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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 28072
Experience:  Lawyer. Former judicial law clerk. Worked for District Attorney's Office in Traffic Court.
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If I write a question how long does it take to get answered?
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Indiana
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, just found this site, and this is my first driving offense ever
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: Well I was going to provide details in the Type Your Traffic Law Question Here dialog box, but should I provide them to you instead?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. It usually just takes a few minutes for experts to research an answer for you. What is your question?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi there, here is a link to my ticket: https://public.courts.in.gov/pay/Ticket/Index/ODY%4049G13-1607-IF-036796%7CCR%408D923C6E-A495-4A83-986F-03C8A66093FCThe fine is around $204, do you know how this was calculated? How many exact points will I get for these infractions?This is my first offense ever on my driving history, which is about to be 5 years now. Should I go to court and ask for leniency or contest that my lane movement was safe? (I didn't get in a crash, but did cross white lines to get on my exit ramp last second
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

The fines are based on tables that the courts do not make available to the general public. Unsafe lane movement is a 4 point violation. For some reason, Indiana does not make the full point system available, but you can email the state and ask what they assess for speeding when the total speed is above 55 mph.

Often, if you go to court and agree to pay one ticket, they will dismiss the other one for you. That's a request you can make. They will also often lower the fine if you agree to plead guilty, so that might also be worth looking into.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I found this table online that would indicate that you are right about the unsafe lane movement and that my 28 mph over would be a 6 point violation: http://www.in.gov/bmv/2374.htm
So in total I would have a 10 point violation. I already looked up that Indiana has a driver safety program which anyone can take and takes 4 points off your record, which I plan on taking.
But what I mostly need your help in, is how do I exactly answer the form that the officer gave me for my ticket. I have attached the front and back side as JPGs below.
What are the harms of pleading guilty? I realize that points stay on your record for 2 years, but that employers might be able to look up the citation for up to ten years. That would be bad as I'm a college senior right now who is about to start applying for jobs. Do I have to hire an attorney to go to court or can I make my own argument? It would most likely be similar to what I am telling you, would that do anything for me?
If you could tell me how exactly to answer the JPGs and why those answers are best that would be the greatest help and I will be sure to give you an excellent rating!
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

They didn't charge you with 28 mph over, though. They charged you with speeding while traveling more than 55 mph. That's a different code section, so it's not necessarily the same point value. It could be, but I would suggest you verify with the state, since they don't post full tables.

Most employers are not going to look at a person's traffic tickets or choose not to hire them because of tickets unless driving is a necessary part of the job. You're allowed to make your own arguments if you want to dispute the tickets, although you can bring a lawyer to court if you wish. I'm unfortunately not able to tell you how to answer the questions - that would be providing legal advice, which means I'd be acting as your lawyer. The thing that allows us to charge customers a tiny fraction of what we'd charge clients is that we only provide general information. Arguments are largely fact-based. There are no one-sized-fits-all answers. The "best" way to dispute a ticket is generally to explain that your actions are not prohibited by the statute.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Gotcha, so what would be the difference between plea of admit and a plea of no contest?
Is there any way to get one infraction removed without going to court, if one were ever cited two or more infractions? If not, what would be a couple ways to get one of the infractions removed while in court?
Is the only way to go to court to deny the violations? Or is there a way you can go to court just to ask for more leniency?
What are the best reasons usually to deny a violation or violations?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Admit means you're admitting what they accused you of doing. No contest means that you're not going to contest it. Many people prefer not to have to admit guilt, but the two are basically the same. The only way to get one infraction removed is to make a deal with the DA, which usually requires going to court. You don't have to enter a denial to do that - you can go in and ask to talk to someone.

Traffic tickets are strict liability offenses. The best defenses, honestly, are (a) I wasn't the person driving/this is mistaken identity (which usually is for tickets generated by a camera) or (b) I didn't break the law because.... Defenses are only raised at trial. If you want to dispute how well the officer could see you, the lighting, the time of day, the weather, etc., then you have to plead not guilty and go to court. If you request a trial and the officer doesn't show up to testify, you will automatically win. Just know that doesn't happen terribly often.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
What do you mean by go in and talk to someone? Do I go to the Violations Bureau Court and ask someone at the front desk to let me speak with the Deputy Attorney (DA?) That would seem to be very unlikely.Like if I wanted to get the unsafe lane movement infraction removed, without going to court, what would be the best way to do that?Also there is an option for Safe Driver Diversion, which if chosen allows for the ticket not to be reported as a judgement against someone to the Bureau of Motor Vehiciles, what is the benefit in this?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. There are people who work in the Violations Bureau Court, making deals and prosecuting cases. You go in on the date on your ticket, and when you go before the judge, tell him you want to talk to someone to make a deal. It happens all the time.

There is no way to get the unsafe lane movement infraction removed without going to court. The only ways to get a ticket dismissed are to dispute it or to make a deal, both of which require going to court.

Safe Driver diversion is more common where there is only one ticket rather than two, but if you're eligible, it means you would pay the fine, and then if you don't get any other violations for a year, they dismiss the ticket and it doesn't show on your record.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
There is also a paperwork/equipment diversion, do you know when this would apply?And it says that safe driver diversion does not apply if your speed exceeds 25mph over the speed limit, yet since my infraction is for Speeding -- Exceeding Maximum 55 MPH, I believe I am still good?It also says that one is not eligible if multiple violations were issued from the same traffic stop, does this mean getting more than one infraction when an officer pulls you over? If so then I would be ineligible, but could I go to the Violations Bureau Court and ask them to make an exception?And it doesn't have a court date on my ticket. When I looked up the details through the mycase.in.gov website, it just says Appear by Sept. 14th. So do I have to schedule a court appearance? On my ticket it says that you should only schedule one if you deny the violations or decide not to answer. I don't see an option for making a deal.Would a good next step be going to the Violations Bureau Court and asking for someone I could make a deal with on my infractions. How does that process work exactly?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

The paperwork/equipment diversion is for if you had something like no proof of insurance or a missing headlight. That doesn't apply.

If you were accused of driving more than 25 mph over the speed limit, you will not qualify for the safe driver diversion, even though that's not what they charged you with. You won't get it with the two tickets.

You can choose to appear on September 14, or you can make an earlier appointment. If you want to make a deal, it is better to make an appointment. You can pick that you're denying the violations are a reason for an appointment. "Decide not to answer" doesn't make any sense in the context of requesting a court date, because that request is an answer. They may not talk to you if you show up on a date other than September 14 asking to make a deal without an appointment.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry had to go to class and another soon.By appointment do you mean court hearing? And would I do that by going into their office or by calling the Bureau's office? Also,how does one make a deal? Do you come into the Bureau Court and tell them that rather than a court hearing you want to make a deal? I feel like they might just look at me funny.Also are your answers to me private or show up on the whole website for anyone to see?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Yes, if you make an appointment with the court, that's for a hearing. You should be able to do that by calling. Again, if you're going in on September 14, there's no need to call in advance.

Yes, the way to make a deal is to tell them you want to negotiate. I know it sounds weird, but people do it all the time. I used to make dozens of deals a day with people who walked into court and said, "I want to make a deal."

Answers are generally public, but once you leave a positive rating, I can block it so no one but you can see it.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this? I cannot make the conversation private until I receive confirmation from you that it's ended.

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