No, particularly if you were charged with this specific provision. Again, the provision says that you need to stop at the stop line, or if there is no stop line, then at the cross walk, but if there is no cross walk, "then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it."

ScottyMacEsq :

That's fact dependent.

ScottyMacEsq :

Meaning that what might be true for one stop sign might be false for another.

ScottyMacEsq :

5 feet beyond might be the case for one stop sign, 10 for another, and directly at the stop sign for a third.

ScottyMacEsq :

The ultimate issue is where that point "nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering" is, and whether you stopped at that point or beyond it.

ScottyMacEsq :

Your defense is that you stopped at that point, and that the state can't prove that you stopped beyond it.

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, pictures would really help, in that the judge could see what you mean by this.

ScottyMacEsq :

(from your vehicle, assuming that the police officer did not have the same make and model of that vehicle)

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX go back photo document and print the pics before today's hearing.

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

Customer:

Thank you. Can I Save and Exit and establish my rating later

ScottyMacEsq :

I ask that you rate now (as that will close out the question and allow me to assist other customers), but after rating, you can come back and ask follow up questions (without the need for additional payment, etc..) and I will get to them as soon as I can. There might be a delay if I am assisting other customers at the time or otherwise out of the office, but I will get to your follow up questions ASAP.

Customer:

Thank you for explaining, I can come back to ask additional questions, without an additional charge. I will rate, now. Thank you.

ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11765
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
ScottyMacEsq and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I forgot to mention, I only had an expired insurance card. The officer is recorded saying he was going to mark that I had it.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Mark that you had insurance? Or that it was expired? If you were not charged with that, then it might not come to bite you, but it's possible that you can be charged after the fact with failure to have insurance. Now often if you do have insurance, but no proof of insurance, all you have to do is present that proof that you were insured and that will not be an issue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Oh, no. I have insurance. I have full coverage. I did not have an insurance card that was not expired, when I was pulled over. He marked down that I did show him proof of insurance.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Then that should not be a problem, but you should bring your proof of insurance just in case.

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