AAHHH! Had an accident and need advice - Page 3 - Ford Mustang Forum
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First let me say this, you guys are the greatest who serve in the military, God bless you all! I think certain tickets you all get should be "forgiven".

But I have to say this, you were passing another vehicle, technically on the wrong side of the road, this person pull out of a driveway, on the right side of the road and you have to avoid her and end up running into a mailbox. For the life of me, I can't see how you can fight this. You could probably get a lawyer but at what cost? I think any driving ifraction is a crime, I am sure our law enforcement people here can verify or deny that, because if you don't show up or pay for your ticket, they will come looking for you.....
Hope everything works out for you and stay safe!!!!






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post #32 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006 Thread Starter
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pcfrisch, thanks for the support.

The logic I have is that I was lawfully passing someone, in accordance with every provision set forth in the NYS vehicle and traffic laws. At the same time, the NYS traffic laws state that a vehicle entering the roadway from a driveway is required to yield to any vehicle traffic on the roadway.

I was legally operating in the oncoming lane, and I was traffic on the road. That's my logic. We'll probably have to agree to disagree here, you're not alone thinking that I was at fault. I'm just looking at possiblities. Thanks!


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Last edited by Crazy001; 01-18-2006 at 12:27 PM. Reason: correct term
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Crazy, this is just starting to get scary! I've been following this thread very close because this SAME EXACT thing ALMOST happened to me the other night. Clear road, 55 zone, passing some guy doing about 45...in a safe passing zone. Was not quite dark, but I had my lights on....some guy BACKS out of a driveway ahead of us from the RIGHT side of the road and is headed back my direction. Was lucky to be driving the kind of car 'we' all have and was able to really kick it in gear to get around the egg-timer I was passing. Really scared the sh*t out of me, that's for sure! I remember having a really long discussion with my Mom about 'what if'....please keep us posted.

Good luck and take care (especially once you're deployed!)

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post #34 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006 Thread Starter
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Wow, that is kind of strange! I'm glad you had better luck with the situation than I did!

Never thought of that kind of thing happening when I pass someone until it happened to me...never had someone come out at me like that. I'm just thankful it worked out well, and that nobody was hurt, although it's gonna be a legal mess. Oh well.

Thanks for the support and it's good to hear you made out better than I did!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy001
First of all, I think where we're getting confused is differences in state law. On the ticket I was given, there are two boxes, one is checked. One says Misdemeanor, the other says Traffic Infraction. I'm pretty sure a traffic infraction is not a crime, therefore it is not a misdemeanor.
Definition of misdemeanor from the supreme court. pay particular attention to the line i put in bold.

MISDEMEANOR - A minor crime (as opposed to a felony). A crime - less serious than a felony - which is punishable by fine or imprisonment in a city or county jail rather than in a penitentiary.

This term is used to express every offense inferior to felony, punishable by indictment, or by particular prescribed proceedings; in its usual acceptation, it is applied to all those crimes and offences for which the law has not provided a particular name; this word is generally used in contradistinction to felony; misdemeanors comprehending all indictable offences, which do not amount to felony, as perjury, battery, libels, conspiracies and public nuisances.


the reason your ticket has a check box for traffic offense and one for misdemeanor is because the court reports non-traffic related misdemeanor offenses on UCR's (Uniform Crime Reports). ever heard of those? ever heard that X amount of robberies happened in a certain month or year? thats where that data comes from. with the exception of DUI, traffic offenses are NOT reported on UCR's. I know that for a fact, i did UCRs for 4 years for my dept. hated them too. those little check boxes make it easier for whoever is thumbing through citations to be able to sort them to UCR and non UCR offenses. All traffic violations, offenses, citations, crimes, whatever the hell you want to call them are misdemeanors. Period. State law has nothing to do with that for the most part. A few exceptions is that a few states have offenses that are felonies that in other states they may not be. such as a second or third DUI conviction. In OK, the second one is a felony. some states the third one is. but the definition of misdemeanor is set federal law and does not change from state to state. Another Period.

