Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

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NewOldGuy
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by NewOldGuy » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:08 pm

$100 tickets went the way of the dodo bird in California. Run a red light and its $500+.

This ticket could be for anything from inattentive driving (texting) to reckless driving resulting in property damage. Key info is missing.

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beyou
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by beyou » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:21 pm

Johnnyappleseed wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:27 am
For everyone giving parenting advice I'd like to point out the OP never asked for it. We have no idea how responsible the son is in every other area of life or how the accident is already affecting him. The punishment for the accident shouldn't be based upon the accident, but based upon the person and what has already been learned. Advice on the legal front considering we know no details regarding what legal charge / ticket the son is facing or specifics of the accident (such as single vehicle accident or not) is rubish.
+1

My son just got a speeding ticket. He called me up, apologized, and told me he'll take a traffic safety course without my asking him to do so.
So I didn't lecture him, he knew he should have been aware of the speed limit. He was more concerned about the incident than I was (not that I didn't care but I knew he cared a great deal).

mcamp18
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by mcamp18 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:50 pm

Contact the police officer who wrote the ticket. I would have you son do this. It is a simple phone call to the police
station. Most likely you will need to leave a message and have the officer return your call. Ask the officer is you could
plead to a lesser charge to remove the moving violation from your record. You could do this on the phone or in person at '
the police station if it is local.
In PA you can plead to "Failure to Obey Traffic Sign." 3111A is the PA number for this defense.
In this situation the police officer is often wiling to compromise. It costs nothing to ask the question!
So when you show up to court your son and police officer speak to the judge and who in most cases goes along with
the agreement. Son pays fine (admitting responsibility) and court costs. Points are eliminated (keeps future insurance costs in check.)
A win-win situation, which is a great life lesson in itself.
I would recommend a driver safety course for a review, you can pass along this info to the officer and judge.
Regardless of the outcome make sure you check with the insurance company regarding insurance costs for the next vehicle.
At 17 driving another high mileage vehicle with no collision coverage makes economic sense. Might be cheaper for overall insurance costs
for your family to have your son have his own policy. The car would need to be titled in you sons name for that situation.
Your son needs to understand actions have consequences. This is a learning opportunity that has lots of upside for life lessons.

quantAndHold
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:07 pm

Every location I’ve lived in has very different rules and customs as far as dealing with traffic tickets, so there’s not really any standard advice to give. Since we know nothing about where OP lives or what the ticket was for, there’s not really any specific advice to be given that’s useful, unless OP comes back with more information.

JBTX
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by JBTX » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:33 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:09 am
I can't speak to others, but if this were my teen, that would be the end of driving for a little bit, and once that suspension were over, he would be paying 100% of his insurance going forward.

In light of that, I might ask him if he'd like to use his own money (or borrow from you and pay you back asap) to hire a lawyer to fight the ticket. I would not provide this service for my son; this would be part of his education. He can probably achieve some meaningful reduction in the ticket or charge if he is a first-time offender so from an absolute perspective this may be worthwhile.

But I'm not sure him feeling the longer term consequences of this accident is a bad thing, to be honest. I'm glad no one was injured but I'm sure it could have easily been different.

As for the car, you're probably leaving some money on the table selling to the tow company, but no idea how much since you didn't post the value of the car and the damage estimate.

I just went through similar experience as OP about 2 months ago, except it was a newly purchased used car. Saying you will make them pay for it sounds great, but chances are they don't have the money, and won't for a while, and once again your job as a taxi driver is extended.

We ended up getting another car and she is driving. So far so good. Fingers crossed.


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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:06 pm

If you can't trust Reddit for legal advice, who can you?
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

wcinnn
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by wcinnn » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:51 pm

Our 3 teen drivers, girls, knew the rules and consequences of traffic tickets. If they got a ticket for something like an improper turn, tail light burned out - something that was wasn’t reckless and dangerous to themselves and others , we’d have a hard talk about it but if it were for speeding or other reckless behavior dangerous to themselves and others, they’d lose use of the car for 3 months for the 1st ticket, 1 year for the 2nd and for the 3rd, the next car they’d drive would be one they bought and insured themselves. We only had one ticket that met the dangerous standard - for speeding 15 miles over limit. There was one other fender bender and numerous dings and bumps to what eventually was called the ’urban assault vehicle’. It was very inconvenient to have to drive her everywhere for those 3 months but she and her sisters knew we were serious. We did hire a lawyer and fought the ticket successfully. She felt the pain for not driving and not sure the consequences of a ticket on her record meant anything to her at that point and it might have just meant higher insurance rates for us.

