Car Crash After Sliding on Ice...
(kKenmare, ND, Ward County)
I was driving when I turned a corner and slid on the ice. The first thing on my mind was to slam on the brakes. I happened to slide right into a van, busting both our lights and putting a dent in my car.
The van's driver called the cops. The cop accused me of speeding and now I have to go to court. He also said I could get probation. I am 16 and it's my first winter driving. Should I be charged so bad?
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ANSWER for "Car Crash After Sliding on Ice...":
Toby (Kenmare, ND, Ward County):
Regrettably, police officers can charge people with crimes whenever they believe a crime has occurred. Albeit a misdemeanor, in the State of North Dakota and almost all other states a traffic citation is a crime.
Just because the police officer said you were speeding doesn't mean you are guilty. Unless the police officer observed the collision you can still enter a plea of not guilty and fight the case.
If you don't want to fight the case you can always approach the city prosecutor and ask if there is a way for the case to be dismissed. If this is your first traffic offense it is highly likely you will either be placed on probation and have the case dismissed after 90 days, or be able to take a defensive driving course and have it dismissed after its completeion. Either way the case will be dismissed if you comply with the requirements.
What you need to be more concerned about are your insurance rates. At 16 years old, having an accident is a sure way to push your premiums up to an amount which may be prohibitive.
Regrettably, insurance companies aren't concerned with whether you win your traffic case or not. They make their decisions independenltly and based on their own criterion.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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