FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Law question in regards to a traffic ticket

   
Author Topic: Law question in regards to a traffic ticket
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I rolled a stop sign, I admit it. However studying a map, the stop sign appears to be in Delaware, and it was a Maryland cop. I was crossing the state line into Maryland. The citation gives me two options other then paying it. Trial, or guilty with explanation in which case I get a hearing. Which one should I choose?
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In Virginia, venue is part of the crime. That is, it's an element to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the things that make a crime "happen" in a particular location are where the act occurred, where the effect occurred, or where part of the planning occurred (this is oversimplified, of course).

I'm assuming the cross street was the state boundary. It would be possible to argue that the effect of running the stop sign was felt on the cross street (because that's where the danger occurred). In which case, venue might lie in Maryland.

This is extraordinarily state and offense specific, and I haven't even touched what the result would be in Virginia, let alone Maryland. I'm just trying to give you an idea of the analysis and that "the stop sign was in Deleware" might or might not be an actual defense.

You could probably research it a little.

In some states, traffic offenses aren't even crimes, but "violations," and the rules might be very different. It's likely the judge won't actually know off the top of his head. However, if the court is near the border, this may come up a lot.

If you are particularly worried - lots of points or insurance on the brink of cancellation - you should see a lawyer.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ElJay
Member
Member # 6358

 - posted      Profile for ElJay           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You should take responsibility for your actions and pay the ticket. You admit you did it, what does it matter who ticketed you for it?
Posts: 7954 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
You should take responsibility for your actions and pay the ticket. You admit you did it, what does it matter who ticketed you for it?

Good question, one I have been considering since I thought about fighting it. I would never go just hoping the cop doesn't show up like many do. But if the cop was in the wrong, then I feel I have the right to bring it up it court.
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
imogen
Member
Member # 5485

 - posted      Profile for imogen   Email imogen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
[QUOTE] But if the cop was in the wrong, then I feel I have the right to bring it up it court.

Why? Just because the policeman was (maybe) from the wrong side of the border?

How does that make your action any less wrong?

Posts: 4392 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
In Virginia, venue is part of the crime. That is, it's an element to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the things that make a crime "happen" in a particular location are where the act occurred, where the effect occurred, or where part of the planning occurred (this is oversimplified, of course).

I'm assuming the cross street was the state boundary. It would be possible to argue that the effect of running the stop sign was felt on the cross street (because that's where the danger occurred). In which case, venue might lie in Maryland.

This is extraordinarily state and offense specific, and I haven't even touched what the result would be in Virginia, let alone Maryland. I'm just trying to give you an idea of the analysis and that "the stop sign was in Deleware" might or might not be an actual defense.

You could probably research it a little.

In some states, traffic offenses aren't even crimes, but "violations," and the rules might be very different. It's likely the judge won't actually know off the top of his head. However, if the court is near the border, this may come up a lot.

If you are particularly worried - lots of points or insurance on the brink of cancellation - you should see a lawyer.

Thanks, its a lot to think about. I will definitely try and do some research.

Not worried about insurance, I work in insurance so I know that most companies don't routinely pull your record. It costs them money each time they do it.

Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MidnightBlue
Member
Member # 6146

 - posted      Profile for MidnightBlue   Email MidnightBlue         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It wouldn't make his action less wrong, but should one state be able to proffit from something that happened in another?
Posts: 1547 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why? Just because the policeman was (maybe) from the wrong side of the border?

How does that make your action any less wrong?

There's two questions here:

1) Did Stephan do wrong?

2) If so, does the state have the right to punish Stephan for his wrongdoing?

If he pleads guilty, he's admitting he committed crime X. If the venue/jurisdiction rules create an element of crime X that is not satisfied, then he didn't commit crime X. To plead guilty would be to lie.

Is it a technicality? Sure. But it's a technicality that goes to the definition of the offense.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
El JT de Spang
Member
Member # 7742

 - posted      Profile for El JT de Spang   Email El JT de Spang         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
You should take responsibility for your actions and pay the ticket. You admit you did it, what does it matter who ticketed you for it?

That's certainly one way of looking at it. Another way is that if, in fact, the cop was writing tickets outside his jurisdiction it's your duty as a citizen to not just acquiesce and pay the ticket. The only way to keep the power of law enforcement in check is to be aware of your rights and defend them when they're being violated. I don't know whether or not that's the case here, but it's definitely worth finding out.
Posts: 5462 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by imogen:
quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
[QUOTE] But if the cop was in the wrong, then I feel I have the right to bring it up it court.