criticalmass
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by criticalmass » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:04 pm

michaelingp wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:20 pm
It sounds like it's hard to predict what will happen in traffic court. I was in Arlington Virginia traffic court many years ago to testify in an accident case. Before the proceedings began there was an announcement to the effect, "If you're here to contest a ticket, you're unlikely to win, and you'll also be charged court fees. Just go and pay your fine." Some people stayed, mostly speeding tickets. Each case went basically like this: Judge asked the officer did you calibrate your radar gun. Officer said yes. Gavel down, guilty. I don't remember a single one getting any leniency. At the time I wondered why on earth the folks were fighting their cases with so little chance of success. But after a while I understood, most of them drove for a living. They weren't worried about the fine, they were worried about their jobs.

To the OP. I don't think you'll find the answer here as there are too many variables. Just take a day off and sit in traffic court in your jurisdiction for a couple of hours and see how it goes and then make your decision.
Today, you pay the court costs in Arlington whether you prepay or are found guilty in court. Interesting that they used to openly admit cases were hopeless before they were heard.

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:45 am

8foot7 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:24 am
What's the charge on the ticket?

I agree that I'd just leave the van with the tow company and wash your hands of it.
Yes, the ticket was $125. The car was basically totalled, I did not have collision coverage as it was too old anyway. I signed over the title to the tow company and its gone for good.

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:47 am

chevca wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:07 am
Mrxyz wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:03 am
Hi
So my teen got into an accident, it was his fault, his car is totalled but thankfully no one is injured. He got a moving violation which can be paid or we can fight it. Since it was his fault, I thought about paying the fine and moving ahead ..........expensive and tiring education for him and me, but not sure if I should fight it as it have longer term consequences like it gets on his driving record and increases in future auto insurance.
Any suggestions?

And a car question - car is totalled, old car, do not have collision insurance, plan to sell to the tow company in exchange of paying off towing and storage fees. They can salvage anything they want. Is this a good option?

Thanks
What's to fight? You said more than once it was his fault. You going to say he didn't do it? :happy

An accident is different than a speeding ticket or something. It's not like you can argue speedometers being off, question radar equipment, or whatever. Two cars collided and it seems pretty sure it was because of something your son did. Kinda cut and dry.

What was he cited for and how do you think HE could fight it? I know you're his parent, but it's not your fight as you weren't driving. Time for him to start living and learning.

The car option sounds good enough to me. Or, at least the easiest option which I would prefer in this scenario. Not worth it to shuffle or transport around an old totaled vehicle to try and eek out a few extra bucks.
So, this is new for me/us. Yes, it is his fault and he has to suffer the consequences. I was told the the PD that we could ask for a lower level offence if the judge agrees - something like mediation but likely need a lawyer and thus the fight.

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:05 am

midareff wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:36 am
miamivice wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:28 am
In some states, you can take a 1 day safe driver course, and then the violation goes away. This would be a good option if allowed in your state. The cost if the course is equal to the ticket.
+1 .. if not would go the traffic law attorney route. Accidents can follow a driver a long time in insurance costs and other things. .. many times much longer than they should.
Yes, that is the reason to see if I should fight the ticket - not to take away the blame but for longer term financial issues/insurance costs.

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:07 am

SimonJester wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:39 am
For my city, when you get a traffic ticket and have the option to goto court or pay, when you goto court you are always offered a plea deal which reduces the points. This reduction in points and sometimes reduction to non moving violation can mean a huge deal on insurance rates. There is very little to do other then show up and the judge will ask if you accept the plea and can pay the fine.

Its also good learning experience for the newly teen which now has a ticket. I also think going to court will make a more lasting impression on the teen then just paying off the fine...

So if this is how it works in your city what do you have to lose other then some time.
I could not have said it better - this is exactly what I was planning to do.........maybe the offense can be lowered to a non moving violation and/or he can take a course or two........

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:09 am

bottlecap wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:11 am
If he did not commit the infraction, you could fight it. If he did, have your teen take the class so it stays off insurance. Pay whatever the municipality requires.

The class might be the easiest route either way.

JT
Yes, I am not sure how he can take a class or whether I need to go to court first and then figure things out......

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:12 am

MarkerFM wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:22 am
I would have him show up in court and plead guilty while standing in front of the judge. Make him wear at least a tie. He will learn a lot from this. As others have said, he will probably be allowed to take a driving class of some sort.

