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Ticketed for Rolling Stop in MD - Fight, Pay, or Guilty w. Explanation? Maryland

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  • Ticketed for Rolling Stop in MD - Fight, Pay, or Guilty w. Explanation? Maryland

    Last night I was cited for "Failure to Stop at Stop Sign" in Prince George's County, MD - the officer admitted it was just a rolling or incomplete stop, it's not like I just blew through the sign, and he told me I should fight it. Okay, 2 complicating factors - 1) Maryland has 3 options, one is to pay (which I wouldn't be thrilled about, it was a $90 ticket, but I'd do it if it weren't for having points assessed and then having Geico raise my rates which they already told me they'd do), another is to plead not guilty and go to traffic court, the third is to enter a plea of "guilty with an explanation" which allows you a hearing with the judge but the officer does not have to be present. I asked the officer about this option, actually, but he didn't seem familiar with it, he just told me to go to court which I'd be happy to do if he'd like to earn a little overtime, but I don't want to get up there and say he's a liar or anything. I just think the ticket language is a little nonspecific since it doesn't make a distinction between going through a stop sign at 30 mph and rolling through one at maybe 1 mph.

    The other complicating factor is that I just 3 weeks ago received a citation (my first ever - in the past I had received a few warnings, but that's it) from another officer with the same agency and at a location just a few blocks away - this one was for failing to obey a traffic signal (I didn't notice that the lane I was in was right-turn only until it was too late and I was already going straight). Again, the officer himself urged me to fight the ticket - it makes me wonder if there is perhaps some sort of ticket quota system that the officers aren't too thrilled about having to enforce? In both instances the officers and I were very polite and cordial to each other, and both officers made a point of not only telling me to fight the ticket but also noting how minor my infraction was (in both cases, there was little, if any, other traffic on the road), so it seemed like they'd have been happier issuing a warning if that were an option, but I guess if those in charge of making the rules say it isn't, then it isn't. Anyway - I bear no grudge whatsoever against the police department, and I'd even be willing to go ahead and pay, but I don't want to give Geico the go-ahead to jack my rates way up (I am SO switching to Allstate or State Farm next summer when my policy's up, but it would probably help if I didn't have points on my license when switching, either). Anyway, I did enter a "guilty with explanation" plea for the first offense, haven't been to court yet (I go on Thursday), but I'm not sure how this will or should affect how I choose to plead on the second offense. If I plead "guilty with explanation" or "not guilty", is the judge likely to disbelieve me on account of my earlier infraction? Am I going to look like a habitual moving offender, getting my first two moving violations in the space of 3 weeks? (I've been driving for over 10 years, so it's not like I just got my license.) Because I got this first ticket, do I automatically need to just go ahead and pay the second ticket? Or should I wait and see how my first plea goes? If I get probation, does the second (already issued) ticket automatically violate this probation?

    If anyone has any advice to offer, I'd certainly appreciate it. Thank you.

  • #2
    Stop Means Stop

    First Of All, Passing A Stop At 1 Mph Or 30 Mph Is Still Running A Stop, Period. Second Guilty W/ Explanation Is Plain Guilty. All You Are Saying Is Judge, I'm Guilty But Not Really. Other Option Is To Plea No Contest (which Will Cause A Guilty Finding) And Ask The Judge To Withhold Adjudication, So No Points But The Court Still Collects Their $$$$. This Is The Perfect Case For A Ticket Lawyer. Remember, Judges Are Lawyers First And One Hand Washes Etc,.....
    Last, The Judge Cannot Look At Your Record Unless He Finds You Guilty And He Cannot Look At Any Citation That Has Not Been Adjudicated. Good Luck.


    • #3
      Go to court before hand, and watch the traffic judge. See what he's like. Some judges are pretty generous when people show up and want to say their piece. Some might get irritated by having to deal with people when they show up.
      Militant Agnostic- I don't know and you don't know either.


      • #4
        If the officers are telling you to fight it, it means ticket quota. They are stupidly required to write so many tickets a day. If they don't encounter real baddies, they have to write up the small stuff.

        But you should make full stops at stop signs.


        • #5
          Rolling stop signs

          I just have to infuriates me when i read messages of people saying "you should have stopped at the stop sign, what if a child was crossing the street?" or someting of that nature. Can anyone tell me the exact reason of making a complete three second stop, as opposed to creeping through a stop sign? If you can't see anyone going through an intersection at one mile an hour ESPECIALLY a human being, then you shouldn't be driving. Then if you do see someone, THEN you stop. That makes sense to me.


          • #6
            I'll tell you the exact reason if you tell me the exact reason people feel the need to reply to posts from 2006?


            • #7

              Does it matter? an opinion is an opinion whether it's responding to something three years ago or today. And btw..the post before me was made 02/2007

              Originally posted by FlyinHawk View Post
              I'll tell you the exact reason if you tell me the exact reason people feel the need to reply to posts from 2006?
              Last edited by aaaronbomb; 11-05-2007, 02:05 PM.


              • #8
                There are several reasons to make a full stop at a stop sign:

                - You won't be doing something unexpected. Unexpected moves cause accidents by fooling other drivers or pedestrians.

                - It's the law. That should be enough reason by itself.

                - You have to wait your turn.

                - If you are in too big of a hurry to stop at stop signs, you should not be driving.