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Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 3737
Experience:  30 years of experience
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I got a ticket today carpool, but I only did it to avoid an

Customer Question

I got a ticket today for violating carpool, but I only did it to avoid an accident and I immediately got out when safe, then about a mile later I get pulled over by CHP. Can I effectively fight the violation in court? I wasn't in carpool long, just enough time to avoid the accident and get out (20 secs). I asked the CHP officer "Oh, then you saw me avoid the car that almost caused an accident". He said "No, I just saw you exiting the carpool lane."
JA: OK. The Traffic Lawyer will need to help you with this. Anything else I can tell the Traffic Lawyer before I connect you two?
Customer: No
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Traffic Lawyer about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

You first need to respond to the ticket by filing your response as indicated on the back of the citation. You will check the Not Guilty Block and request a hearing. You will need to pay the citation and costs upfront. If you are successful at the hearing this will be refunded to you.

At the hearing you will testify that it was necessary to enter the HOV lane to avoid another car that swerved into your lane.

If you violate a traffic law to avoid an accident that is a viable defense to the citation. Yes this will be your word against the police officer, but if you persuade the judge that your version is what happened then the judge should dismiss the charges against you.

Of course the judge may choose not to believe you, but it is appropriate for you to make a safe maneuver to avoid an accident.

I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

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Good luck,

Please note: Information given is not legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.

By the way here are the pertinent code sections:

21655.5(b) The Department of Transportation and local authorities, with respect to highways under their respective jurisdictions, shall place and maintain, or cause to be placed and maintained, signs and other official traffic control devices to designate the exclusive or preferential lanes, to advise motorists of the applicable vehicle occupancy levels, and, except where ramp metering and bypass lanes are regulated with the activation of traffic signals, to advise motorists of the hours of high-occupancy vehicle usage. No person shall drive a vehicle upon those lanes except in conformity with the instructions imparted by the official traffic control devices. A motorcycle, a mass transit vehicle, or a paratransit vehicle that is clearly and identifiably marked on all sides of the vehicle with the name of the paratransit provider may be operated upon those exclusive or preferential use lanes unless specifically prohibited by a traffic control device.

21655.8(a) Except as required under subdivision (b), when exclusive or preferential use lanes for high-occupancy vehicles are established pursuant to Section 21655.5 and double parallel solid lines are in place to the right thereof, no person driving a vehicle may cross over these double lines to enter into or exit from the exclusive or preferential use lanes, and entrance or exit may be made only in areas designated for these purposes or where a single bro***** *****ne is in place to the right of the exclusive or preferential use lanes.

Two other points to be aware of:

1)Traffic School may be another option for you to consider. So you may wish to look into that.

This article discusses this option:

2) The court is less receptive to front end collision avoidance than avoiding a side swipe. Front end collision avoidance suggests that your speed was excessive for conditions.

Good luck.

Kind regards,


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