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What is the best way to handle this situation if I feel like I have been misinformed?

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  • What is the best way to handle this situation if I feel like I have been misinformed?

    I was going 45mph on a 45mph road. I was on my bike and just heading to work. No hurry. Well, I see blueberries and strawberries. I pulled over.
    From the officer's best judgement/opinion, I was tailgating. From mine, I'm sure I had 2 seconds between the car and myself. I did not see where the officer had come out from, he may haven been directly behind me when I pulled onto the road. Our local Department of Transportation states that 2-3 seconds is a safe following distance. I keep it safe and have a fear of the bike. I respect it. At this time, I asked the officer if I would be getting any points. I have kept my record clean. He advised that I would not get any points and my insurance would be fine. I respectfully signed and thanked the officer and went on my way.

    Within the 10 days, I go to the District Justice. I pay my fine and plead guilty. I figured $79 and that's it. I did not want to hassle the officer or the judge.

    A couple days later, I get a letter in the mail stating I received 3 points. This is where I feel I was misinformed. He said I would not, but then I did.

    I went to the District Justice and ask about an appeal. She said I would have to go to the Courthouse to file an appeal. That I have 30 days from the date I pleaded guilty.

    Before my 30 days I go to file my appeal. At the Courthouse I am told that it's 30 days from the day I was issued the citation. This is the second time I feel like I have been misinformed. This time not by the officer, but the kind lady at the District Justice. She told me I could still file an appeal but it could just be "squashed". I believe that is the correct term she had used.

    I understand it is not the officer's job to know if I am issued points. I also have put into consideration that the lady at the District Justice may have been told incorrect information on the policies of an appeal.

    My questions are:

    Can an officer inform you if the citation carries any points or not?

    Since I was misinformed, could I try to get something in writing from the officer or the officer's superior stating I was misinformed? Same thing for the District Justice.

    I am not saying I am not guilty or guilty. I just want the opportunity to present my case to the judge, so I can know that I tried everything to keep a clean record. I would really like to keep it that way and have that peace of mind.

    Thank you for your time in reading my situation, all feedback and advice will be greatly appreciated,

    Thank you again,

    Chris

  • #2
    You already pled guilty. The administrative (points) is usually not in the Courts jurisdiction, Dept of Revenue or whatever Agency issues licenses and tracks driver histories.

    Your best bet is to hire an lawyer
    "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


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    • #3
      Was on of your options possibly, "Take the school and you won't get points"? If not, well like the Roadking said, you already pled guilty. It's not the officers job to know what you're pleading to, it's your job.

      Just so you know, since it's our job to you know... tell the truth and what not... if your defense is "No I didn't", and his testimony is "Yes he did"... he's usually going to win.

      And strawberries and blueberries? Never heard that one... thought this was about getting arrested for picking fruits on private property or something.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by StudChris View Post
        Was on of your options possibly, "Take the school and you won't get points"? If not, well like the Roadking said, you already pled guilty. It's not the officers job to know what you're pleading to, it's your job.

        Just so you know, since it's our job to you know... tell the truth and what not... if your defense is "No I didn't", and his testimony is "Yes he did"... he's usually going to win.
        True, I already plead guilty to stealing fruit going 45mph. But there is an appeals process.
        I already said I know it's not the officer's job to know if it will give points or not. When I asked him, he misguided me. I'm assuming he thought it didn't so I took his word. If he really believed it would not issue points, fine by me. But the issue is finding a letter stating I have 3 points.

        The question was if there is any policy stating that the officer can not state if the citation carries points or not. Could someone please answer that?
        Last edited by chrischoi; 09-18-2009, 03:01 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by chrischoi View Post
          The question was if there is any policy stating that the officer can not state if the citation carries points or not?
          The answer is NO! The information that you seek should be able to be found in your State Vehicle Code. Officers are omnipotent but not infallible.

          You made a plea of guilty without coercion, live with it. Just keep your life on the straight and narrow. It is not a fatal error!
          Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

          [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chrischoi View Post
            The question was if there is any policy stating that the officer can not state if the citation carries points or not. Could someone please answer that?
            short answer, no.