My son around that age got a ticket for driving well over the speed limit. Not only that, he had a car full of kids (against our rules and also his learner's permit), and he was going somewhere he wasn't supposed to be. We went to court. After he appeared in front of the judge, I went to thank the cop who wrote the ticket. He told me he hit the button on his radar gun while my son was still accelerating. Yikes. Son did traffic school, paid the fine, and lost his driving privileges for a long, long time. No tickets since.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I am thinking of doing exactly what you mention. The cop who gave him the ticket told him clearly "you are lucky that no one was hurt......and that (pointing to the busted car) can be replaced, but you or the other driver (pointing to each) cannot be"!

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:15 am

michaelingp wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:20 pm
It sounds like it's hard to predict what will happen in traffic court. I was in Arlington Virginia traffic court many years ago to testify in an accident case. Before the proceedings began there was an announcement to the effect, "If you're here to contest a ticket, you're unlikely to win, and you'll also be charged court fees. Just go and pay your fine." Some people stayed, mostly speeding tickets. Each case went basically like this: Judge asked the officer did you calibrate your radar gun. Officer said yes. Gavel down, guilty. I don't remember a single one getting any leniency. At the time I wondered why on earth the folks were fighting their cases with so little chance of success. But after a while I understood, most of them drove for a living. They weren't worried about the fine, they were worried about their jobs.

To the OP. I don't think you'll find the answer here as there are too many variables. Just take a day off and sit in traffic court in your jurisdiction for a couple of hours and see how it goes and then make your decision.
Yes, I do not know the process but will have to take my son to the court and figure it out. He will plead guilty and see if there is anyway - traffic course or anything to reduce the moving violation level to anything else which less severe .....or not..

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:17 am

BolderBoy wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:58 pm
Mrxyz wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:03 am
He got a moving violation which can be paid or we can fight it.
Judges (and prosecutors) are interesting folks. If your son accepts responsibility for what he did a judge and prosecutor can make it a learning experience. If he really wants to "fight it" in the vein of "I refute the accusation that I committed a crime!", then the prosecutor & judge might be inclined to really give him a learning experience.

The biggest Medicare fraud case in the US involved 3 co-conspirators: a crooked judge, a crooked lawyer and a crooked psychologist. The judge and lawyer both admitted guilt and took plea deals. They got 4 years and 12 years respectively (statutory maximums under the sentencing guidelines). The psychologist - against whom the evidence was overwhelming and irrefutable - decided to go to trial, was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to 25 years! He screamed bloody murder that it was unfair in light of the other two folks' sentences and appealed. The appeals court affirmed both his conviction and the sentence saying in part, "Your co-conspirators accepted responsibility for their parts in the crime and you did not." (side note: the lawyer apparently fled the country prior to sentencing and hasn't been seen since)

Accepting responsibility is a very important lesson to learn.
Yes, my son is guilty and he knows it fully well.
What I am not sure of is;

Do I need a lawyer to go to court and plea for a deal with the prosecutor?
Or do I just show up in court WITHOUT a lawyer, and then have to figure it out by talking with the judge?

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:24 am

NewOldGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:08 pm
$100 tickets went the way of the dodo bird in California. Run a red light and its $500+.

This ticket could be for anything from inattentive driving (texting) to reckless driving resulting in property damage. Key info is missing.
My son was at a road crossing coming from a smaller lane to a larger road crossing - going from east to west. He had the yield sign while the north to south larger road does not have any sign. A car turned in front on him and crossed from his right to left - going from south to east, going correctly to the left of him in the appropriate lane.
Instead of checking if there was any car coming to his left by waiting till the car had completed the turn, he decided (incorrectly) to move into the crossing and another (3rd) car was coming from left to right of him (north to south) and hit his driver side with its right front side and pushed his car to the median.
So my son should have waited to see if the road was clear of traffic and it was his responsibility to yield and he did not. And he was blinded by the car turning in front of him. The other car which hit him was speeding but that is not relevant. Both cars had airbags deployed.
Neither went to the ED, but that can change. Yes, I have umbrella insurance.
Hope this description is not too confusing.

