Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok... well here's the summary of MY weekend, since the Italian stallion over in the ZX-6 section wanted to post about running from cops:

Saturday night, I went riding with two of my buddies. We had been riding for a while and everything was fine. We got on the freeway, and they started acting crazy; lane splitting, swerving in and out or traffic, speeding, all the good stuff that cops love. I've only been riding for about 4 months, so I was just taking it easy, making a meager attempt at keeping up and was definitely not darting in and out of traffic. I pretty much stayed in the left lane the whole time, but would pass when I had to. Nothing crazy, but I'm sure I was speeding... 75 TOPS in a 60. The other guys are getting ahead, probably about 3/4 or a mile in front of me. All the sudden, i get the blue lights in my mirrors. The thought of running never even crossed my mind, but the two guys ahead of me took off. I figured, hell, the cop had to see that I'm the slow guy in this group, but is still going to write me a speeding ticket. Whatever... clean record, I can take a ticket. So I pull on over to the side of the road, kill the bike, and get off to take my helmet off. The cop (a state trooper... even better, right?) IMMEDIATELY gets on the his mic and tells me to stop moving, turn around and face him and put my hands up. WTF?! Am I a damn criminal? Did some biker just rob a bank? To make a long story short, the trooper calls 3 other cops "for backup" and pounds me in the ass with FOUR FUCKING TICKETS: improper lane change (garbage), following too closely (garbage), speeding (90 in a 60... total bullshit. no way), and reckless driving (you gotta be kidding me), and to top it all off, he tried to make it sound like he was doing me a favor by not giving me more? Shit... too many more and he would've had to break out another ticket book! Every time I started to deny what he THOUGHT he saw me doing and explain what actually happened, he got belligerent and asked me if I wanted to go to jail. WTF? They kept me on the side of the interstate for every bit of an hour and a half, and spent most of that time lecturing me about how dangerous "crotchrockets" are and that they hoped I had learned a lesson. One of them also made a remark about how sportbike riders all think its so cool to go up to Barbers and ride the track, like that's some kind of bad thing? And the thing that REALLY pissed me off? Another trooper came up and started telling me about a wreck he had worked a month ago where one rider doing 70mph got hit from behind by a guy doing 160mph. The guy that got hit was a riding buddy of mine. This douchebag cop has the gall to say he came up, saw him on the ground in pain, and that he thought that was "cool." What a dickhead! [:M63] That worthless shitbag was just trying to get a rise out of me so he and his donut patrol could beat me up and take me to jail. There's no telling what kinds of fines I'm looking at for this, but I know its gonna be rough. I talked to the mother of a friend of mine that is an attorney, and she said the outlook is pretty bad. My word against a trooper's, and obviously sportbikers don't have a very good rep in the courts around here (or anywhere else for that matter). If convicted, I'll automatically lose my license for 90 days, have a shitload of points that will last for years, pay a small fortune, and am probably going to lose my insurance also. Before this weekend, I had no tickets on my record whatsoever... now I have four, thanks to supercop. What an asshole. [:M53]

By the way, I know not all cops are like the ones I had to deal with, but this has taken away all respect I once held for police officers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Sounds like you got it from a ******* po po with a hard-on for sportbikers. I would plead not guilty and tell your side of the story to the judge. explain you are a new rider and not capable of the riding the cop claims you did but that the other riders were being idiots. Good Luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
That really stinks. I hope everything goes better than you think it will in court. No more riding with squids I hope.
 

·
DEATH TO THE ISA!!!
Joined
·
10,796 Posts
Ok... well here's the summary of MY weekend, since the Italian stallion over in the ZX-6 section wanted to post about running from cops:
First off...I rofled when I read that hahaha

Well if it means anything, I'm proud of you not punching that cop in the face. Making fun of your friend like that....damn. I'd definitely bring that up in court. Mentally unstable fucktards should not be given guns and the authority to use them.

Nothing much to say other than that sucks and I really, really hope you get at least some of the charges dropped. Good luck buddy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
Sorry man, that sucks but kudos for you for not exploding in that guys face...musta been pretty tough. I've yet to be to court for a motorcycle infraction...knock on wood, but I would definitely hire a lawyer. Whatever you might pay in fees will be cheaper than insurance costs for the next 3 years (or whatever it takes) for the points to drop off the insurance radar screens.

