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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I received a letter in the mail that i didnt stop school bus

Customer Question

I received a letter in the mail that i didnt stop for a school bus it want me to fill the paper out and return it within 10 days or things could get bad im not guitliy cause i dont remember what happen . and i worte on the paper i dont know what going on but i stop at every stop sin and hallway. then the letter said somone will contract me about by mail or by phone . what is going to happen i also sign that im the owner of the car
JA: OK. The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: O this was today . do i need one
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Lawyer should know?
Customer: not sure
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Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Can you tell me what state this is in?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
minnesota
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
hello are you there??
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

Thank you. One moment please... I am typing a response...

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
o sorry
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No will waiting for you to finish typing
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
is this a joke will they take my license or and will i have to go to court or pay fine
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

Passing a school bus is a serious matter in Minnesota. In Minnesota, a person convicted of failing to stop a vehicle while a school bus has its stop-arm extended is guilty of a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

However, a person may also be charged with a gross-misdemeanor if they fail to stop their motor vehicle and commit one or both of the following:

  • Passing or attempting to pass the school bus on the right-hand passenger-door side of the bus; and/or
  • Passing or attempting to pass the school bus in a motor vehicle when a child is outside of and on the street used by the school bus or on the adjacent sidewalk.

A gross misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $3000 fine.

Now these are "up to" offenses, in that these are the maximiums that you could receive. You likely would receive no jail, and likely a lower fine.

Another issue that could come up is "proof". The reason that you got a letter is that there was no police around. The driver of the bus either physically jotted down the license number or there's video evidence of your vehicle doing this (and whoever was watching the video jotted down the number, either correctly or incorrectly). The number that was jotted down was associated with your own.

So it's possible that there was a mistake, either in perception (the driver) or reception (the viewer of the video), or it's possible that it actually happened.

The first step is to wait until you get a call or letter explaining more. It will be from an investigator or possibly a prosecutor. If on the letter you received you have a phone number that you can call for more information, that would be a good idea.

Now if you are charged, you're going to want to get an attorney. This is a serious offense, and starts out as a misdemeanor.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense, a passing a stopped school bus conviction can lead to a driver’s license suspension or revocation.

That being said, if you're charged, you need to contact an attorney in your area that deals with criminal traffic law cases. Go to www.lawyers.com or www.legalmatch.com to find an attorney in your area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in your area, and what you should do next.

Now it could also be a joke, but you shouldn't treat it as one. If I were you, I would contact the police in the area to say that you received this letter and wanted to verify that it was legit. They should direct you to the proper department. Again, police don't escort every school bus, and the school bus isn't going to run you down with flashing lights. This is, unfortunately, the way that they proceed with these matters..

I am still typing your response, I just wanted to submit what I wrote so far so you know that I am still with you...

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

The god thing is that, as a criminal matter, you have an "opportunity to face your accuser". In other words, if you're actually charged, you have the chance to bring this to court and see the video evidence, if any, or question the driver (or whomever wrote your license down) and can see if they wear glasses, if they were distracted (a school bus driver with a bunch of kids in the car is going to be distracted). Now getting an attorney that has handled these cases before would be a very good idea (again, if they proceed with the case) because he/she will know what to ask, what evidence to present, the weaknesses of such a case, and how to present it to a jury.

Hopefully they'll drop the matter if there's not enough evidence (it's possible that it IS only the eyewitness experience of the driver, and they might have been hoping for a quick confession...). But if they do move forward with charges, now you know what to do.

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 AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions)

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?3

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it 3 or more stars (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

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