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:26 am

mcamp18 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:50 pm
Contact the police officer who wrote the ticket. I would have you son do this. It is a simple phone call to the police
station. Most likely you will need to leave a message and have the officer return your call. Ask the officer is you could
plead to a lesser charge to remove the moving violation from your record. You could do this on the phone or in person at '
the police station if it is local.
In PA you can plead to "Failure to Obey Traffic Sign." 3111A is the PA number for this defense.
In this situation the police officer is often wiling to compromise. It costs nothing to ask the question!
So when you show up to court your son and police officer speak to the judge and who in most cases goes along with
the agreement. Son pays fine (admitting responsibility) and court costs. Points are eliminated (keeps future insurance costs in check.)
A win-win situation, which is a great life lesson in itself.
I would recommend a driver safety course for a review, you can pass along this info to the officer and judge.
Regardless of the outcome make sure you check with the insurance company regarding insurance costs for the next vehicle.
At 17 driving another high mileage vehicle with no collision coverage makes economic sense. Might be cheaper for overall insurance costs
for your family to have your son have his own policy. The car would need to be titled in you sons name for that situation.
Your son needs to understand actions have consequences. This is a learning opportunity that has lots of upside for life lessons.
Thanks for the suggestion, I will try to contact the PD.

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Mrxyz
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Mrxyz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:36 am

Mrxyz wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:24 am
NewOldGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:08 pm
$100 tickets went the way of the dodo bird in California. Run a red light and its $500+.

This ticket could be for anything from inattentive driving (texting) to reckless driving resulting in property damage. Key info is missing.
Description of the accident -


My son was at a road crossing coming from a smaller lane to a larger road crossing - going from east to west. He had the yield sign while the north to south larger road does not have any sign. A car turned in front on him and crossed from his right to left - going from south to east, going correctly to the left of him in the appropriate lane.
Instead of checking if there was any car coming to his left by waiting till the car had completed the turn, he decided (incorrectly) to move into the crossing and another (3rd) car was coming from left to right of him (north to south) and hit his driver side with its right front side and pushed his car to the median.
So my son should have waited to see if the road was clear of traffic and it was his responsibility to yield and he did not. And he was blinded by the car turning in front of him. The other car which hit him was speeding but that is not relevant. Both cars had airbags deployed.
Neither went to the ED, but that can change. Yes, I have umbrella insurance.
Hope this description is not too confusing.

chevca
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by chevca » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:26 am

Mrxyz wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:47 am
chevca wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:07 am
Mrxyz wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:03 am
Hi
So my teen got into an accident, it was his fault, his car is totalled but thankfully no one is injured. He got a moving violation which can be paid or we can fight it. Since it was his fault, I thought about paying the fine and moving ahead ..........expensive and tiring education for him and me, but not sure if I should fight it as it have longer term consequences like it gets on his driving record and increases in future auto insurance.
Any suggestions?

And a car question - car is totalled, old car, do not have collision insurance, plan to sell to the tow company in exchange of paying off towing and storage fees. They can salvage anything they want. Is this a good option?

Thanks
What's to fight? You said more than once it was his fault. You going to say he didn't do it? :happy

An accident is different than a speeding ticket or something. It's not like you can argue speedometers being off, question radar equipment, or whatever. Two cars collided and it seems pretty sure it was because of something your son did. Kinda cut and dry.

What was he cited for and how do you think HE could fight it? I know you're his parent, but it's not your fight as you weren't driving. Time for him to start living and learning.

The car option sounds good enough to me. Or, at least the easiest option which I would prefer in this scenario. Not worth it to shuffle or transport around an old totaled vehicle to try and eek out a few extra bucks.
So, this is new for me/us. Yes, it is his fault and he has to suffer the consequences. I was told the the PD that we could ask for a lower level offence if the judge agrees - something like mediation but likely need a lawyer and thus the fight.
Just a difference in terms, I suppose. To me, fighting the ticket would be saying it wasn't his fault, he didn't do it, and so on. Showing up to say, yep, he did it, and asking for a lower violation/fine isn't fighting it. IMO

I wouldn't waste your time calling the police department/officer, as suggested. The report has already been made and the ticket written for failure to yield (from the sounds of it). It's up to the courts now. The officer's part is done, other than maybe a court appearance.

Lawyer up or not... that's the question at this point. From past threads, it sounds different from state to state. But, many places you can just show up to court and the prosecutor will offer right away a lower violation for a typical traffic ticket. With an accident involved, it may be different from county to county, or even city to city. As brought up by one poster, even with an accident involved it can be lowered and traffic school can be an option. That may or may not be the case where you live. Even if you get a lawyer, the courts where you live may say, no, there was an accident involved here, ticket stays as is. Tough call.

tibbitts
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by tibbitts » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:52 am

Mrxyz wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:24 am
NewOldGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:08 pm
$100 tickets went the way of the dodo bird in California. Run a red light and its $500+.