Other than that I suggest not riding with those fellows again. Sounds like you all went past the cop but he ended up only on you and rather than try to hunt them down, he just dropped all that crap on you.

I've only had one ticket on my bike...I think it was 90 in a 75...I was heading to my GF's house one night and had a semi to my right. The wind was whipping off that semi and smacking me so I sped up to get in front of the semi and slowed down after. About 2 min later i had lights on behind me...apparantly he was behind me the whole time. At any rate...gave the ticket to my lawyer and ended up with impeding traffic which the insurance company doesn't pull (i forget exactly how they say it now) when they pull your record to rate you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
always helps to know the group you're gonna be riding with. you might be able to contest the charges, well I guess you can always contest. did the trooper have an in car video camera capturing footage leading up to him pulling you over? did he have radar on your alleged *75 tops*? sorry to hear about the bad luck... but you may be able to beat this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by Jay C.
What stretch of road were you on? Being from "tha ham" myself, i could use the info...[^]
We were headed south on 65. He SAYS we passed him at the junction with 20/59, but he didn't pull me over until right before the exit to get on 459... for those of you that aren't from around here, that's probably a solid 10-12 miles...

Originally posted by modularmind
always helps to know the group you're gonna be riding with. you might be able to contest the charges, well I guess you can always contest. did the trooper have an in car video camera capturing footage leading up to him pulling you over? did he have radar on your alleged *75 tops*? sorry to hear about the bad luck... but you may be able to beat this one.
Think the trooper DID have a video recorder, but the attorney I spoke to said those tapes are usually trashed unless they have DUI/assault/etc evidence on them... That was my first thought; I figured if the judge saw the tape, I would probably just get away with a speeding ticket. And he couldn't have got me on radar because he was behind another car when he flipped his lights on, at which point I immediately pulled over... I'm sure he'll say he paced us at 90, but thats absolute BS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,279 Posts
firts thought. did one of the other guys have the same color bike as you. if so then you can tell the judge taht and say there was a mix up. second use that afst that you have a clean record, and lastly show that your license is now and that you dont have the nerve to do that yet. and lastly have you taken the motorcycle safty course yet. if not do so.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,912 Posts
My advice is to get an attorney and present your case in court. Let them know that you were riding with two other guys you happened to run into on the road, but that you do not have the experience yet or skills to have been doing what the police officer is accusing you of doing; that more than likely he confused your bike for one of the other bikes. Bring up the fact that you didn't run like the others and that you don't have any prior infractions to establish character. Also, point out the fact that you have only been riding for 4 months and stress on the point that you just are not that kind of rider, that you truly believe it was a case of mistaken identity. Him not having the tape could be to your advantage, he cannot prove that it was you without a doubt that he saw and if it was dark outside, that's another plus on your side. Worst case scenario I think will be that you will still get a couple of tickets, but reduced and I'm almost positive that the wreckless driving ticket will more than likely go away (that's probably the worst one he gave you).


BTW, I probably would never ride with those guys again... Not only that, but by your own claim, you were doing your best to keep up with them, probably not the people you should be riding with right now.
 

·
Neutered
2006 MV Agusta F4 1000S
Joined
·
8,868 Posts
What I think is what happens now is that you'll have a court date where the officer that wrote you the tickets will NOT be present. This is to arrange a plea deal and such, and if needed, set up a court date where the officer WILL appear. This is also your chance to plead your case before the judge without the officer there to debate you.

I went to court for a reckless driving infraction (I actually WAS doing some of the things your buddies were doing, less the running from the cops part, and probably to a lesser degree)...anyway, at my court date, the judge was very agreeable, and gave me time to speak for myself, but without me saying anything he offered a dismissal of the charges if I paid a small fee, court costs, and took an advanced driver improvement course, because my record was clean of motorcycle infractions.

(by 'small fee and court costs' I mean $95 fee, $200 court costs, and the ADI class is $100, for a total of about $400...so depending on your financial situation, that might not exactly be 'light', but it's a hell of a lot better than paying $1,500 for a lawyer then paying the fees on top of that, or $1,000 in fines and having probation and stuff)

I've had my MC license for going on 6 years now (a solid 5 years at the time), my drivers for 8, and it was the first infraction I had had on my bike...so even though I have I think two tickets in the last four or five years in various cars I've owned, the fact that I've kept a clean motorcycle record played a big part in the judge's mind. The biggest part of that, though, is that I've had years to drive and be caught, and have a pretty clean record, so having a 'new' license might not be such a good thing...if you haven't had the license for too long, you haven't really ESTABLISHED a clean record.

