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Road rage incident - no impartial witness - but other vehicle has second passenger

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by green32, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. green32

    green32 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I was involved in what I considered to a be a more tame road rage incident but the other party has lied and has brought up a civil case (not sure if this is the correct term, but a police report was filed and I have a court date set) against me.

    The other party had a child sitting in the front passenger seat. I pulled up to the car on the right side of their vehicle, and we rolled down our windows and had a "discussion". Under this arrangement the child passenger would be positioned between the two arguing adults (our cars are facing the same direction in a two lane road). The other party claims that I spit in their direction and it hit his child, which is a complete lie. I did not spit at all, never mind having it hit any person or property.

    The police officer told me that in court, the child can claim I spit and that it hit them. There are no 3rd party/impartial witnesses. Officer also told me that the court could look at this claim and decide not to hear it. I'm a little concerned now that the court has decided to move forward and set a hearing date.

    Question #1 - Can the court actually find me guilty if there is no impartial witness / evidence? Pardon the pun, but it seems criminal to rule against someone purely based on he said vs she said.

    Question #2 - Aside from telling the truth about the incident, what would be advisable for my defense?

    Question #3 - What is the worst case scenario for me? And if the ruling is not in my favor does it go on any permanent record?

    Question #4 - If the ruling is not in my favor, would I be able to dispute it at a later date to clear it off the records?
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  2. green32

    green32 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    If it matters at all - I have no criminal record - not even any civil cases brought against me. This would be my first court date that is not related to a motor vehicle traffic incident.
     
  3. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    1. Yes. This is a You said vs. THEY said.
    2. Hire an criminal defense attorney
    3. What statute are you being charged under? If found guilty you will have a criminal record.
    4. Not likely. You MIGHT be able to have your record expunged.


    How old was the child? Why did you think it was a good idea to "get into it" with the other driver once you saw there was a child in the car?

    To clarify what you are facing...This is a criminal case not civil. You REALLY need to hire an attorney.
     
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  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    #1 The other party must present evidence supporting what you are alleged to have done. It seems the child's testimony is the only relevant evidence that may exist. It will be up to the court whether or not to allow the testimony.

    #2 Even better than telling the truth is saying nothing at all. When the other side finishes blabbering about their hurt feelings you ask the court to dismiss the case for lack of evidence.

    #3 Worst case scenario is that you are found guilty. Expect to pay fines and possibly community service time. If it would be a first offense for you there are ways to keep it from becoming a criminal record. It sounds to me like you won't likely have to worry about it.

    #4 You may have the right to appeal a conviction, but chances are that this is low level enough it won't be routed through that process. First things first, see if anyone shows up to court if it isn't dismissed prior to the hearing anyway.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Please elaborate what this means. Have you been charged with a crime? If so, what crime have you been charged with? What is the purpose of this hearing?

    Yes. No law requires witnesses to be impartial, and witness testimony is evidence.

    If you've been charged with a crime, hire a criminal defense attorney.

    Without looking it up, spitting on someone is probably simple assault/battery that probably gets you a fine and/or probation.

    If you are convicted, there will be a permanent record of the conviction, although you might be able to expunge it at some point.

    If you're convicted of a crime, you can appeal the conviction. If that's not what you're talking about, then you'll have to clarify this question.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Could the fact that the alleged victim is a child change the severity of the punishment?
     
  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. I'd have to know the specific crime with which the OP has been charged.
     
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  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If intent can be proven, yes.
    If someone gets a little spittle on them incidentally during a shouting match it is hardly a battery. It is the equivalent of bumping someone while walking a crowded mall or sidewalk.
     
  9. green32

    green32 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sorry I guess I jumped to some conclusions based on what the police officer told me might happen, and when I received the court letter. After I have reviewed it in a more calm manner and did some research here are some updates.

    The general premise of what I described above is accurate but with the below corrections:

    • The court date is with a magistrate who will determine if the case goes to trial.
    • The charge is criminal (not civil as I first indicated).

    I could see spitting being considered battery. I'm more hung up on the fact there will be a lack of evidence. I know it didn't happen - it's not possible for evidence to exist without some form of fabrication.

    I have no prior criminal records, I don't know this other individual, our disagreement lasted no more than 20-30 seconds. How could there even be a probable cause judgement?
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Testimony IS evidence. The court will decide how much weight to give the evidence, if it gets to that point.
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If I were you, I'd start today to use my RIGHT to remain silent.

    I'd then avail myself of another right, I'd hire myself a lawyer to represent me at the upcoming hearing.

    If I needed clarification about any aspect of this matter, I'd speak ONLY to my attorney.

    Whatever thoughts entered my head to the contrary, I'd recognize that this matter has the potential to impact me negatively.

    I wish you the best.
     
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  12. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    How old is was the child in the car? Why did you continue with your beef once you saw there was a child in the car?
     
  13. green32

    green32 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Basically I did not like what the other person did, and they were shouting at me in an animated fashion. My windows were down couldn't hear what they said. When I had an opportunity to pull up next to them about 10-15 yards down the road I rolled down my window and asked what was his problem. He had already rolled down his window and was already shouting something. I did not notice the child until a few seconds later. A car honking their horn at me is what made me drive off in in a confrontation that probably lasted less than 10 seconds. I would ask why the parent would argue with a stranger in front of their child. Child's age I would probably guess to be 8-10.

    It's a matter of judgement but in my opinion the other party was the aggressor in an argument escalating, with them knowing their child is in the car.
     
  14. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    When you stopped and started shouting, you became the aggressor, or at least equally to blame.
    You're lucky you're alive to be charged.
     
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  15. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    You opinion is wrong. You pulled up next to him instead of just driving on your way.
     
  16. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    If you've been charged with a crime, hire a criminal defense attorney and stop posting about it on a public forum.
     
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  17. green32

    green32 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Purpose of my post was to get a smattering of impartial opinions from people I expect to be knowledgeable on the subject which I think I've gotten - thank you. I've already decided to hire legal counsel.

    If I were to seek the same from my own circle, it would neither be impartial or knowledgeable as I'm not close to anyone in the field.
     
  18. green32

    green32 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I do see your point. With that being said, other driver was turning left in a left turn only lane. They had no intention of making that turn, looking towards their right at me rather than the oncoming traffic. It takes two to tango.
     
  19. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    That makes no sense. You state that he "... was turning left in a left turn only lane" and then you state "They had no intention of making that turn ...". Not only are those two statements contradictory, but you can't have any actual idea of the other driver's intention. You're just supposing.
     
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  20. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You pulled up next to a person who was in a left turn lane and started shouting at them, all the while blocking traffic - just to satisfy your ego.
     
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