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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 29985
Experience:  Lawyer. Former judicial law clerk. Worked for District Attorney's Office in Traffic Court.
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My son got a citation April 26th driving

Customer Question

Hi , My son got a citation April 26th for wreckless driving / racing...the ticket doesnt have a speed on it, and he has never even had a speeding ticket before he is 19, he was not racing, , other cars were speeding past him, the officer pulled my son over and another car , he stated that person didnt have car insurance, threw the ticket at my son lectured him how hes races and hes a cop now so he said its not worth it, my son didnt say any thing, and the officer said he can go he had to deal with this other guy, when I seen the ticket it didnt look like a speeding ticket i have seen before,...untill we looked up the numbers on the computer we thought it was maybe a warning, the officer told my son to call the number on the ticket and it will tell the amount to pay, we couldnt find any thing untill recent now it states he must appear in court. My son told me he wasnt racing, and cars were going by him, at a fast speed so he wasnt going as fast as them .This is awful because we dont know what to do and I am scared for him, Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Reckless driving is comprised of different types of conduct, and it's not always based on the speed a person was going. That's why the officer didn't write a speed on the ticket. Minn. Rev. Stat., Section 169.13 says " Any person who willfully compares or contests relative speeds by operating one or more vehicles is guilty of racing, which constitutes reckless driving, whether or not the speed contested or compared is in excess of the maximum speed prescribed by law."

The statute also says "Any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a willful or a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving." So, a person an be driving recklessly without speeding. I'm not saying that your son WAS driving recklessly - just trying to show why there's no speed on that ticket.

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor, which is why he's not able to pay the fine and avoid going to court. He's required to make an appearance so the judge can explain what he's charged with and give him the chance to plead not guilty and request a trial. Because reckless driving can carry jail time, if your son cannot afford a lawyer, when he goes to court, he can ask the judge to appoint one for him at no charge.

There's a good chance that his lawyer will be able to plead the ticket down to some sort of moving violation rather than a misdemeanor if your son doesn't have a criminal record. If he decides to take it to trial, the officer will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was racing the other vehicle, and he'll be allowed to take the stand to testify that he wasn't.

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