Any court tips???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Van Patton, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. Van Patton

    Van Patton Second Unit

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    Tomorrow I have to go to court for a wreck I had 1 month ago involving me sliding into a man in the rain at a slow speed. I didn't think I would be charged since It was raining and I barely hit him at around 5 mph. My brakes locked up on me. I got a citation for going too fast for conditions and also for not wearing my glasses at the time. I am pleading not guilty to the driving incident and I don't know what to do about the glasses case since that was one of the few mornings I forgot them. Any helpful advice? Thanks.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I might have hired an attorney the day after the accident.
     
  3. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Bite the bullet.

    Wear nice clothes. Call the judge "Your Honor". Say "yes, sir" & "yes ma'am". Plead guilty and say you are sorry. Pay your fine and go back to work. Be glad that is all there is to it.

    I speak from personal experience.
     
  4. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    If you are going it alone, (ie: no lawyer) you are pretty much at the mercy of the judge. Good luck.
     
  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    you're probably screwed. you can try to plead it to a non moving violation with the same fine to help your insurance, but the cop probably wrote you that ticket to assign fault, and for no other reason. Here in town we have a special ticket just for such a purpose, "failure to have vehicle under control"
     
  6. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Out of curiosity, does Tennessee require you to call a cop for every fender-bender no matter how minor? Here in No VA, as long as no one was injured and there is no major damage, we'd just exchange information and be on our way. No need to involve the cops/court. You're SOL about the glasses though unless you can say you had contacts on. Did the cop even ask you about that? :wink:
     
  7. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Gordon you're supposed to call the police even if minor damage. A police report is VERY valuable in determining who did what when the Insurance companies ask questions. The guy who hit you might say "It was all my fault" at the scene of the accident but a week later when he finds out how much everything will cost his story could change in his favor. Then you have all the fun of going to court and battling it out.

    A police report makes sure who is at fault the day of the incident and ensures less chance anyone falsifying the story. But to answer your original question, it's not illegal to not call the police but you're opening yourself up to more headaches later.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    in my state the magic # is $2000 I believe. The five-oh give you a little sticker for your windsheild that the body shop records and removes to prove it was not a hit-and-run
     
  9. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    How about telling the truth?
    [​IMG]
    On the glasses part, just tell the judge the truth. You did forget your glasses that morning. What is the strength of your lenses? Did the accident happen in the daytime or at night? If you can still see clearly enough during the day, then your diminished eyesight may not have been enough to cause the accident.
    Just how fast were you going when your car started to go out of control? What was the posted speed limit in the area where the accident happened? If you were going 20 MPH in a 30 MPH zone and your car still managed to skid out of control, then the only safe speed during those conditions would have been zero. The cop should have given a ticke to whoever was moving at the time.
    Was the pedestrian on the street at the time of the accident? Did he have the right of way or was he waiting to cross the street while he was already standing in the street and not on the sidewalk where he should have been?
    You said the ticket was for driving too fast under the current weather conditions. If that's all you're facing, then just tell your story and get on with it. As long as you're not being charged more than the fine just for showing up in court (you shouldn't be penalized for wanting to defend yourself), you don't really have that much to lose. In fact, you have that much more to gain in the experience itself. If you ever have to go to court for anything else later on, you'll know what to expect and you won't be as nervous.
    And no, I'm NOT a lawyer! I just watched too many court based dramas on TV. [​IMG]
     
  10. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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  11. Stephen L

    Stephen L Second Unit

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  12. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Years ago I filed a small claims suit against an auto repair shop. I consulted my wife's family attorney for guidance. Turns out, he was probably 85 years old. He gave me sound advice, for which he charged me $5. But it is this advice on being contrite and humble that I remember best: "Whatever you do," he said, "don't go in there with a hard-on."

    Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

    Jon
     
  13. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    So Van, how did the court case go?
     
  14. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Yeah, Van, don't just leave us hanging.
    (Sorry... Poor choice of words. [​IMG])
     
  15. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Vance man you are killing us what was the final Verdict? (The only reason we will except no response is if you are in Jail. [​IMG] )
    KyleS
     

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