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Old 11-16-2013, 01:43 AM
1,136 posts, read 788,287 times
Reputation: 2209


Earlier this year, I made the mistake of answering my cell phone while driving home from work so I could watch my two small children. It rang as I was driving south on the Sagtikos Pkwy at 3:40 pm. I pressed the SEND button and I said Hello. My wife simply asked, what is is your status (making sure I was going to be home ontime so she could leave for her job). I didnt get a chance to answer her when I saw an umarked Chevy Trailblazer behind me with lights and siren. I pulled over. I was asked why I was talking on my phone. I told him that my wife wanted to be sure I was going to be home on time. He asked why I was holding my phone. I told the officer I was holding the phone so I could answer it. He asked why I wasnt hands free. I told him that i rarely use the phone and showed him my free piece of garbage LG phone with no text plan or anything that I got in 2009. He told me to wait. He returned with a ticket and asked how my license was. No moving violations in 20 years. He suggested that I simply plead not guilty when I answer the ticket and they may reduce the fine or even dismiss it. I did as he suggested.

I went to court today for a plea bargain session. What a zoo! A large room in Hauppauge filled with over 100 people and 6 judges in the front of the room. They called my name after 2 hrs. They told me that I had a 3 point moving violation and looked at my unblemished driving record. They said they could reduce this to a non moving violation and give me a parking ticket. I said that was greatly appreciated. The woman said, "ok. That will be $450. I was shocked but I accepted it.

I honestly nearly never do talk on the cell when I drive but that isnt here or there. I was wrong. What strikes me as even more wrong is that they can "reduce" my fine from the $180 3 point moving violation ticket to a mere $450 parking ticket. If I had actually got that parking ticket, it would be a $75 fine. So, they are obviously calculating how much I may have paid to my insurance company over the next 3 years and figured I will just have to give it to SC Court system instead just so I can keep my clean license. Is this extortion? It was completely arbitrary. They simply offer an outlandish amount and if you dont like it, go see the judge and pay the original ticket.

What a scam. Thats all. Good night.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:04 AM
3,445 posts, read 5,040,629 times
Reputation: 6092
True....its a scam and many villages with courts will do the same. Plea down a ticket and collect a parking fine which they can keep a bigger share.

However with such a clean driving record and no points on your license you insurance probably would not have gone up. On a renewal with your current insurance they probably would not even run a DMV check on you. The insurance companies will routinely run you against lists they purchase from the DMV of people convicted of serious moving violations..ie, excess speeding,dwi. Smaller violations they would ignore unless you tell them about it on your renewal.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:21 AM
Location: Centereach
471 posts, read 905,436 times
Reputation: 245
That's unbelievable!! They should have told you what the price difference was and let you make the decision. $450 is lot.
I guess chalk it up to live and learn.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:37 AM
Location: Inis Fada
16,786 posts, read 28,995,932 times
Reputation: 7372
Like paying points on a mortgage to reduce the interest rate, figure you just paid $90 per point to keep your record clean (450-180)/3

If you actually were parked and they tried to hit you up for $450, that would be insane. The court has to put something down on the record. Parking would seem the most harmless of potential violations.

It stinks that there are so many people who constantly hold their phone or text while driving, and the one time you do so for a good reason, you're caught.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:38 AM
Status: "busy" (set 8 days ago)
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
16,718 posts, read 25,695,396 times
Reputation: 12636
They know they got you because NY has a sort of 3 strikes and you're out type of thing, if you get 3 moving violations within a short period of time (I think it's 18 months) you lose your license. So people who are getting moving violations a lot live in fear of that.

Me? I'd take the points and the insurance increase (if it ever comes) - highly unlikely your insurance will find out about it. I know people who had simple DWAI convictions whose insurance never found out. Just don't add a car while it's on your record.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:45 AM
886 posts, read 2,237,003 times
Reputation: 892
Moral of the Story?
Don't break the law and save $450. Sorry but I believe cops should do to cellphones as they did to the carburetors on our minibikes when we were caught. Crush them.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:09 AM
1,283 posts, read 2,398,803 times
Reputation: 856
sounds like something that only happens in rural southern towns. I'm pretty surprised the fine was so high because you had a stellar driving record (plus, you may have lost a day's pay).
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:52 AM
229 posts, read 363,039 times
Reputation: 87
FWIW, I just got out of a ticket this AM, SCPD. Thank da LAWD!!
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:59 AM
1,136 posts, read 788,287 times
Reputation: 2209
Yeah. I am not excusing myself because I did answer the phone. It stinks because I honestly almost never use it. I never have a conversation. It is only a quick sentence or two and hang up. Nothing
Ike everyone I see full out texting and talking. But, that isn't what bothers me. It's the way the county can impose a fine that is 5times the amount of the actual fine. It is a completely arbitrary amount of money. Many of the judges were dismissing people for first time offenses. It felt like I was in front of the mafia board.they can extort you and you either accept their outlandish offer or attempt to take them on.

I used to work for my insurance mop any and know that they randomly run DMV reports . I didn't want to risk that because if they did, I would lose my great driver discount and then be charged an additional surcharge for three years. It would have come out to more than $450 over 3 years.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:19 AM
2,790 posts, read 3,190,273 times
Reputation: 2486
Distracted driving kills more people than DWI. Pay the price for your poor choice.
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