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Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question

Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 38108
Experience:  Run my own practice.
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Prior to making a left handed turn onto the street I live on,

Resolved Question:

Prior to making a left handed turn onto the street I live on, I merged from the right to the left lane using my blinker and was immediately pulled over my a university policy officer in my college town. I was told was being charged with "following a vehicle too closely" (the vehicle in front of me) as well as "driving a vehicle directly in front of overtaken vehicle" (the vehicle I supposedly passed yet I didn't see when I checked my side-view mirror).

The fines are $200 in total and carry 4 points. I obviously want this reduced seeing as I have zero points on my record. I would feel most comfortable entering into a waiver hearing in which I admit guilt but that I receive a PBJ.

Thoughts?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Thank you for your question.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

When is your hearing--has it been scheduled yet?

Customer:

I got the ticket tonight. I have thirty days to request a waiver hearing.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

If I may ask, what is your age? I ask purely to see how willing the state may be in granting a waiver.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Also, when was your last ticket?

Customer:

20.

Customer:

One moment..

Customer:

June of this summer at the beach. My only other ticket. 10 miles over the speed limit on Route 50 West.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

How did that ticket work out, did you get the points or pay the fine?

Customer:

I did not get any points

Customer:

I paid the fine.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

With two tickets given together the chance of no points is fairly small.

Customer:

Actually, it was a "traffic violation warning"

Dimitry K., Esq. :

In addition the past citation, even without points, can get the state to refuse to grant as favorable of a plea

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Ahh, a warning is different.

Customer:

Sorry

Dimitry K., Esq. :

No problem,

Customer:

The top of the paper says State of Maryland Traffic Violation Warning

Dimitry K., Esq. :

what you received just now or in the summer?

Customer:

In the summer, again sorry for the confusion.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

A 'warning' is generally not a citation, it is a request to refrain from certain behavior

Dimitry K., Esq. :

warnings do not carry fines, at least not usually.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

No problem

Customer:

Yea, I don't believe I paid a fine

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Then it's a non issue

Dimitry K., Esq. :

that helps with this situation.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

two concerns that I see

Dimitry K., Esq. :

1. two tickets at once. the state is less likely to grant both as no point violations

Dimitry K., Esq. :

2. your age. While potentially unfair, courts are typically harder on more youthful drivers as they are likely to see them as more inexperienced.

Customer:

Does it not seem like double jeopardy? I thought I was merging safely between two vehicles so I get slapped with a violation for the first and second car?

Customer:

So would a waiver trial be a complete waste in your honest opinion?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

it is not double jeopardy--that is when someone is pursued twice for the same offense. For example two speeding tickets for the same length of time and stretch of road.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

But citing someone for following too close, and driving to overtake are two separate causes of action and citations--they have different conditions and different requirements.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

A waiver would likely not be helpful. What would be helpful is pleading not guilty, going to court, requesting a hearing, and trying to plea deal with the state at the hearing itself.

Customer:

Ok, I understand the spirit of the law but I think it can be unfairly applied when someone is trying to merge into another lane.

Customer:

Ok

Customer:

How long would this hearing typically take?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

The officers do try to put as many tickets onto a person as they can at times

Dimitry K., Esq. :

and that can include multiple tickets for one act

Customer:

Also, what would be the court costs associated with this in traffic court?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

if you were also going fast while doing so, he could have added speeding as well.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

court costs are typically under $50 for traffic offenses

Customer:

I was going 20-30 mphs, another reason I believe this is a stretch of a charge

Customer:

Seemed like a safe speed to merge

Dimitry K., Esq. :

the hearing would be quite quick--typically you would need to appear 30 minutes early

Customer:

Ok

Dimitry K., Esq. :

then the officer or prosecutor would find you and speak with you in private

Dimitry K., Esq. :

they would then offer you a deal

Dimitry K., Esq. :

which you can choose to take, and plead guilty, or fight it out

Customer:

The police offer can approach me prior to my hearing and offer me a deal?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

if you agree, you go to the judge, agree to plead guilty, and make arrangement for the ticket.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

yes, he can

Customer:

Why would he choose to do that? Sorry for the questions...

Dimitry K., Esq. :

efficiency mostly, and practical time constraints

Dimitry K., Esq. :

courts do not want to hear such cases

Dimitry K., Esq. :

wastes the court's time and the judge's time

Dimitry K., Esq. :

they would rather use the court to collect revenue (fines) then hear the whole case

Customer:

And the officer has power to drop one or both charges?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

you pleading guilty to something less would take 2 minutes

Dimitry K., Esq. :

hearing the case may tak 20-30...they want that time.

Customer:

I just don't want the points honestly.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

yes, he does.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

And yes, I figure this is less about fines and more about points.

Customer:

Is a waiver hearing in private or in front of a large crowd as well?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

private, usually.

Customer:

And you believe I'

Customer:

I'd be less successful with that?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

I suspect if you file for a PBJ, the state is less likely or willing to drop the points, at least all of them

Dimitry K., Esq. :

they can likely set aside one ticket and one set of points, not both

Dimitry K., Esq. :

I suspect at a hearing you would have greater success

Dimitry K., Esq. :

plus there is the chance the other party does not appear and you win by default

Customer:

Final question

Customer:

I can still file for a PBJ if during a hearing if the officer appears?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

I am sorry, I do not understand

Dimitry K., Esq. :

could you rephrase?

Customer:

Yea, sorry haha

Customer:

If I choose to go to trial and the officer shows, I can still file for a PBJ correct?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

If within the 30 day window, yes, but I suspect that you won't get a hearing date that quickly.

Customer:

so I can only file for the PBJ if my hearing is within a thirty day window

Dimitry K., Esq. :

right, which is highly unlikely

Dimitry K., Esq. :

typically it would take about 2 months or so to get it scheduled.

Customer:

Wow ok

Customer:

thanks for your time.

Customer:

I'm going to bed.

Customer:

Appreciate everything.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Glad to help. And good luck to you, sorry that you got pulled over, and trust me, happens to us all.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Glad to help.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 38108
Experience: Run my own practice.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 6 other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
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