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Discussion Starter #1
Step One: Get a ticket.

Got that part covered. Early part of this year, I was coming home late (0100) from work on Hampden by Colorado and got pulled over (Englewood PD, I think) for a headlight out. I had noticed said headlight out the previous evening and had bought a bulb for it, but since it was around 0* at the time, I had not yet installed it. Anyway, I told the officer that and gave him my stuff. About a minute after he went back to his car, I remembered that my license was expired and had been since my birthday (November). Now, I had only realized this the previous Friday night when it got scanned at a club. Got pulled over on a Tuesday night so it was pretty soon after. Officer brought my stuff back, I told him I had just found out it was expired and he told me to fix the headlight when it got warm and get my license renewed soon and have a good night. Awesome.

About forty five minutes later in Franktown (yes, I have a long commute), I got pulled over again (Douglas County Sheriff) and went through the same thing. This time I got a one point ticket for the headlight ("because that's what I pulled you over for, I have to give you a ticket") and three points for the license ("since I ran it and it came up expired, I have to give you a ticket").

Taking this one to court tomorrow morning at the Douglas County Justice Center. I've never done this before, any general info I should expect? Obviously I'm going to dress up, be on time, be as prepared as I can be. What kind of procedure might I be looking at?
 

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Get a lawyer. If you are going to fight it get a jury trial.

Those are the only things I have found that help.
Your going to go in and meet with the da and they will offer you a reduced points option, if you take it you can plead guilty to that and it's less points. If you want to fight it you plead not guilty and they set it for trial. You have the right to a speedy trial meaning 90 days or something like that. If your trial date doesn't happen in that time then it's dismissed or something along those lines. That never happens tho. A lawyer should be able to tell you what to expect and have a plan to fight it. I have found that with out a lawyer your stuck with what they say unless you can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. At that point it's your word against the officer and they officer is always right.

I hate court and learned that the system is just there for revenue. I dressed up and was on time, the other person missed court, doubt they dressed up and had a longer record then me and still got the same plea as I did and the same fine. I have really bad luck with court and always seem to get screwed. My latest and greatest was pulled over for altered suspension and speeding. I knee I was speeding but not more then 5 mph and the officer gave me 10 mph+ over argued with me on the lift laws and said it was up to the officers discresson. I got it dropped to 2 points speeding and 200 something in fines and took It and ran cause i didn't wanna fight it any further due to my past court experiences... Plus I had slept with the cleark and after figuring that out about half way through court I decided I didn't wanna go back lol
 

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russ pretty much covered it. For both of your violations I would be willing to bet you will get a pretty good plea and just want to take it. For the license (hopefully you have renewed it by now) you just need proof that you did renew it, like take your license (why wouldnt you have that on you anyway). For the headlight, take a time-stamped picture for proof that its fixed now. Chances are very good you wont need either but if you have them on hand it will make things go a lot smoother and show that you took the initiative to resolve both issues.
 

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Yup, the 2 above posts pretty much covered it. I have fought many tickets, and all of them have either been durastically reduced or dismissed. I would not worry about a lawyer since this is a minor offense. DEFINITELY make sure you have renewed your liscense, as that will probably be dropped if you have. As for the headlight, the best thing you can do is said above. Replace it, if you have not already, take a time and date stamped photo of it working, and take that with you. That is about the best proof you can offer next to them going to look at your vehicle, which they will not do. When you go in, you will get to talk with one or two district attourneys. You basically present your case, show them your stuff that you have fixed, then they either dismiss it or offer you a plea bargain. At this point if a plea bargain is offered, its up to you to decide if you want to take it or continue fighting it. I would recommend taking the plea if it is minimal, cause jury trial stuff sucks and takes a lot of time. I think if you do all that stuff to show you fixed it you should be fine.
 

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Just watch your case that they don't drop the headlight and stick the full license on you. Idk how yours would be handled. If they do ask what it will dongle your license. I had one of those and mine was suspended.
 

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just out of curiosity, what's the argument for the expired license?

Sorry, I totally forgot to renew it, but some other officer let it go, so I think it's only right that all officers ignore it?
 

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Werd to Doug. None of this seems worth fighting to me and definitely not worth wasting money on a lawyer or a trial.

I'd go with what others have said about getting everything fixed before court and take the plea.
 