Why? Just because the policeman was (maybe) from the wrong side of the border?

How does that make your action any less wrong?

It doesn't make the action any less wrong (legally at least, dead of winter in a beach town with no one around but the cop or I wouldn't have done it). But I just feel that if the cop was in the wrong then its my right and my duty.
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Why? Just because the policeman was (maybe) from the wrong side of the border?

How does that make your action any less wrong?

There's two questions here:

1) Did Stephan do wrong?

2) If so, does the state have the right to punish Stephan for his wrongdoing?

If he pleads guilty, he's admitting he committed crime X. If the venue/jurisdiction rules create an element of crime X that is not satisfied, then he didn't commit crime X. To plead guilty would be to lie.

Is it a technicality? Sure. But it's a technicality that goes to the definition of the offense.

If I go to court should I plead innocent, even though I would be admitting that I did it in my explanation?
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can't say anything that specific, Stephan. Sorry. There are lots of sites about presenting your case in traffic court, and probably some specific to Maryland.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
imogen
Member
Member # 5485

 - posted      Profile for imogen   Email imogen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Why? Just because the policeman was (maybe) from the wrong side of the border?

How does that make your action any less wrong?

There's two questions here:

1) Did Stephan do wrong?

2) If so, does the state have the right to punish Stephan for his wrongdoing?

If he pleads guilty, he's admitting he committed crime X. If the venue/jurisdiction rules create an element of crime X that is not satisfied, then he didn't commit crime X. To plead guilty would be to lie.

Is it a technicality? Sure. But it's a technicality that goes to the definition of the offense.

Hmm.

I'm not sure whether the laws operate differently here, or it's just that most state borders are in the middle of nowhere and the issue never comes up. Probably the latter.

But anyway. [Smile]

How is (and I'm asking in all ignorance here) location part of the offence - is it that the code specifies it only applies to X state? And if so, does the code also specify that only the policeman of that state can enforce the code?

Posts: 4392 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
I can't say anything that specific, Stephan. Sorry. There are lots of sites about presenting your case in traffic court, and probably some specific to Maryland.

Understood, I appreciate all your help.
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
El JT de Spang
Member
Member # 7742

 - posted      Profile for El JT de Spang   Email El JT de Spang         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
And if so, does the code also specify that only the policeman of that state can enforce the code?
Yes. I'm sure it's not that cut and dried (I wonder about pursuit, specifically), but it's my understanding that an officer from one state has absolutely no jurisdiction in any other state. Hence, no right to write citations.

It's not that it's legal to run a stop sign in one state and not in another, it's that a cop in Maryland is just a citizen in Delaware (or at least that's my understanding -- I may be mistaken).

Posts: 5462 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
How is (and I'm asking in all ignorance here) location part of the offence - is it that the code specifies it only applies to X state?
Our constitution requires that trials "shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed" for federal crimes. For state crimes, there's a question of sovereignty - a state has no jurisdiction unless some nexus of the crime occurs within that state. As I said, it's pretty trivial to analyze stop sign running across the border so as to satisfy this requirement.

In Virginia, venue (and this is a specialized use of the word "venue") is an element of every offense. In essence, it requires the prosecution to prove that the court has jurisdiction over this offense.

Jurisdiction holds a special place in civil rights. For a long time, habeas corpus after conviction was basically limited to a review of jurisdiction - did the court have the right to try the defendant. A challenge to jurisdiction over the subject matter (in this case, the offense) can also be raised at any time in the proceedings - even on appeal - and is not waived by failing to assert it. This status is near unique.

All of this suggest that we view jurisdiction as at the heart of civil liberties protections. If a court has jurisdiction, it will be required to protect certain rights - jury, counsel, etc. But if a court lacks jurisdiction, it is a rogue actor and its decisions are invalid, even if everything else about the decision is correct.

Jurisdiction is limited by the Constitution and by state statute. It is a voluntary limit the state places on its power, and it is enforced for the reasons suggested above.

quote:
I'm not sure whether the laws operate differently here, or it's just that most state borders are in the middle of nowhere and the issue never comes up. Probably the latter.
There might also be an underlying structural difference. Are Australian states considered sovereign entities?
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's not that it's legal to run a stop sign in one state and not in another, it's that a cop in Maryland is just a citizen in Delaware (or at least that's my understanding -- I may be mistaken).
States can cross-deputize, and if the states have an agreement to enforce each others' signs in border situations, none of the objections to Maryland jurisdiction apply.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
imogen
Member
Member # 5485

 - posted      Profile for imogen   Email imogen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Are Australian states considered sovereign entities?
How do you mean?

