Q&A - Failure to stop at a stop sign.

Q&A ImageOver a year ago, my husband came to pick me up after work a little after 11 pm.  We live in a town of 20,000 people and it was a wed night, traffic is not very busy at the worst of times. He pulled into the left turn lane, saw nobody coming in from any direction and then instead of coming to a complete stop, sort of rolled to an almost stop and then kept going. 

Then we saw a Police car parked on the corner (we should of known, its their spot to pick up people) and watched it, but it didnt follow us so off we went.

About a block later another cop car starts following us, follows us for 5 minutes until we're about a 2 blocks from our house, and then the first cop car pulls up behind the second, the second pulls ahead of us and takes off, and the first cop car puts its lights on and pulls us over.

He said he was giving us a ticket for failing to come to a complete stop. I couldn't see the face of the the officer who was in the car parked at the corner where we turned, so i don't even know if he was the same person.

My question is, seeing as we weren't in his line of sight the entire time, is this legal?

Second, we disputed the ticket in July, and didnt get the hearing notice until over a full year later. Is there a time limit for how soon they have to get back to us about the hearing date?


Stop Does Not Mean Slow Down

I gather that you are going to base your dispute on the hope that the officer cannot identify you as the offender instead of whether you came to a stop or not. It is possible to succeed, just as it is possible for the officer to succeed as well. It is not necessary that the officer keep you under direct surveillance between the commission of a traffic rule violation and the stopping of the vehicle and ticketing of the driver. The officer will have to satisfy the court that it was the same vehicle and that you were the driver that failed to stop. If a short enough period of time passed that would prevent you from having switched drivers between leaving the stop sign and being pulled over and your vehicle was identified as being the same one (licence plate is most usual or failing that, that there was not possibility for mistaking it for a similar vehicle in the area) it is possible the court will rule against you.

You should gear your cross examination questions and your testimony (if you choose to testify) to show that it could have been someone else and raise the issue of doubt.

As for the delay in the ticket dispute, there is case law on this site that addresses the issue.

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