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I'd look in to laws about being contacted. I had a night being pulled over twice for the same thing( headlight) and the cop said something about how I'd been contacted and didn't have time to fix the problem once aware of it
 

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Just get both fixed ASAP, let them know (and be able to prove) about the prior contact for the evening (it should be logged), and see what they are willing to do. 1st pull is no reason for a free pass on the 2nd (second guy could've said "then why are you still driving"), but I imagine they'll be reasonable as long as you are.

It's pretty minor overall...just be cool, show that you're trying to do the right thing, and it may not cost you anything beyond time in court.
 

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Yeah don't be a dick about anything, like Sean said show them you are trying to do the right thing. Take care of everything today, show up tomorrow dressed up like you said (believe it or not it does make an impression) and see what happens. Be very courteous and you will do fine. The DA's are more likely to screw over someone who just rolled out of bed hungover, dressed in raggy clothes, and its obvious that they do not care.
 

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i think you can't really plead unfairness on either one..... but you can plead lieniency with the license. no good guarantee that it will net you anything but im sure that you could get that dropped to a 1 point infraction and the headlight dropped to 0 points. you will still have to pay the fines plus court processing costs. but on your MVR it will show as 2 defective vehicle tickets and 1 point.... which for about 99% of insurance companies means they will glaze over it ( some look at your points/infractions to base your rates, some dont...) and save you the chunk of change in the long run

other than that its already been covered
 

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Be glad it wasn't montana. I went there last september, and noticed I had a light out in Idaho. Of course it was the boonies and the parts stores were all closed so I kept driving. I get pulled over (literally 1/4 mi before the turn off to my buddies house) and am going to get a warning because I've been super cool and upfront to the cop when he comes back telling me my license has been expired since january. (of course I checked my insurance and reg before I went, forgot the license though, dammit). Well, he says he has to give me aticket for that, it'll be $235, and it's cash right now or go to jail. Fortunately I had the cash, but he told me that while other MSP cops would probably let me go if I showed the paperwork, other depts might not be so cool, and I could get popped again for the license any time I got pulled over.

Well of course I got the light fixed next day. And thanks to the glory of the interwebs, was able to get renewed online. Yes, colorado allows online renewal of DL's. Way better than going and waiting at the DMV. But I was still out the $235 and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just watch your case that they don't drop the headlight and stick the full license on you. Idk how yours would be handled. If they do ask what it will dongle your license. I had one of those and mine was suspended.
lolwut? ;)

just out of curiosity, what's the argument for the expired license?

Sorry, I totally forgot to renew it, but some other officer let it go, so I think it's only right that all officers ignore it?
I'd look in to laws about being contacted. I had a night being pulled over twice for the same thing( headlight) and the cop said something about how I'd been contacted and didn't have time to fix the problem once aware of it
Just get both fixed ASAP, let them know (and be able to prove) about the prior contact for the evening (it should be logged), and see what they are willing to do. 1st pull is no reason for a free pass on the 2nd (second guy could've said "then why are you still driving"), but I imagine they'll be reasonable as long as you are.

It's pretty minor overall...just be cool, show that you're trying to do the right thing, and it may not cost you anything beyond time in court.
Clearly I didn't have time to renew it in the forty-five minutes between pullovers. Let's even say that I had been completely unaware that it was expired and was made aware of it by the first officer. I still had to get home and could do nothing about it at 12:30 in the morning. Hopefully they're reasonable and choose to be understanding about this.

Did not think to call Englewood and see if they have a record of contact from that night. Dammit.

Yeah don't be a dick about anything, like Sean said show them you are trying to do the right thing. Take care of everything today, show up tomorrow dressed up like you said (believe it or not it does make an impression) and see what happens. Be very courteous and you will do fine. The DA's are more likely to screw over someone who just rolled out of bed hungover, dressed in raggy clothes, and its obvious that they do not care.
I've discovered that I have two levels of dressiness. One is jeans/Carhartts/Utilikilt and a t-shirt, the other is a suit. No middle ground lol. So, suit it is for tomorrow. I'm in the first week of attempting to grow facial hair but it's starting to become obvious that that's what it is as opposed to just forgetting to shave, so I'm gonna leave that and hope the suit overpowers it. :D

i think you can't really plead unfairness on either one..... but you can plead lieniency with the license. no good guarantee that it will net you anything but im sure that you could get that dropped to a 1 point infraction and the headlight dropped to 0 points. you will still have to pay the fines plus court processing costs. but on your MVR it will show as 2 defective vehicle tickets and 1 point.... which for about 99% of insurance companies means they will glaze over it ( some look at your points/infractions to base your rates, some dont...) and save you the chunk of change in the long run
That's about all I'm hoping for. Obviously I'd love to not have to pay the fine at all (car money down the drain) but I'd prefer to pay it now and not have to get fucked over on insurance later on.

