This thread really got off topic. I started the thread seeking legal advice but since I didn't get any advice, I followed it up by telling what I learned. Basically, if you get a ticket, go to court and ask if you can take driving school.
Regarding the accident, since that's what some people seem to want to talk about, I still can't say exactly what happened. One minute I'm driving home from work, the next minute my vehicle is totalled and everything in between is a blur.
I did tell the officer that I may have gone through a red light. Yes, I should not have said that. Of course the officer wrote me a ticket based on my comment. On the other hand, when I was hit, my car had nearly cleared the intersection and I was hit on the passenger door. Based on the aftermath, I've had people tell me that it looks as though I probably entered the intersection on a yellow light and the van was probably moving towards the intersection as the light turned green for them, so they had momentum. It seems plausible, but without video evidence, we can't know for sure.
I do appreciate the commenters who suggested that I might have been talking on the phone, playing with the radio, or that I'm just a bad driver. And I also appreciate the commenters who came to my defense. Getting into an accident has made me more cautious. I'm 42 years old now and my only other accident was when I was 18. Anyway, the discussion was supposed to be about legal advice. I can now tell others who may have a traffic ticket to request the class.
By the way, the online class costs $50 and took me 3 hours to complete. It did cover some important topics that many "good drivers" could benefit from.