Q: What should I expect for a careless driving summons?
I passed a car without using blinkers in downtown Denver. When I was pulled over, the officer said that I was in the 2nd lane, passed the car in front of me by using the 1st lane, and then merged right to the 3rd lane without blinkers. Shocked that this was incorrect, I said that I was actually just in the 3rd lane, used the 2nd lane to pass, and returned to the 3rd lane. He said no and that I was in a road rage because the car had stopped in front of me to merge right into the bus lane to make a right turn (which confirms my being in the 3rd lane initially) and that I whipped around him and sped away. After he said that I fell silent, and as he gave me the ticket he didn’t say anything other than you have a mandatory court date and just walked away. I fear that my questioning his recollection of the incident is going to land me a harsh punishment. I have one speeding ticket on my record in Colorado. I’m very nervous about court. What do I do? What should I expect?
A: What you should expect depends on whether you want to fight the ticket in trial or plea bargain the case. If you decide to fight the ticket, you should have an attorney. The prosecutor will be an attorney and you will be at a disadvantage. The judge will expect you to follow the rules of procedure and evidence. While the judge will probably cut you some slack, they cannot help you try your case.
If you what to see what sort of plea bargain you can get, go to court and talk to the prosecutor. They will very likely offer you a plea bargain of some sort. You can then ask to have the case reset so you can think about accepting the offer or consulting an attorney or both.
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