Usual question from a client. “I was involved in a car accident and received a citation. How can the officer issue a ticket for something that he didn’t observe?”
The important thing to know is that the officer can only PROVE his case in court through the testimony of the other drivers or through the testimony of lay witnesses who may have witnessed the accident. Regardless of what may have been said at the accident scene, once a hearing is elected then the Judge will only consider the live in-court testimony in rendering his/her decision. This is called the “accident report privilege.” What that means is that anything said at the scene of the accident is immaterial. It’s only what happens in the courtroom that matters, and if there are no witnesses against you at trial, your case will be dismissed. In fact, if all the witnesses appear but the officer doesn’t, then your case will be dismissed at trial as well.
The second most common accident question is “I was involved in an accident and although a deputy arrived on the scene first, a long period of time passed until the Florida Highway Patrol trooper who issued the ticket appeared on the scene. Why did it happen that way?” The Florida Highway Patrol is just that, a highway patrol agency whose sole purpose is to enforce the traffic laws in the State of Florida and to investigate traffic crashed in the unincorporated areas of the State. So when there is an accident in many areas of the State, a deputy sheriff will arrive on the scene first and call for a trooper to investigate the crash. The Trooper will issue any citations for any violations that they believe was committed.
So whether you think the ticket is your fault or not, call us to fight your accident ticket or you will automatically get points on your license.