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Old 11-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
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Default A basic legal question

Long story short, my sis-in-law was caught disobeying an officer's 'stop' signal at a school crosswalk last month (nothing severe, it was dark in the am and she saw the officer wave the car ahead of her thru, but didn't notice his signal for her to stop). She received a citation for failure to comply and was in court today. She pleaded guilty and was told by the officer that it would be a $230 ticket. The judge, for reasons unknown, refused to let her plead guilty!

Here is my question: Why would the judge do this? It seems like a simple moving violation, ticket issued, fine paid and it's over. What could be the judges reason for not allowing her to plead guilty? He continued the case until December and told her to retain an attorney. WTF??

Anyone care to offer a guess? Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: A basic legal question

Not sure. Seems like you just pay the fine and be done. Why dd she even go to court to plead guilty though?
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: A basic legal question

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Originally Posted by Spur's Addiction View Post
Not sure. Seems like you just pay the fine and be done. Why dd she even go to court to plead guilty though?

Doing what she was told to do, I guess. I go to court as well when told to do so, and am unaware of other options. If you mean paying the fine by mail I wouldn't trust that to be accomplished. Just my cynical view of our court system. They will f*** you at every turn!
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: A basic legal question

She didn't even have to appear before the judge. She could have showed up, paid the fine with the clerk, and been done, even before the court date, if all she was going to do was admit to it. Paying the fine is essentially admitting guilt.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: A basic legal question

Sounds like there is more to this.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: A basic legal question

come on now there is no way the judge would say attain an attorney if all it was was dis obeying a crosswalk signal

and yea all she needed to do was pay the cashier at the court house and it is done with
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: A basic legal question

maybe he misunderstood what she said not expecting someone to show up to court and enter guilty?
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: A basic legal question

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Originally Posted by stiffolcock View Post
maybe he misunderstood what she said not expecting someone to show up to court and enter guilty?
lol yea if your guilty pay the fine
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: A basic legal question

lots of times (around here at least) if you go to court and plead guilty and ask the court for mercy, they will reduce the fine and points. if you plead innocent, they reschedule you for a hearing and you would need to arrange for an lawyer (or prepare to defend yourself) but the judge will tell you its an all or nothing proposition to plead innocent, if found guilty you will pay the full fine (and points) and all assorted court costs. Is she sure she didnt plead innocent, even unintentionally?
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: A basic legal question

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Originally Posted by catdaddy66 View Post
The judge, for reasons unknown, refused to let her plead guilty!

Here is my question: Why would the judge do this? It seems like a simple moving violation, ticket issued, fine paid and it's over. What could be the judges reason for not allowing her to plead guilty? He continued the case until December and told her to retain an attorney. WTF??
This part in particular makes me think he understood her to be pleading innocent, the judge usually refuses to hear any arguement at that time.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: A basic legal question

I'd tell her to do just what the judge said, and find an attorney...... a good one that can get her off pursuant to a violation of her 6th amendment right to a speedy trial.

But that being said, do take my advice with a grain of salt. I am not an attorney, nor have I spent a single day in law school. I do, however, despise most of the magistrate judges I have encountered due to their total lack of education and professionalism. (That could just be my experience though.)
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: A basic legal question

Quote:
Originally Posted by cocky0;3536318[SIZE=3
]I'd tell her to do just what the judge said, and find an attorney.[/size]..... a good one that can get her off pursuant to a violation of her 6th amendment right to a speedy trial.

But that being said, do take my advice with a grain of salt. I am not an attorney, nor have I spent a single day in law school. I do, however, despise most of the magistrate judges I have encountered due to their total lack of education and professionalism. (That could just be my experience though.)