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Last edited by GTNOS; 01-18-2006 at 03:04 PM.
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BTW, for those of you that are wondering, some examples of non-traffic citations you could get are:

Shoplifting and petit larceny
Violation of a state burn ban.
Transporting a loaded firearm (in OK anyway)
Carrying a concealed firearm (again in OK, may be different elsewhere)
Public Intoxication
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Possesion of Marijuana (if first offense and a small amount in OK) (small amount being a couple of joints or roaches.)

the states do make a determination as far as what is a misdemeanor and what is a felony. so some of these do differ from state to state.

also, there is such a thing as a felony ticket. i once saw a OK trooper cite someone for a felony of pointing a loaded firearm at another person. it was a road rage incident. the guy was on his way to Ft.Sill to report for deployment in Iraq. so the trooper seized his gun (it was his personal and not uncle sams) and booked it into property, called the district attorney, who then called the district judge. the judge allowed the trooper to write him a citation for pointing the gun at the other driver and cut the guy loose. he would have to come to court on the court date, same as if he had made bail anyway. he is in the military, so its not like we couldnt find him later if he didnt show. plus, he probably paid with his a$$ when he got to Ft Sill anyway, since the trooper was former military and called the guy's commanding officer. he is probably still wiping toilet seats in iraq somewhere for that little stunt.

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Last edited by GTNOS; 01-18-2006 at 03:23 PM.
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GTNOS, Let me explain the way it is in NY State.

I have been a Police Officer on Long Island for 15 years and yes it is true that I might not be up on the latest rulings of the Supreme Court. I have seen the SC flip flop back and forth on so many things. The Supreme Court does not concern itself with Vehicle and Traffic Law. This is left to the individual States. In NY State there are:

Felonies: Offenses that can have a punishment of over 1 year in prison.
Misdemeanors: Offenses that can have a punishment of up to 1 year in prison.
Violations: Offenses that are usually punished with a fine.

While Felonies and Misdemeanors are classified as crimes, Violations are not.

To put it very simply an Officer cannot arrest for a violation that is not committed in his presence. Yes a traffic ticket is considered an arrest in NYS and it is issued in lieu of an arrest.


The other violations that you described that you can get a traffic ticket for in OK is not true in NYS. In these instances people are issued an appearance ticket to come back to Court with. Bail in these situations is taken at the Desk Officers discretion. Either $0 or several hundred dollars depending on the seriousness of the violation.

BTW all of the firearm and drug violations you mentioned will land you in a nice cozy NYS cell for the night over here.

If you do not show up for traffic court a warrant is issued for your arrest. This does not make the initial violation a crime. It is just to insure that the next time you get stopped you will be brought before a judge since you have proven that you cannot be trusted to show up on your own.

You also gave two instances where an Officer can arrest for a misdemeanor not committed in his presence. DWI and Domestic Violence. I don't know about OK but in NY I can arrest for ANY crime (misdemeanor or felony) as long as I have Reasonable Cause to believe that the Offense has in fact been commited.

I always find it interesting discussing differences in Law between jurisdictions. I had one of the best conversations of my life in a Bahamian Casino with an on duty cop from there.

Crazy, your best bet would probably be to go to the local Police station or the Court Clerk if you have one up there and discuss the situation with an Officer there.
Also, Leave the woman alone. If you continue to call her she will be able to file a charge of aggravated harassment against you. Especially since she has told you not to call and your boss has been notified and has also warned you.

Do yourself a favor and let your insurance company handle this. That is what you pay them for. Forget about the accident. It will never go to trial any way. It just doesn't happen that way. These big insurance companies know that it is cheaper to settle than to fight especially it no one was hurt.
Your problem is the ticket that you received. Concentrate on that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halo 819
GTNOS, Let me explain the way it is in NY State.

I have been a Police Officer on Long Island for 15 years and yes it is true that I might not be up on the latest rulings of the Supreme Court. I have seen the SC flip flop back and forth on so many things. The Supreme Court does not concern itself with Vehicle and Traffic Law. This is left to the individual States. In NY State there are:

Felonies: Offenses that can have a punishment of over 1 year in prison.
Misdemeanors: Offenses that can have a punishment of up to 1 year in prison.
Violations: Offenses that are usually punished with a fine.

While Felonies and Misdemeanors are classified as crimes, Violations are not.

