What can I do regarding contesting tickets received after an accident?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do regarding contesting tickets received after an accident?

My wife recently got into an accident, received 3 tickets and I feel them to be unfair. No other party was involved. It was a rainy day, her car lost control while entering MD state highway and hit the wall it is a one-way road. A wall separates it from the opposite direction. She was certain that she did not exceed the speed limit. She had never received tickets in the past. The road was uneven and she felt the rear of the car jump on the bumps on the road which resulted in a loss of control. First, the police officer recorded a wrong model of the car. He said Hyundai Sonata, when in fact it was Elantra. Can this be used in any way? She received 3 $130 tickets. The first was for failure to drive a vehicle on the right half of roadway when required. In my opinion, driving is an intentional action of directing a vehicle, however there was no intentional directing of the vehicle against traffic. Also, a car was moving in a direction of traffic until it came to a complete stop regardless of the direction of the headlights when it stopped. So technically I do not consider the above to be a valid statement. She was also cited for failure to control vehicle speed on highway to avoid collision. Until a moment of time when the vehicle was under control, she obeyed the speed limit. Police has no evidence that she did not, they arrived later. If it was not for the condition of the road, the car would be under control. And she was cited for failure to reduce speed in dangerous weather, highway conditions. This is one is basically saying the same thing as the one above. How do I word my protest for each of the above tickets.

Asked on November 19, 2017 under General Practice, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First of all, *you* would not need a trial--your wife would if she chooses to challenge these. Unless you are an attorney, you may not speak for, file papers for, or represent your wife in court: she has to these things herself, on a "pro se" (as her own attorney) basis or hire lawyer (of course, a lawyer would almost certain cost more--substantially more--than three $130 tickets). No none lawyer may act in court or litigation on behalf of another person, even a spouse.
Second, your understanding of these matters is flawed and your wife is likely to lose if you oppose them on the cited basis:
1) A failure to write the car model down correctly is a harmless error, aking to a typo: a court will not throw out a ticket or summons on this basis.
2) Driving is NOT intentionally directing a car the way you believe: it is being in the driver's seat/control position when the car is in motion. A driver is liable for acts/events which occur due to a failure to maintain control as well as for those she intentionally causes. Like the captain of a ship, she is liable for what her vehicle does under her control, and so if the car goes against traffic or is in motion while facing the wrong way, she is responsible.
3) The car was evidently going too fast for the road condition (uneven), which caused or contributed to the loss of control; therefore she did fail to control her vehicle speed so as to avoid a collision.
4) You can receive overlapping or duplicative tickets; that a certain act or event is covered by citation 1 does not mean you cannot also receive citation 2 which also covers it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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