This ticket could be for anything from inattentive driving (texting) to reckless driving resulting in property damage. Key info is missing.
Description of the accident -


My son was at a road crossing coming from a smaller lane to a larger road crossing - going from east to west. He had the yield sign while the north to south larger road does not have any sign. A car turned in front on him and crossed from his right to left - going from south to east, going correctly to the left of him in the appropriate lane.
Instead of checking if there was any car coming to his left by waiting till the car had completed the turn, he decided (incorrectly) to move into the crossing and another (3rd) car was coming from left to right of him (north to south) and hit his driver side with its right front side and pushed his car to the median.
So my son should have waited to see if the road was clear of traffic and it was his responsibility to yield and he did not. And he was blinded by the car turning in front of him. The other car which hit him was speeding but that is not relevant. Both cars had airbags deployed.
Neither went to the ED, but that can change. Yes, I have umbrella insurance.
Hope this description is not too confusing.
The description is understandable except he wasn't "blinded", he just didn't look. I'm not sure the speeding is completely irrelevant as a factor, though - maybe he had looked recently enough that only a speeding car could have reached the intersection by that time. We all probably make that a calculation of how long it's been since our last observation of oncoming traffic, but include some larger safety factor. For example I suspect a lot of us might be hit by a car in cross-traffic that suddenly sped up (possibly beyond the limits of physics, but still...) in that situation, because we would have mentally noted its last position and concluded that it would have been safe to enter the intersection.

Luke Duke
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by Luke Duke » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:40 am

I didn't read all of the replies...but is defensive driving an option? If it is, make him sit in a class, which is more painful. Don't let him take it online.

chevca
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by chevca » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:07 am

tibbitts wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:52 am
Mrxyz wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:24 am
NewOldGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:08 pm
$100 tickets went the way of the dodo bird in California. Run a red light and its $500+.

This ticket could be for anything from inattentive driving (texting) to reckless driving resulting in property damage. Key info is missing.
Description of the accident -


My son was at a road crossing coming from a smaller lane to a larger road crossing - going from east to west. He had the yield sign while the north to south larger road does not have any sign. A car turned in front on him and crossed from his right to left - going from south to east, going correctly to the left of him in the appropriate lane.
Instead of checking if there was any car coming to his left by waiting till the car had completed the turn, he decided (incorrectly) to move into the crossing and another (3rd) car was coming from left to right of him (north to south) and hit his driver side with its right front side and pushed his car to the median.
So my son should have waited to see if the road was clear of traffic and it was his responsibility to yield and he did not. And he was blinded by the car turning in front of him. The other car which hit him was speeding but that is not relevant. Both cars had airbags deployed.
Neither went to the ED, but that can change. Yes, I have umbrella insurance.
Hope this description is not too confusing.
The description is understandable except he wasn't "blinded", he just didn't look. I'm not sure the speeding is completely irrelevant as a factor, though - maybe he had looked recently enough that only a speeding car could have reached the intersection by that time. We all probably make that a calculation of how long it's been since our last observation of oncoming traffic, but include some larger safety factor. For example I suspect a lot of us might be hit by a car in cross-traffic that suddenly sped up (possibly beyond the limits of physics, but still...) in that situation, because we would have mentally noted its last position and concluded that it would have been safe to enter the intersection.
You know who says, 'the other guy was speeding'? Those that get in accidents because they didn't obey stop or yield signs. :happy

If they didn't see him, how do they know he was speeding? If they saw him speeding, why did they pull out in front of him?

If "a lot of us" drive by just making mental notes of where cars are, then a lot of us need to go to traffic school or defensive driving courses.

TIAX
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by TIAX » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:31 am

Mrxyz wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:03 am
Hi
So my teen got into an accident, it was his fault, his car is totalled but thankfully no one is injured. He got a moving violation which can be paid or we can fight it. Since it was his fault, I thought about paying the fine and moving ahead ..........expensive and tiring education for him and me, but not sure if I should fight it as it have longer term consequences like it gets on his driving record and increases in future auto insurance.
Any suggestions?
Are you sure no one was injured? Consider that the statute of limitations is likely several years and cases are often filed just before the statute expires. Can a guilty plea in the moving violation be used in a civil suit against you? If you want to teach the child lesson, have him pay for any costs related to the ticket (hiring an attorney, etc.).