To put it very simply an Officer cannot arrest for a violation that is not committed in his presence. Yes a traffic ticket is considered an arrest in NYS and it is issued in lieu of an arrest.


The other violations that you described that you can get a traffic ticket for in OK is not true in NYS. In these instances people are issued an appearance ticket to come back to Court with. Bail in these situations is taken at the Desk Officers discretion. Either $0 or several hundred dollars depending on the seriousness of the violation.

BTW all of the firearm and drug violations you mentioned will land you in a nice cozy NYS cell for the night over here.

If you do not show up for traffic court a warrant is issued for your arrest. This does not make the initial violation a crime. It is just to insure that the next time you get stopped you will be brought before a judge since you have proven that you cannot be trusted to show up on your own.

You also gave two instances where an Officer can arrest for a misdemeanor not committed in his presence. DWI and Domestic Violence. I don't know about OK but in NY I can arrest for ANY crime (misdemeanor or felony) as long as I have Reasonable Cause to believe that the Offense has in fact been commited.

I always find it interesting discussing differences in Law between jurisdictions. I had one of the best conversations of my life in a Bahamian Casino with an on duty cop from there.

Crazy, your best bet would probably be to go to the local Police station or the Court Clerk if you have one up there and discuss the situation with an Officer there.
Also, Leave the woman alone. If you continue to call her she will be able to file a charge of aggravated harassment against you. Especially since she has told you not to call and your boss has been notified and has also warned you.

Do yourself a favor and let your insurance company handle this. That is what you pay them for. Forget about the accident. It will never go to trial any way. It just doesn't happen that way. These big insurance companies know that it is cheaper to settle than to fight especially it no one was hurt.
Your problem is the ticket that you received. Concentrate on that.
holy sheepsh1t....

ive been doing this for about 10 years in OK, i know that states differ from each other...but me and you are practically in different worlds....

in OK we have either Probable Cause or Reasonable Grounds. Now, i know for a fact that Probable cause is federal. quote section of 4th amendment....."no warrants shall issue, except based upon probable cause, supported by oath and affirmation...." i was of the understanding that Reasonable grounds was established by the supreme court as well..

and yeah, the "Court" can and has reversed itself time and again in history. i suspect now that the Rehnquist Court is no more that the policies of the court over the last 3 decades are all up for review.... some need to be... too conservative...
anyway, are NYS' "violations" in thier own title? how did they write that in? like state ordinances? mindboggling is what that is.

also, the above offenses i listed that you can receive citations on, such as shoplifting or drug possession, we actually do arrest them, take them to our station, cut them a citation, and let them post bond for the citation. kinda like your "desk officer" thats about where the similarities end.

Man! im gonna have to visit NY sometime. being a country cop, i would love to see how things are done in a large metropolitian force. my dept only has 20 full time officers.

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Last edited by GTNOS; 01-18-2006 at 06:32 PM.
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post #39 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halo 819
Crazy, your best bet would probably be to go to the local Police station or the Court Clerk if you have one up there and discuss the situation with an Officer there.
Also, Leave the woman alone. If you continue to call her she will be able to file a charge of aggravated harassment against you. Especially since she has told you not to call and your boss has been notified and has also warned you.

Do yourself a favor and let your insurance company handle this. That is what you pay them for. Forget about the accident. It will never go to trial any way. It just doesn't happen that way. These big insurance companies know that it is cheaper to settle than to fight especially it no one was hurt.
Your problem is the ticket that you received. Concentrate on that.
Seems like good advice. After I heard they were playing the game with harassment, I quickley realized that I wouldn't be smart to continue with that idea, so I called my insurance company, gave them all the info I had on her, and let it go. My commander suggested it might be a good idea to go over to Legal Assistance and consult with a lawyer on the issue.

I was very reasonable, very calm, and very respectful. I was not upset in the least with these people until this morning where they threatened me through the military. Now I'm actually pretty upset at the matters. Me calling her last night was my attempt at solving the issue as simply as possible, as I thought I was dealing with reasonable people. For him to go to his superiors and have them call my superiors in a matter that had no realationship with the military was not legal. THAT was harassment. I will be talking with a lawyer about that.

I've always thought that most people I will ever deal with would be mature, reasonable adults. I'm finding more and more as I go through life that is wishful thinking at best sometimes.