Basically, when you go to your court date, dress respectably, but don't OVER dress...i.e. if you normally dress upscale or classy, you can go at it, but if you normally dress like a scrub, don't wear a suit, because it's painfully obvious when a scrub wears a suit...just wear slacks, good shoes, and a button up shirt or something. Listen to the judge when it's your turn (there will be a bunch of people there, most of them probably for driving on suspended or expired licenses because of DUI offenses...all sorts of dredges of society)...the judge will make you an offer to give you certain lesser penalties if you plea no contest or guilty.

If you like his offer, plead no contest and keep your mouth shut. If you don't like the offer he gives you, that's the time to tell him respectably what happened. If he doesn't change his mind after your expository, and the offer he gave you sucks and you refuse to accept it, that's when you'd plead not guilty and find yourself a lawyer before your next court date.

Basically, don't worry about anything until your first court date, because you really won't know what's going on until then, and you won't have a real trial unless you plead not guilty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Originally posted by dragknt
What I think is what happens now is that you'll have a court date where the officer that wrote you the tickets will NOT be present. This is to arrange a plea deal and such, and if needed, set up a court date where the officer WILL appear. This is also your chance to plead your case before the judge without the officer there to debate you.

I went to court for a reckless driving infraction (I actually WAS doing some of the things your buddies were doing, less the running from the cops part, and probably to a lesser degree)...anyway, at my court date, the judge was very agreeable, and gave me time to speak for myself, but without me saying anything he offered a dismissal of the charges if I paid a small fee, court costs, and took an advanced driver improvement course, because my record was clean of motorcycle infractions.

(by 'small fee and court costs' I mean $95 fee, $200 court costs, and the ADI class is $100, for a total of about $400...so depending on your financial situation, that might not exactly be 'light', but it's a hell of a lot better than paying $1,500 for a lawyer then paying the fees on top of that, or $1,000 in fines and having probation and stuff)

I've had my MC license for going on 6 years now (a solid 5 years at the time), my drivers for 8, and it was the first infraction I had had on my bike...so even though I have I think two tickets in the last four or five years in various cars I've owned, the fact that I've kept a clean motorcycle record played a big part in the judge's mind. The biggest part of that, though, is that I've had years to drive and be caught, and have a pretty clean record, so having a 'new' license might not be such a good thing...if you haven't had the license for too long, you haven't really ESTABLISHED a clean record.

Basically, when you go to your court date, dress respectably, but don't OVER dress...i.e. if you normally dress upscale or classy, you can go at it, but if you normally dress like a scrub, don't wear a suit, because it's painfully obvious when a scrub wears a suit...just wear slacks, good shoes, and a button up shirt or something. Listen to the judge when it's your turn (there will be a bunch of people there, most of them probably for driving on suspended or expired licenses because of DUI offenses...all sorts of dredges of society)...the judge will make you an offer to give you certain lesser penalties if you plea no contest or guilty.

If you like his offer, plead no contest and keep your mouth shut. If you don't like the offer he gives you, that's the time to tell him respectably what happened. If he doesn't change his mind after your expository, and the offer he gave you sucks and you refuse to accept it, that's when you'd plead not guilty and find yourself a lawyer before your next court date.

Basically, don't worry about anything until your first court date, because you really won't know what's going on until then, and you won't have a real trial unless you plead not guilty.
Thanks for the info. Very helpful to know what I'm looking at from someone that's already been in my shoes. The trooper said he would absolutely be there on my first day in court, but like you said, the attorney says I'll probably just have to go in that day and plead not guilty and postpone to a later date.

Interesting what you said about the motorcycle license too. I've actually HAD the license since I turned 15 (9 years ago), but never had my own motorcycle until about 4 months ago...

