Q: My 70 yr old brother blacked out from coughing while driving his comm. truck. He was injured and taken to the E.R.
for evaluation. He received in the mail a ticket for improper lane change. Drove 3 hours to PA from NY only to be told court date was postponed because trooper had surgery two weeks prior. Should ticket have been dismissed or even issued in the first place? Brother is concerned for points on his CDL if he just pays the $150 dollar fine.
A: It sounds like there's more to this story. If your brother had blacked out while coughing, he would likely have crashed his truck, not just changed lanes. That the trooper did not show up for the court appearance would not warrant dismissal of the ticket, especially if it was the first time on. If he's trying to avoid getting points on his license, he might want to hire a local traffic ticket attorney who can probably negotiate a better deal than if he represented himself. He can find many excellent attorneys using the Find a Lawyer tab on the JUSTIA homepage.
A: Your brother should speak with a local attorney to fight or resolve this matter. PA DMV can be tricky and harsh for out-of-state violations for CDL drivers. Relatively minor violations can be treated as serious offenses such as certain speeding, unsafe lane change. Paying the fine (if it's payable) means he is pleading guilty to the violation and a conviction will result. Assuming that this is not a NYC case, each township has a different personality when it comes to prosecution of traffic matters. Your brother should consult with a traffic attorney.
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