How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Hammer O'Justice Your Own Question
Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 4391
Experience:  10 years of legal experience, including traffic law
12176198
Type Your Traffic Law Question Here...
Hammer O'Justice is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I got into an accident april 6th merging into the middle lane

Customer Question

i got into an accident april 6th merging into the middle lane ( three lane highway) and hit another truck. when i fist checked my rear view mirriors i did not see that truck. im not sure if he was merginig as well or just sped up. i have to be in traffic court on may 23rd. should i plea guilty?
JA: OK. The Traffic Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Traffic Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else the Traffic Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: no
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 7 months ago.
Hello. What state was this in? What were you charged with?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Louisiana. And I was charged with careless operation
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for the additional information. First, I would probably see if the other driver actually shows up. Since when it comes to accidents, the officer who writes the ticket typically doesn't actually see the conduct that caused the accident (as opposed to say, a speeding ticket where the officer actually sees someone speeding), it is generally necessary for the other driver to actually show up to testify that you were driving carelessly. If the other driver doesn't show up, the ticket may be dismissed. If somehow the prosecutor is able to try to go forward on the ticket, meaning the other driver shows up or the officer can contribute something other than what the other driver said, then I would simply try to plea bargain down the ticket to a lesser offense and/or a reduced fine. If you have a good driving record and show up to court, the court will usually give you a better outcome than if you just paid the ticket or pleaded guilty. The downside is that you could be assessed the same fine as before plus court costs, but typically (not always), the court will give something better than you would get just pleading guilty and/or paying the citation, particularly if your record is good. You can also take the case to trial if you wish, and it is possible that the court will find you not guilty based on your recitation of the events...that being that you checked the lane and checked your blind spot before proceeding with the lane change. It is up to you how to proceed, but it is possible that once you get to court, the charge may either be dismissed or reduced.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The driver was from out of state. He was visiting from New York? Does that make a difference?
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 7 months ago.
Just that it makes it significantly more likely that he will not be in court to testify against you.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
So if the ticket gets thrown out because he doesn't show up , will it still be on my driving record? Will I still have to pay it?
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 7 months ago.
If they dismiss the ticket because the officer is unable to testify on his/her own to sustain it, it would be thrown out, so it would not show up as a conviction on your driving record and you would not have to pay the fine.