Jeffrey Rich Blog

Posts tagged ‘tampa traffic lawyers’

Too often people get pulled over, officer friendly issues any number of citations, people let the citations sit around for a awhile then on about the 29 day after the citation was issued people either over-night the check to the clerk of the court, or elect the traffic school. People don’t pay attention to the citation, or more importantly the specific statute the officer friendly wrote on the citation.

Case in point:

Defendant driver was travelling on east on 2-lane road. The defendant driver approached a 4-way stop. As he approached the 4-way stop no other vehicle were present. Like so many people before, the defendant rolled through the stop sign without coming to complete stop. Just as defendant driver was rolling through the stop sign, officer friendly was traveling north towards the same intersection. Officer friendly witnessed the defendant driver fail to stop at the stop sign. He flipped on his light and conducted a traffic stop. He approached the vehicle asking the standard questions and before defendant driver had a chance to even blink he was handed a citation.

The defendant felt like most people: “I got caught; I should have stopped at the stop sign”. The defendant let the ticket sit around for a few weeks before thinking about what to do with it. The defendant was not eligible for the traffic school because he had already taken the class within the last 12 months. He decided to call an attorney to see if there was any way to defend the ticket. After consulting with Tampa traffic attorney Jeff Rich he was informed that he was absolutely guilty for running the stop sign and there was no defense for that traffic infraction. However, the attorney informed the defendant that there was great defense to the citation. Traffic Attorney Rich went on to explain that the statute that the officer wrote on the citation was for failing to yield the right away at a four way stop. Since there were no other vehicles at the four-way stop at the time he rolled through the stop sign, he was not guilty of the statute the officer wrote on the citation. He was absolutely guilty of running the stop sign, but that was not what he was charged with.

Attorney Rich set the case for a hearing. At the hearing the officer was present and presented his case. He testified that he witnessed the defendant driving the vehicle and “blow through the stop sign”. At no point in his testimony did he indicate that there were any other vehicles present at the stop sign. The defendant also testified that there were no other vehicles coming in any of the other directions into the intersection. At the conclusion of the testimony the attorney argued that no evidence was presented that there were any other vehicle in the other 3 directions, therefore it was legally impossible for the defendant to be guilty of the infraction that he was cited for. The failure to yield statute requires that a vehicle must yield to another vehicle that arrives at a four way stop first. Without any evidence of another vehicle there was nothing to yield to. Attorney Rich conceded that the defendant was absolutely guilty of running the stop sign, but that was not what he was cited for. The Judge agreed and the defendant was found NOT GUILTY for failing to yield.

So take a lesson from this case: just because you are GUILTY does not necessarily mean you are GUILTY (at least of the citation that you are cited for). Always consult a Tampa traffic attorney on your case!

So you’re whizzing down the interstate and as you crest a hill you see a State Trooper on the side of the road, outside of his or her car, talking to a civilian who has been pulled over. Traffic is thick as you approach the Trooper and you seemingly have nowhere to go. What to do, what to do??? It would be wise to do one of two things to avoid getting yourself a ticket accompanied by a tongue lashing.

1) Move over. Get in the farthest lane possible away from the officer to avoid any potential tragedy.

2) If you can’t move over, slow down. You must drop AT LEAST 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.

What many Florida drivers don’t know is that Florida has a law that requires the above recommendations. Under Florida Statute 316.126(1)(b), if one does not do one of the above, they can be issued a civil traffic infraction and have points assessed against their driving record. A variation of this law has been in effect in other states for years with Florida recently adopting this.

So, when you encounter a situation as above or when there is any emergency vehicle on the side of the road, do the person on the side of the road a favor and save yourself some money and move over. For more information on what to do if you are pulled over, or other traffic ticket issues, contact a Tampa traffic attorney at The Law Office of Jeffrey M. Rich today: 813-251-3330.

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