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Is There a Medical Defense to a Traffic Violation?

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by Christopher Jones, May 16, 2018.

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  1. Christopher Jones

    Christopher Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    I was traveling from Houston to Freeport, TX to visit a friend. I received a speeding ticket from Texas Highway Patrol for going 80mph in a 65mph zone. The officer asked me if I knew how fast I was going. I told him I had no idea.
    I am a disabled veteran. I was seriously injured in an IED explosion in Iraq. I received a medical retirement from the Army. I suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and require care from a psychiatrist. I also have back and knee wounds. I had a major back muscle spasm before I was pulled over. My depression and anxiety make it difficult to concentrate, especially when I am in serious pain. I could not pay attention to the speedometer when I was pulled over. I truly do not know how fast I was going... could have been 55mph... it could have been 95mph. I was in another zone. Is this a legal defense?
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You won't get anywhere with that argument. You actually make a better case to have your license suspended if you are not able to maintain control of the vehicle at all times.

    Do what everyone else does. Pay the fine, take a driver safety course, and slow down.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No.

    But, Texas offers you two easy ways to dispose of the citation.

    You can take an online drivers school, which will get the citation dismissed.

    You can use that mecanism once every 12 months.

    You can ask the court for deferred disposition.

    If allowed, you will receive 69-90 unsupervised probation.
    You can not receive any citations during the probationary period, and the citation gets dismissed.

    The school option is cheaper, but both achieve the same result.

    Call the court, or visit their website, to learn exactly how it works with the court which is overseeing the citation.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    None of that prevents you from setting the cruise control to 65 mph.

    If it does, then you shouldn't be driving.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    This is always a bad answer to this question.

    Good grief no, but it's a great explanation as to why you shouldn't have a driver's license. If your medical condition makes it so that you can't drive safely, then don't drive.
     
  6. Christopher Jones

    Christopher Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So if a diabetic woman suffers from low blood sugar, runs a red light and gets into an accident... she is guilty of failure to obey and should lose here licences? That's BS, and a sympathetic jury would have no part of it. I stopped paying attention to the speedometer. I wasn't a schizophrenic doing donuts on the interstate.






    So if a diabetic woman suffers from low blood sugar, runs a red light and gets into an accident... she is guilty of failure to obey and should lose here licences? That's BS, and a sympathetic jury would have no part of it. I stopped paying attention to the speedometer. I wasn't a schizophrenic doing donuts on the interstate.
    ]

    I think we are all over looking the obvious here. Medical incidents do cause traffic violations. People missing legs require special equipment. How do deaf people know that an ambulance is coming behind them? People with cardiac problems have heart attacks and strokes that cause accidents that actually harm people. I could go on for ever about medical issues that are not banned from driving. I never hurt anyone. I simply neglected to monitor my speed.
     
  7. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Not only did you post the same thing twice you then turned around and posted it yet again by quoting your own post.

    You have an attitude problem and you really shouldn't be driving if you can't pay attention to your surroundings or properly control your vehicle.
     
  8. Christopher Jones

    Christopher Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You a re clearly ignorant about PTSD. I do not have an "attitude problem", I have full out anger issues. If you are ignorant on the issue, then you should refrain from posting. Go fight in Iraq, then talk to me. Let's just ban everyone with PTSD, AdHD, physical disabilities, and neurological disorders from driving... let's see how the economy turns out.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    There will come a time in all of those lives when they ARE banned from driving if their medical and/or mental conditions make them a danger to others.

    Some sooner than others.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Fewer than 5% of people cited for traffic violations NATIONWIDE prevail in court.

    In Texas, traffic offenses are tried in municipal or JP courts.
    Those courts aren't courts of record.
    JPs are paid a percentage of the fines and fees they collect.

    You can receive a SIX person jury trial in JP and Muni courts.

    You'll be surprised when you attempt to have such a trial.

    I offered you TWO easy, cheap sure fired ways to get this citation tossed.

    As far as PTSD, I spent four consecutive years in combat, trudging the boonies, rain forests, and jungles of SE Asia from the age of 18 to 22 as an Army Ranger.

    I've never allowed that experience or what I encountered over there to define me.

    I won't tell you how to live your life, other than to tell you, no one but my mother, father, and wife gave a monkey crap about what I experienced.

    My dad cared because he spent 3 1/2 years fighting in Africa, Italy, D-Day, and was with Patton as they stormed across Europe.

    Back in my day, no one VA included, Army either, gave much thought to what one encounters after combat.

    That goes for my dad, too, after WWII ended.

    My dad was DRAFTED in Spring of 1941.
    He learned that day in Dec 1941 that he'd be in the Army for the duration.
    Draftees are the only soldiers or sailors who ever had a beef.
    The rest of us, myself included, volunteered.


    I spent 30 years in the Army, retiring.

    You have to make your own peace, brother.

    The country, especially the legal system doesn't care.

    I wish you peace, brother.
     
  11. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    You asked if there was a medical defense to a traffic violation. The answer is no, there is not. Not in the circumstance you outlined, not in the case of the hypothetical diabetic woman, not in the case of my niece-in-law who is epileptic and after each seizure she has, must be seizure-free for six months before she is allowed by law to drive.

    A license suspension might be an appropriate response in some cases; not necessarily in others.No one here said it was the only solution in any case. But there is no circumstance I can think of where a medical reason is a justifiable defense to a traffic violation, either.

    Now, your question has been answered, politely, even if it isn't the answer you want. Is there anything else we can do for you today?