Not much more I can do on the issue other than let the insurance guys see what they can do. Thanks for all the help and support everyone!

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GTNOS, I too am from a small department. i said I work on Long Island. Not NYPD. That job is just too crazy and they don't pay near enough.
Violations are defined as "mere violations" You do get a court date but I have yet to actually see one go to trial. Usually the defendant is made to see the light by the prosecutor and the matter is handled with a fine and a few stern words from the judge.
Local municipalities can impose their own laws and ordinances. For instance it is against the Village code to have bushes on a corner lot higher than "48.
I don't think that the SC has ever covered that one!

Stay safe bro.

Crazy, Listen to your commander. How long have you been in the military? You do know that Military Law is an entirely different animal right? From what I've heard you are basically US Government property. There are a whole lot of rights that you simply do not have under military law. Is that right or am I missing the ball on that one?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halo 819
Crazy, Listen to your commander. How long have you been in the military? You do know that Military Law is an entirely different animal right? From what I've heard you are basically US Government property. There are a whole lot of rights that you simply do not have under military law. Is that right or am I missing the ball on that one?
The idea of being government property is an old rumor that the drill sergeants like to say to privates when they first get to basic training.

You're right, the UCMJ is a different animal altogether, but like any code of law, everyone has specific rights. Like the constitution, one of those is the right to due process in a court of law, regardless of the offense or nature of the crime. Civilian offenses are handled in the civilian courts, and have no bearing on one's military career. There are various exceptions, such as DWI, domestic abuse, felonies, etc. If you get convicted in a civilian court for something that would preclude you from doing your job, i.e. domestic violence (lautenberg agreement), or a felony, which would prohibit you from using a firearm. Other than that, they are handled seperately.

My commander suggested that I speak to Legal about the matter for a couple reasons. First thing he said was that he thought it was BS, and that what the other party tried to do was rediculous. He wanted me to go to legal to insure that they couldn't bring harassment charges against me with what they had, and he wanted me to check into whether or not what they did was legal, because if it's not, they were in fact harassing me. I've always believed in letting common sense prevail, and I'm not going to do anything to cause unnecessary grief for either myself or the other driver.

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Your Commander sounds like a reasonable and nice guy who actually cares about his men!

This my friend is a rarity!

Listen to him. It sounds like you are in good hands!
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Thumbs up

Again, I'll throw my 2 bits in --

It seems that the lady has been given advise about the traffic laws in NYS, and she realizes that she could become involved in the case. Until now, she probably felt safe and out of the picture. Then your call caused her to begin thinking, getting information, and now she wants to deflect any situation that may move her way by putting additional blame on you -- ie -- harrassment. I've seen this done to law enforcement officers here in Louisiana. On one occasion an officer was driving home and stopped a vehicle for 70 in a 45. The next morning, his commander said the lady had called and said that he had been routinely following her over several days in his unit and attempted to seduce her when she was stopped. Her story was that he ticketed her when she refused. This was a 20 yr veteran with a wife, 3 kids, and 2 grandkids and no history of any such behavior.
People will try to throw mud to dirty the water so they may get missed in the cloudiness. You've told the truth, given the insurance co. the info, and your Sgt. is with you. Now back off and leave it alone or she will have support for her claim -- see the "legal" on base -- get that advise, then sit back and let the big boys fight it out. Best to you on your deployment. As one from the 'Nam generation -- we're proud of you and of your strength and courage. Good luck all around.
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Mach, Halo, thanks for all the advice.

Once I heard the threat she had made, my first instinct was to stay well away and let the insurance guys handle it. There's no way I'd give them ammunition to turn this one around on me, and from what you have said to me, that sounds like a good plan. My insurance adjuster did agree with me that they should have yielded to me, which means there's a good chance the insurance company will find the other driver at fault, which means my rates won't go up. I just have to get the ticket reduced to a non-moving violation or get it dropped, and I'll again have a clean driving record. MOST IMPORTANTLY, my mustang is getting repaired the right way by a reputable body shop.

Thanks for all the help!

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You are most welcome. Keep us up on the issue as it progresses before your travel orders come in. Again, best wishes.
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