            Officers do try to keep up with what does or does not constitute a points violation; which, by the way, will vary from state to state. Following to close is a hazardous ticket here...(points)
            It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
            Paul "Bear" Bryant

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            • #7
              My agency has 176 written policies that we must adhear to. Several of them concern issuing citations. Not one of them says we can answer a question you ask us. It's not the officer's fault that you decided to plead guilty. He answered your question with what he thought to be a true question. Your decision to come onto a law enforcement forum and ask for us to tell you that his conduct was wrong was a poor one. Also, how can we (not with the agency that issued you this citation) know what their policies say? I must have missed the "memorize EVERY agency in the US's policies" class in the Academy.
              Invisible Signature.......FAIL

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              • #8
                Yes, the officer gave you bad information. However, the misinformation on the points awarded is irrelevent to any appeal. The misinformation that you received from the clerk in the Prothonotary's office is. The secretary at the District Court was right. The 30 day clock starts from the date of conviction NOT the violation date. You may need an attorney to fight for your right to appeal. Following too closely is a very subjective charge under the PA Vehicle Code and you have a good chance of winning. The Judge as a third party will decided what is a reasonable distance.

                As to whether the department has a policy of not discussing the points awarded that is up to the individual agency, so how could any of us know whether he was allowed to tell you about the points or not.

                Studchris: PA does not have the driving school option.
                Last edited by PABear31; 09-18-2009, 10:55 AM. Reason: brain f**t
                When Society makes war on its police, it better be prepared to make friends of its criminals.

                Comment


                • #9
                  PABear.. Could the poster take the points test to say knock 1-2 points off?
                  I don't answer recruitment messages....

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                  • #10
                    Nope. Penn DOT does not offer the option. The special driver's exam is a "one time only" offering the first time a driver goes over 6 points and even then it is ordered by Penn DOT.
                    When Society makes war on its police, it better be prepared to make friends of its criminals.

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                    • #11
                      Your'e going to appeal because you dont like the punishment received after pleading guilty? That is what is wrong with so many things in today's world. I would think one would have known what one was pleading guilty to before doing it....knowing what the consequences would be.

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                      • #12
                        I'm sure that you received some paperwork when you went to plea guilty that conveyed the fact a guilty plea would carry points. It even says so on the back of the citations here.

                        There's no policy that says we have to or don't have to tell you about things like fine amounts and whether or not something carries points. We try to keep up with things like that, but the DMV and the clerk of the courts are always changing them.

                        If you appealed, you'd be appealing whether or not you committed the violation. Whether or not the officer told you the proper thing about points being assessed makes no difference and wouldn't factor into the appeal. Talk to a lawyer if you want, however you'll probably pay more in legal fees than you'd pay in raised insurance rates for the next three years.

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                        • #13
                          I use a cheat sheet out here. I know what and how many points to give on a citation. However, state laws and point systems are different. Here, I have to know the points because they must be entered on the ticket when I issue it to the driver. I also explain how the ticket is to be handled. I am not going to second guess the officer though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I always tell people that "they may be eligible to keep the points off their license. Contact the prosecutor and follow his instructions and how to do that if you are eligible."

                            That said, you probably aren't going to get an appeal because of any statements about points or not. That's irrelevant to the facts of if you're guilty or not. I was in the Army when the Brady Bill came out and disqualified anyone who'd ever had a domestic battery conviction from possessing a firearm. Guys who'd done exactly what you just did, plead guilty without realizing the full implication, were suddenly out of a military career because they couldn't have access to a firearm. AND the punishment was retroactive. They couldn't appeal because the new punishment had nothing to do with the facts of their case. Be glad its just some points.
                            I miss you, Dave.
                            http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chrischoi View Post
                              True, I already plead guilty to stealing fruit going 45mph. But there is an appeals process.
                              I already said I know it's not the officer's job to know if it will give points or not. When I asked him, he misguided me. I'm assuming he thought it didn't so I took his word. If he really believed it would not issue points, fine by me. But the issue is finding a letter stating I have 3 points.

                              The question was if there is any policy stating that the officer can not state if the citation carries points or not. Could someone please answer that?
                              You really can't appeal for being "mis-informed" you plead guilty. To appeal you need to cite a violation of court/criminal procedure(technical error like no probable cause for a traffic stop), or a civil rights violation. Since there was no court because you plead guilty you have no basis for an appeal. The punishments for the laws are all clearly published in the state codified laws which also free to read on the state website.

                              Go ahead and appeal they will tell you no, just because you don't like the outcome isn't grounds for appeal.

                              There are no policies, laws, or rules for officers talking you about points. Its not up to the officer to decide punishment. Perhaps because you were on a bike the DMV decided to give you points.

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