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 Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27717
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was in a car crash and at the time could not remember much

Customer Question

I was in a car crash and at the time could not remember much due to a concussion. My car was only one involved even though it was in steady traffic in an interstate in FL. Highway patrol was called to scene, I was taken to hospital by ambulance so he chose to bring my citation for careless driving to the ER. I was completely shocked that a ticket would be issued to a person in an accident. I researched every entry and I kept getting the same answer....police did not witness accident so he can't testify. Went to court. Police witness was a cop in Ohio and was not present for hearing. Judge let FL officer use his statement as evidence, plus he had drawn his take on accident scene and was used as evidence. Everywhere I read, accident report could not be used. So, I was found guilty of careless driving, 4 points plus court fees on top of ticket. Can this be appealed? Accident was 3/21/15; hearing was 6/5/15. I honestly think they messed up at hearing. Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
People who are victims of accidents get charged with crimes or traffic infractions more often than you think. The fact that a defendant is also an accident victim is neither unusual nor improper if the police have probable cause for an arrest.
However, the police report and the out of town witness should have been objected to on hearsay grounds when the state admitted them. If they were, then you preserved this issue for appeal and you should appeal the conviction.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Neither one was objected to on hearsay or other grounds. I did not have an attorney but was shocked when the judge said that he would allow the FL officer to use a statement from his out of town witness, along with his sketch of the accident since officer was not present.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
You can try to appeal it, but being shocked isn't good enough if there's nothing on the trial transcript to show that you objected. Otherwise, you've allowed the evidence in.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I stated I had no attorney present and I did not object to anything. This really is not a good answer as to whether I could appeal this ruling or not.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
I should have been more clear. One can always try to appeal. The real question is whether the court will accept your appeal. If you have not preserved the issues by making objections to them, then no, you won't be able to prevail. Evidence that would otherwise be inadmissible can come in if the other side does not object to them and here, it's not clear whether it would be inadmissible because the argument was never raised by you and the judge was never required to rule on it anyway. You also have to file your notice of appeal within 30 days of the conviction. You were already outside of the 30 day window when you asked your question. So yes, you can file an appeal. No it won't be successful.