     
  12. Christopher Jones

    Christopher Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Other than explaining the legal system's complete disregard of the principles of mens rea vs. actus rea... no, nothing at all. Thank you.
     
  13. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Well...if she runs a red light, then she's obviously "guilty" of running the red light. Whether she might be "guilty" of anything else or whether she ought to lose her license isn't apparent from this brief hypothetical. If she caused an accident by running a red light, she would unquestionably be liable in a civil lawsuit. I'm not sure, however, what this has to do with your situation.

    I don't know about Texas, but I've never heard of courts empaneling juries for simple traffic matters. Simple traffic ticket cases are typically heard only by a judge. Likewise, the decision to suspend or revoke a driver's license would never be made by a jury. In any event, jurors, like anyone else, don't really like the idea of people who can't drive safely being on the road.

    We all read your post. You told us that your medical condition makes "it difficult to concentrate, . . . [that you] could not pay attention to the speedometer, . . . [and that you were] in another zone." These admissions suggest that you are unable to control your medical condition so that you can drive safely. That's all anyone was saying.

    There's an episode of the TV show The Big Bang Theory in which one of the "genius" characters tries to fight a traffic ticket by using a bunch of legal terminology from a book. Go find that episode and watch it. While it's fictionalized, you'll have about as much success if you try a similar strategy here. Speeding laws are strict liability offenses, and no one has to prove any particular mental state. All that the state must do is prove that you were speeding, which is easily done by the officer's testimony -- which you won't be able to rebut since you admitted that you had no idea how fast you were driving.
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The law is founded upon certain principles.

    Some laws are enacted because most people agree certain conduct is bad: rape, murder, burglary, child molestation come to mind.

    Malum prohibitum (plural mala prohibita, literal translation: "wrong [as or because] prohibited") is a Latin phrase used in law to refer to conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute, as opposed to conduct that is evil in and of itself, or malum in se.

    Other conduct is criminalized because legislators determine the conduct to illegal, as in speeding, running a stop sign, etc...

    Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct. It is distinguished from malum prohibitum, which is wrong only because it is prohibited.

    Traffic offenses are illegal because the conduct has been declared to prohibited by elected officials.

    The traffic citation you received was not a crime, it is simply an alleged offense.
     
  15. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Texas allows a person to demand a jury trial for each and every criminal offense, and civil actions.

    Texas and Pennsylvania allow a jury to be empaneled for a divorce action, or a child custody dispute.

    The right to a jury is founded in our Texas constitution.
     
  16. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Your use of these terms under this circumstance is an indicator that you do not understand them. Why you would use words you do not understand the meaning of is inconceivable.
     
  17. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Speeding is a violation. I don't think it ever really matters why. An officer might decide not to write a ticket if they think you have a good reason (rushing to a hospital maybe). But I've heard stories of ambulances being pulled over and ticketed for speeding.
     
  18. Christopher Jones

    Christopher Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Oh Jesus, just because I wrote something incorrectly, it doesn't mean that I don't understand the meaning. Mens rea and actus rea. In the elements of the law, mens rea is usually expressed as "malice as a forethought." Am I a lawyer, no. I took a bunch of CJ classes when I was stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea for three years.... because I was really, really bored there.
     
  19. Christopher Jones

    Christopher Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    "Fewer than 5% of people cited for traffic violations NATIONWIDE prevail in court.

    In Texas, traffic offenses are tried in municipal or JP courts.
    Those courts aren't courts of record.
    JPs are paid a percentage of the fines and fees they collect.

    You can receive a SIX person jury trial in JP and Muni courts.

    You'll be surprised when you attempt to have such a trial."


    I honestly didn't believe you when I read that. I had to look it up for myself. The JP they are sending me to doesn't even have a law degree. I didn't think we had kangaroo courts like that in America. JPs get a percentage of the fines they collect? Talk about a conflict of interest. I am just amazed.
    As far as us not complaining because we volunteered... that's BS and you know it. I am not going to get into the politics behind the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, but there is obviously issues there. Man, they sent us over there driving canvas lined HMMWVs. They finally put a little armor on them that was nowhere near sufficient. They knew the insurgents were using cell phones to detonate IEDs... yet it took them forever to put cell phone jammers in convoys. Even when they did start putting them in convoys, they didn't give us enough to cover every vehicle in the convoy. That's how I got whacked... and yes, I am angry about it. I think I have a right to be.
     
  20. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    My dad fought in WWII.
    The only armor they had was when they were riding in tanks, or APCs.

    We had flak jackets in Nam, but most of us chose not to wear them.

    I have two sons, one a Green beret, who served in 2 tours Afghan and 2 in Iraq.

    My other kid did did 2 tours in Iraq.

    I had a son-in-law killed in Afghan.

    I rarely discuss what I did as a Ranger, and when I go into detail I don't reveal much of what I did in Nam during four consecutive 13 month tours.

    That's all I care to discuss, this thread is closed.

    I have the utmost respect for the men who were drafted into military service.

    As far as myself, I volunteered, and have no beef with the Army.

    Why?

    This nation has rewarded my 2,000,000,000,000 over, despite the issues it faces.

    When I enlisted I received the princely sum of $70 a month, free clothing, free meals, and free housing.

    Today my 30 year Army retirement is about $13K a month.
    My VA disability pay is 100%.
    I also lived long enough to get Social Security, and maxed that out.

    I have no beef with what the Army & VA send me each month.

    Good luck.
     

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