They are governed independently, and each have their own laws. So yes, I guess.

We certainly do have jurisdiction issues to crimes, now I think about it... and I guess that would extend to traffic offences.

You know what? I think the main reason this seems so weird to me is there probably isn't a single border in Australia that could be the site of a minor traffic offence,* and so I've never even considered cross-jurisdictional issues of this nature.

*Perhaps hyperbole. *grin.

Posts: 4392 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
How do you mean?
For example, in the U.S., counties are not sovereign - all power is deemed to be delegated from the state. States and the federal government are, however, each sovereign. The practicalities are limited, but one result is that double-jeopardy protection does not prevent a state and the federal government, or two different states, from prosecuting someone for the same crime.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
imogen
Member
Member # 5485

 - posted      Profile for imogen   Email imogen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Aah.

Under our constitution, the Federal government is given some powers and the rest are residual in the States. But each have their own constitutional power.

(With the interesting result that the Federal government has to always prove that the law it is passing is within its set of allowed powers.)

So I guess yes, States are sovereign. (Not sure how this impacts on double jeopardy here though - but I am having vague memories from second year. I'll dig it out and get back to you).

Posts: 4392 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nice listening to lawyers from different nations discuss how similar legal issues are addressed within their respective countries.
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Under our constitution, the Federal government is given some powers and the rest are residual in the States. But each have their own constitutional power.

(With the interesting result that the Federal government has to always prove that the law it is passing is within its set of allowed powers.)

That's how it is here, too. From a federal perspective, states can do anything unless it's prohibited (either as a power reserved to the federal government or as right of the people), whereas the federal government must prove it has been granted the specific power to act. Of course, state constitutions limit the states' powers as well, but the people of each state could change those limits up to the limits imposed by the federal constitution.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Valentine014
Member
Member # 5981

 - posted      Profile for Valentine014           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stephan, are you eligible to take a driving course? Taking one of these in the state of Nebraska makes a ticket go away and you don't have to admit fault to go.
Posts: 2064 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Valentine014:
Stephan, are you eligible to take a driving course? Taking one of these in the state of Nebraska makes a ticket go away and you don't have to admit fault to go.

As far as I know Maryland doesn't have anything like that. Even if they did, it's not about the fine or points. My record is spotless otherwise, and in Maryland it will be off in 3 years. Its the fact that I am 99% sure the stop sign was in Delaware, and a Maryland cop pulled me over.
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dab
Member
Member # 7847

 - posted      Profile for dab   Email dab         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I say that if it is worth it to fight it, do it... you have a right to dispute it, so you can take it to a judge and let them decide. Your argument might not hold up, but if that is the case, all you will have lost is your time you spent fighting it. you might be able to get rid of the ticket, or at least lower its penalties.
Posts: 104 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Nice listening to lawyers from different nations discuss how similar legal issues are addressed within their respective countries.

Indeed. A fascinating discussion.
Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lisa
Member
Member # 8384

 - posted      Profile for Lisa   Email Lisa         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by imogen:
Under our constitution, the Federal government is given some powers and the rest are residual in the States.

We used to have that as well. But then we amended the US Constitution to change it.
Posts: 12266 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
blaineli2
New Member
Member # 13953

 - posted      Profile for blaineli2           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Valentine014:
Stephan, are you eligible to take Driving courses? Taking one of these in the state of Nebraska makes a ticket go away and you don't have to admit fault to go.

This thread is old as my grandparents. how is it going?
Posts: 2 | Registered: May 2019  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JanitorBlade
Moderator
Member # 12343

 - posted      Profile for JanitorBlade   Email JanitorBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by blaineli2:
quote:
Originally posted by Valentine014:
Stephan, are you eligible to take Driving courses? Taking one of these in the state of Nebraska makes a ticket go away and you don't have to admit fault to go.

This thread is old as my grandparents. how is it going?
Well, obviously going better with you around. [Smile]
Posts: 1171 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am just creeped out that I randomly stopped by Hatrack tonight and saw my name on the top.
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Magson
Member
Member # 2300

 - posted      Profile for Magson   Email Magson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm surprised at how old this necro-thread is....
Posts: 1323 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JanitorBlade
Moderator
Member # 12343

 - posted      Profile for JanitorBlade   Email JanitorBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The power of the lich king grows in the dark, where none can see.
Posts: 1171 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2