And about the fines/costs: if I could get out of this situation with no points and no record of the tickets and only pay $400.... holy shit, would i be happy! Not that I have extra money laying around, but I'd take twice that much to the court TOMORROW just to get this crap off my mind and out of the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Originally posted by APinBama





And about the fines/costs: if I could get out of this situation with no points and no record of the tickets and only pay $400.... holy shit, would i be happy! Not that I have extra money laying around, but I'd take twice that much to the court TOMORROW just to get this crap off my mind and out of the way.
I doubt you will get out scott free. I had a reckless/racing ticket years ago, while on active duty. I plead guilty, but talked to the state prosecutor, for a bargain. I got out of it with fewer points, and kept my licence, but it costed me about $500. I say at best, hell drop everything, but the speeding. JMO. Depends on the judge, his mood, and how bad the sportbike riders are in your area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
dont sweat it . if he caught you doing that it will be on his camera and his radar go to court and explain your story if he has no proof they will dismiss it . oh and after file charges against him and his pig patrol.trust me if he has no proof you go free. and btw if he says your speeding and he cant proof it no judge will give you a ticket
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
Holy crap!!!! I'm never riding with you again...you're bad luck. No, really though, thats so bogus. From what I've heard from some cop friends of mine, with all the motorcycle deaths in Birmingham lately, cops are really on the prowl..and aren;t cutting anyone any breaks.
Man, I hate that had to happen, I rekon we'll just stick to riding the local backroads eh? I'll get on the phone and call some of my friends and see if I can come up with anything that will help you.
 

·
Neutered
2006 MV Agusta F4 1000S
Joined
·
8,868 Posts
Originally posted by irokdastar383
dont sweat it . if he caught you doing that it will be on his camera and his radar go to court and explain your story if he has no proof they will dismiss it . oh and after file charges against him and his pig patrol.trust me if he has no proof you go free. and btw if he says your speeding and he cant proof it no judge will give you a ticket
That's not true in FL at all. I've been in court where it was a cops word vs drivers word wether or not the person was speeding or what not, and every case like that I've seen the cop won, with zero proof. Reason being that the officer is trained to evaluate things like that just by eyeballing them. So his word carries more 'proof' behind it than you, who have every reason to lie about it.

APinBama -> As for the court thing...with civil infractions (like reckless driving), the first court date is JUST you with the judge, to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. At that point, AFAIK, the officer who wrote the ticket CANNOT be there, reason being to eliminate pressure from you to decide what plea to make. At least, in FL that's the case. If it were a lesser charge, like just a traffic citation that you took to court, then yeah, the cop would be there day 1...but with Reckless, in FL at least, you have one first court date where it's just you, a judge, and a few other people that are before the judge for whatever other reason. If you plea 'not guilty', the next hearing is where the cops will be, and if he was that aggressive, then yeah, he probably will be there.

But the biggest thing, I think, is to really listen to the plea bargain the judge offers you. Depending on the judge, it could be a very fair bargain, and agreeing to it will avoid being found guilty, and thus will remove the criminal infraction from your civil record, and will also avoid costly lawyers and extra court costs, wether you win or lose. Also the judge has the power to waive ALL points in the case that would be assessed on your license, no matter what the other penalties he assigns, which will keep your insurance down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
Originally posted by dragknt
What I think is what happens now is that you'll have a court date where the officer that wrote you the tickets will NOT be present. This is to arrange a plea deal and such, and if needed, set up a court date where the officer WILL appear. This is also your chance to plead your case before the judge without the officer there to debate you.

I went to court for a reckless driving infraction (I actually WAS doing some of the things your buddies were doing, less the running from the cops part, and probably to a lesser degree)...anyway, at my court date, the judge was very agreeable, and gave me time to speak for myself, but without me saying anything he offered a dismissal of the charges if I paid a small fee, court costs, and took an advanced driver improvement course, because my record was clean of motorcycle infractions.

(by 'small fee and court costs' I mean $95 fee, $200 court costs, and the ADI class is $100, for a total of about $400...so depending on your financial situation, that might not exactly be 'light', but it's a hell of a lot better than paying $1,500 for a lawyer then paying the fees on top of that, or $1,000 in fines and having probation and stuff)

I've had my MC license for going on 6 years now (a solid 5 years at the time), my drivers for 8, and it was the first infraction I had had on my bike...so even though I have I think two tickets in the last four or five years in various cars I've owned, the fact that I've kept a clean motorcycle record played a big part in the judge's mind. The biggest part of that, though, is that I've had years to drive and be caught, and have a pretty clean record, so having a 'new' license might not be such a good thing...if you haven't had the license for too long, you haven't really ESTABLISHED a clean record.