Be glad it wasn't montana. <snip> Yes, colorado allows online renewal of DL's.
Damn, that's some bullshit. I'd feel weird about giving the cop cash on the spot, who's to say it would be officially recorded and he didn't just buy a new gun or some car parts?

Sadly, had I realized that one could renew one's DL online, I would have done that on Monday and avoided the whole Tuesday night shenanigan in question. I ended up doing it online the day after I got pulled over, right after I replaced my headlight bulb, but that still doesn't do me much good. I will bring that temporary paper as proof, though, and just plead ignorance of the online renewal thing.

I will update with progress when progress (hopefully) occurs in the morning. Thanks all for your experienced advice!
 

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Well at least he printed me out a receipt and everything, but still, it was weird.
 

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It can easily be pleaded down to a lesser charge; maybe "defective equipment" or something... how's your driving history? Mine's F'd so I expect (and usually get) the worst. Blowing a stop sign cost me 3 points, $140 and half a day of work. Awesome.

Best court advice: be nice, no attitude, keep telling yourself "cops were just doing their job", remain calm... and so on.

Oh, and bring a book to read. :D

>>Dan
 

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standard deductions assumed ( i remember a few of these from the glory days.... lol)

your 3 point infraction will be plead down to a 1 point defective vehicle/ improper signal ticket... IIRC... its been about 3 years since i got a ticket last

your 1 point headlight will become a 0 point ticket.... i forget the breakdown but both will forever show on your MVR as the plea deal, no indication of what the original ticket actually was... hence the oblivion for most insurance companies....
 

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So you got pulled over and warned by an officer your license is expired. Then you continued to drive with the expired license anyways? Out here, the cops won't even release you unless the officer is sure you won't be driving anymore.

So yeah, you are an idiot and pretty much have no grounds to fight the ticket. Fix the issues, take whatever the judge offers and learn from your mistakes.
 

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Showing up at court is usually always worth it when it comes to having your speed reduced on a speeding violation but I don't see how you can fight an expired license or a burnt out headlight. I don't see how they could reduce or dismiss either of these violations. Like I said it is usually ALWAYS worth it just to show up but these two I'm not so sure of.
 

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I had just recently been to traffic court due to the fender bender I was in back in January.

I was charged for a 3 point "Special Hazards" violation, whatever that means. :rolleyes: I guess I'm just a special hazard, Damn! I should have listened to my Mom! :D

Someone at work advised me to plead "No Contest" which means that I'm not accepting guilt, I'm not going to fight it I'll just pay my fines and get on with my life. Also, the person I hit can come back and sue me. So, I did that.

But, deffinately do what everone has suggested about dressing presentable, keep your cool, and be respectful. Yes Sir/Ma'am, No Sir/Ma'am, Yes Your Honor, No Your Honor.

If you do want to put in some last minute :2cents: wait for the sentancing to be over with, and only if the judge asks if there is anything else you would like to say. But at the same time keep your cool.

During my court date I pointed out that the officer could have used better judgement when issuing me a ticket, because there where ALOT of accidents that happened that day.

Anyway, good luck with your day in court.
 

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Brian I'm the same, jeans and t shirt or suit and to court I wear the suit. Idk that it even helps anymore but I do it anyways. If the office let you drive off with a warning for all that then the second one should have seen what the first did.

What I was saying in my last post was... I had a ticket like yours 2 different things on one. The first was something like plate light out and my license was expired. When I went to court they dropped the plate light part and stuck me with the full part of license being expired. Well I didn't know that ment it would get suspended and got pulled over again and ticketed for driving under suspension and it added a year to the suspension. Well long story short being 17 working school and everything else I had going I kept driving and that 3 month or whatever it was suspension turned in to 3 years mixed with jail time and lots of money spent.

I don't seem to have the good luck some do with cops and the da or judge and seem to get the book thrown at me any chance they get. Traffic tickets,dv for runnig away from a girl and getting run over twice, all that shit at the shop with dbag(btw that made me lose all respect for the police and the courts) so now I just lay low and try to avoid anything and everything when it comes to traffic, girls, people....
 
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