This is what she's going to do. I do think there is more to it than my SIL is telling me, but I have given all the info I have (second hand at that). JohnnyB sounds pretty reasonable in his explanation. Thanks guys!!
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: A basic legal question

Just got a little more info on this situation. It seems the officer did not have HIS ducks in a row and the continuance was for that reason. The judge would not allow a plea of guilty due to improper filing by the citing officer. Makes sense...
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: A basic legal question

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Just got a little more info on this situation. It seems the officer did not have HIS ducks in a row and the continuance was for that reason. The judge would not allow a plea of guilty due to improper filing by the citing officer. Makes sense...
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: A basic legal question

Alright.. this is how i see it. Being a police officer sometimes there are police that judges know can write BS tickets. Sometimes judges see right through this and want let people plead guilty. When its gets to a bench trial the judge will find them not guilty. There is the possibilty that the judge is very liberal. This has happened to me before in court where the judge knew they were guilty but is very liberal. Now you can get judges that have their own law pratice and will guide them into the direction of their partner or a friend. Being in the south it happens more than you think. But it seem she has a good case considering the and time of day.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:47 AM   #16
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Default Re: A basic legal question

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I'd tell her to do just what the judge said, and find an attorney...... a good one that can get her off pursuant to a violation of her 6th amendment right to a speedy trial.

But that being said, do take my advice with a grain of salt. I am not an attorney, nor have I spent a single day in law school. I do, however, despise most of the magistrate judges I have encountered due to their total lack of education and professionalism. (That could just be my experience though.)
Still trying to figure out what the 6th amendment has to do with a minor traffic offense.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:10 AM   #17
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Default Re: A basic legal question

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I'd tell her to do just what the judge said, and find an attorney...... a good one that can get her off pursuant to a violation of her 6th amendment right to a speedy trial.

But that being said, do take my advice with a grain of salt. I am not an attorney, nor have I spent a single day in law school. I do, however, despise most of the magistrate judges I have encountered due to their total lack of education and professionalism. (That could just be my experience though.)
Um, the 6th Amendment pertains to criminal prosecutions...not traffic violations.

Definitely a good thing you're not an attorney ;)

This is why you just mail in the fine (or pay online if available) and be done with it, especially if she was planning on pleading guilty to it anyway. I think people go the court route in hopes that the issuing officer just doesn't show up so you can get off the hook (which CAN often happen).

Last edited by CockyInGA; 11-08-2012 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:29 AM   #18
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Default Re: A basic legal question

But hey...look at it this way...she could get punishment like this...

http://www.cockytalk.com/showthread....=1#post3536882
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:11 AM   #19
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Default Re: A basic legal question

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Originally Posted by SpecOps Cock View Post
Still trying to figure out what the 6th amendment has to do with a minor traffic offense.
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Originally Posted by CockyInGA View Post
Um, the 6th Amendment pertains to criminal prosecutions...not traffic violations.

Definitely a good thing you're not an attorney ;)

This is why you just mail in the fine (or pay online if available) and be done with it, especially if she was planning on pleading guilty to it anyway. I think people go the court route in hopes that the issuing officer just doesn't show up so you can get off the hook (which CAN often happen).
Traffic violations are criminal law violations, and as such you are afforded the right to a speedy trial which is why most states have lower courts that deal specifically with those crimes that occur frequently, and are generally punishable by small fines. Anyways I may be no attorney, but I do have my bachelor's in criminal justice which means I did study this a little bit. And I do know for a fact that 6th amendment cases have been heard and decided in regards to traffic violations.

The problem is that the definition of speedy trial varies from state to state, and certain violations are erroneously labeled as civil offenses in order to prevent sixth amendment arguments. (See traffic camera laws.)

Anyways I'm going to leave it at that, because that is about the extent of my knowledge on this subject without spending hours looking up court cases. I spent an entire year doing that during my Constitutional Law classes, and I don't care to relive that again .
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: A basic legal question

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Originally Posted by CockyInGA View Post
I think people go the court route in hopes that the issuing officer just doesn't show up so you can get off the hook (which CAN often happen).
Not around here, the magistrate will accept your plea of guilty (and normally drop or reduce the points and fine) or grant a continuance if you choose to argue it (plead innocent)

Been there done that.
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