Basically, when you go to your court date, dress respectably, but don't OVER dress...i.e. if you normally dress upscale or classy, you can go at it, but if you normally dress like a scrub, don't wear a suit, because it's painfully obvious when a scrub wears a suit...just wear slacks, good shoes, and a button up shirt or something. Listen to the judge when it's your turn (there will be a bunch of people there, most of them probably for driving on suspended or expired licenses because of DUI offenses...all sorts of dredges of society)...the judge will make you an offer to give you certain lesser penalties if you plea no contest or guilty.

If you like his offer, plead no contest and keep your mouth shut. If you don't like the offer he gives you, that's the time to tell him respectably what happened. If he doesn't change his mind after your expository, and the offer he gave you sucks and you refuse to accept it, that's when you'd plead not guilty and find yourself a lawyer before your next court date.

Basically, don't worry about anything until your first court date, because you really won't know what's going on until then, and you won't have a real trial unless you plead not guilty.
i agree, i wouldnt get an attourney untill after the 1st court date and see what the judge offers you. If you dont like it, or think you can get better w/ an attourney, then dont take it and fight that mofo!

THat sucks balls though, i would be sooooo pissed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
hmm let me guess..a New York State trooper?!

I was told by a trooper in NY when it comes to motorcycles they always take the slower guy. There's no way a crown vic could keep up with a 600.
 

·
Sportbike Scum; Ex-Mod.
Joined
·
4,215 Posts
Originally posted by iroman
My advice is to get an attorney and present your case in court. Let them know that you were riding with two other guys you happened to run into on the road, but that you do not have the experience yet or skills to have been doing what the police officer is accusing you of doing; that more than likely he confused your bike for one of the other bikes. Bring up the fact that you didn't run like the others and that you don't have any prior infractions to establish character. Also, point out the fact that you have only been riding for 4 months and stress on the point that you just are not that kind of rider, that you truly believe it was a case of mistaken identity. Him not having the tape could be to your advantage, he cannot prove that it was you without a doubt that he saw and if it was dark outside, that's another plus on your side. Worst case scenario I think will be that you will still get a couple of tickets, but reduced and I'm almost positive that the wreckless driving ticket will more than likely go away (that's probably the worst one he gave you).


BTW, I probably would never ride with those guys again... Not only that, but by your own claim, you were doing your best to keep up with them, probably not the people you should be riding with right now.
Irv hit this pretty much on the head, except for one thing - these are not the kind of people you should be riding with, EVER...

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
An update for anybody that wants to know:

I pled not guilty at my first court date back in November, so they set a trial date for today. Did a little searching and found a few prospective lawyers, but couldn't decide on one. Had a death in the family about two weeks ago, and then three days later, my grandmother had a stroke that's left her incapacitated. I totally forgot about my court appearance until two days ago so I went to speak with the judge and try to convince him to give me more time to actually hire a lawyer. He was a total dickhead about it... in a nutshell, he told me it wasn't his fault or the court's that I didn't have an attorney, and that if I didn't show up for court, they'd issue a warrant for my arrest. So I broke out the yellow pages and found a lawyer two fucking days before my court date...

So I get to court this morning at 8:30.... attorney said he'd meet me there a little early to discuss the situation a little more. That joker didn't show up until 8:57 (for a 9:00 trial!). I never even got a chance to talk to him before he spoke with the DA. Anyway, they ended up dropping everything but the speeding. Good, i guess, but there's no way in hell i was doing 90 mph. I told my lawyer I wanted him to go back and fight the speeding too, but the judge wouldn't hear it. So I'm stuck with a "speeding: 30 over" ticket... could have been better, but could have been a lot worse too. Any of you guys have similar tickets, and if so, what did it do to your insurance?

Oh, and the REAL pisser: Saw my aunt after court when I went to see my grandmother in the hospital. The first thing she said was "Oh, I wish you had told me you had to see Judge _______. We're really good friends, I've known him forever. I'm sure I could have pulled some strings!"

DAMNIT! :(
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top