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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by galawdawg » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:55 am

Mrxyz wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:17 am
Yes, my son is guilty and he knows it fully well.
What I am not sure of is;

Do I need a lawyer to go to court and plea for a deal with the prosecutor?
Or do I just show up in court WITHOUT a lawyer, and then have to figure it out by talking with the judge?
First, IANYL, but a retired career prosecutor (and former cop). You indicated your son is seventeen. Unless the jurisdiction where the infraction occurred considers him a juvenile or you are an attorney, you likely won't get to represent your son, negotiate with the prosecutor or speak to the Judge on his behalf unless called as a witness. (In the jurisdictions where I practiced, that would be considered unauthorized practice of law, a misdemeanor, and the Court would prohibit you from doing so). So may I respectfully suggest that you may want to consider stepping back and letting your son handle this while you look on and provide support, encouragement and parental wisdom. (Neither I nor the judges I practiced before were ever impressed when mom or dad wanted to handle their offspring's case. Unless they are a juvenile in the eyes of the law, if someone is old enough to do (or allegedly do) whatever caused them to be in court, they are old enough to let mom and dad sit in the gallery while the case is handled).

Your son might consider calling the prosecutor's office that will handle his infraction and see if he can make an appointment to meet with the prosecuting attorney prior to the court date (in a large or busy jurisdiction, they will probably just tell him to come to court). If he dresses appropriately, is respectful and courteous, and expresses regret for his actions and the resulting consequences and respectfully asks the prosecutor for deferred prosecution or pretrial intervention with defensive driving, maintaining good grades while a student and perhaps some community service, he might (depending on the jurisdiction) be able to keep this off his record if he successfully completes whatever requirements they have for such a program. If they don't offer such a program or they are unwilling to allow him to participate, he may just need to pay the fine and any other sanctions imposed by the judge (again, the same suggestions for interacting with the Court would apply as mentioned above, including "yes, Your Honor" or "no, Your Honor" as appropriate).

Because it was a multi-vehicle wreck, his ticket and the disposition of it will likely not have any significant affect on the insurance rates as the at-fault collision will probably result in a substantial increase. In any event, a defensive driving course recognized by the insurance company, maintaining excellent grades while a student, and avoiding any future tickets and collisions will help mitigate the long term consequences. Having had more than one ticket as a young driver and an at-fault wreck to boot, I learned my lesson after having to pay the fines, pay the full cost of the rate increase when I was on my parents insurance and having to drive a car with a dented fender to and from college.

Again, IANYL and am thankful for you and your son that the consequences were not more severe. Good luck, hope this is the last time you and your family need to go through this.

bsteiner
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by bsteiner » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:04 am

The extent to which you can plea bargain a traffic ticket varies from state to state, and sometimes within a state.

SanAntionetta
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by SanAntionetta » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:11 am

In some jurisdictions paying the ticket is admissible as proof of negligence - sometimes injured parties do not present a claim for months or even years after the accident. To protect yourself I would confer with a local attorney or your insurance company before making your decision.

Glad your son is okay.

miamivice
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by miamivice » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:15 am

SanAntionetta wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:11 am
In some jurisdictions paying the ticket is admissible as proof of negligence - sometimes injured parties do not present a claim for months or even years after the accident. To protect yourself I would confer with a local attorney or your insurance company before making your decision.

Glad your son is okay.
This accident, as described, is clearly at the fault of the vehicle that had a yield sign but did not yield. Whether or not the traffic ticket is paid will have no impact on how insurance companies determine fault for the accident. (The police do not determine fault, but rather determined if a moving violation occurred, which happened in this case.)

Since two vehicles collided, I do not think that a judge would waive the ticket. Clearly, one driver operated their vehicle in a manner not congruent with the law and a traffic ticket is appropriate.

quantAndHold
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Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:52 am

It’s unlikely that he needs a lawyer to ask for leniency on a $125 ticket. And even if he did, the cost of the lawyer would probably be more than what he could gain from having a lawyer.

Like I said upthread, every jurisdiction works differently. In some places, he would stand in front of the judge, plead guilty, and ask for leniency. In others, he would plead not guilty, ask to talk to the DA, and ask he DA for leniency. There are probably other ways of doing it in other places too. Your son’s job is to figure out what he needs to do, and do it himself. Mom and dad can’t stand in front of the judge for him. Traffic court in most places is a DIY thing for all but the most serious infractions.

Previous poster is correct. The final disposition of the ticket will not affect insurance rates. The fact that he failed to yield makes him the at fault driver, and insurance rates will be set based on that. So he’s really just trying to reduce the fine and number of points on his license.

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