Ticketed for using my high beams in a potentially dangerous situation

TeamQuack

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Info found online says its 3 points. Not definitive however. Are three points worth fighting the ticket over?
Fight. Let the judge decide! And also find someone local as others have said!
 

STS-134

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What are my options?
Go to court. The roadside is not the place to argue about a ticket.

The judges are about as corupt as the police and the entire system. Best to pay it and move on with your life.
No, no, no!! This isn't a parking ticket, it's a moving violation. And it comes with points. Even though you might be able to hide the points from insurance by doing traffic school, it still goes on your permanent driving record. Do not EVER give up your "get out of jail free" card without fighting to the end, because if something else happens before you are allowed to do traffic school again, and you can't get that ticket dismissed, guess what happens? Even worse, what happens if an officer decides to be a dick again and pulls you over for use of high beams? It's not just speeding tickets, it's ALL moving violations, that stay on your record for a LONG time: How Long Does A Speeding Ticket Stay On Your Record? | Unger & Kowitt

x2
If its no points, pay and move on.
Illegal high beam use is typically a moving violation. It's definitely not equipment, it's something the driver did while the vehicle was in motion.

The Judge will ask 2 questions, to the trooper "were your High beams on?"
to you "were your high beams on?"
You know the rest...
And if the trooper doesn't show, there won't be anyone telling his side of the story. If he does show, I'd play the video. The fact that the trooper's high beams were blinding you would probably count as mitigating circumstances, similar to if you were speeding to the hospital because a passenger was bleeding to death, or using the shoulder because all lanes were blocked, etc.
 
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Buz

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Why didn't you just 'flash' him instead of full on blinding him with your brights?
He may have flashed you back and then you'd know he didn't have highbeams on.
 

LeftLaneInPA

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Clue's in the name
Get an attorney and see if the DJ will accept a guilty plea with no points. Good chance he will just to get it off his desk.
 

TeamQuack

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One point not being addressed here, was it legal? If he was on a hill with curves in NJ that is LEGAL. (Ive read the law from an attorney in NJ) But he was in PA.

What are the laws regarding this in PA?
 

belnir

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Pa state website says using highbeams within 500 feet within another vehicle is illegal.
 

STS-134

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One point not being addressed here, was it legal? If he was on a hill with curves in NJ that is LEGAL. (Ive read the law from an attorney in NJ) But he was in PA.

What are the laws regarding this in PA?
It's all here: PA Vehicle Code (Title 75)

I'm at work now, so I don't have time to look through this. OP probably should though.
 

GTO_04

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Info found online says its 3 points. Not definitive however. Are three points worth fighting the ticket over?
Yes. Always fight that first ticket! If you ever get stopped again, you are more likely to get a ticket instead of a warning if you already have one on your record.

GTO_04
 

Gunney57

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Get an attorney and see if the DJ will accept a guilty plea with no points. Good chance he will just to get it off his desk.
Or talk to the prosecutor before court begins and see if he makes an offer.
-- Double Post Merged: --
If you get an attorney make sure he's a regular in THAT court system. Learned that the hard way when I was younger.
 
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sdrawkcaB

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What an asshole.
-- Double Post Merged: --
From my experience local cops are actually not bad. i have a few as friends. State troopers are straight up assholes.
In Utah it's the opposite from my experiences. I always get the best treatment from Utah Highway Patrol. Be polite and respectful and you're much more likely to have a good outcome.
-- Double Post Merged: --
Info found online says its 3 points. Not definitive however. Are three points worth fighting the ticket over?
It's a matter of principle. Letting it stick on your record would frankly look worse for you the next time you're pulled over, I think -- as the cop looking at priors would see "wow - he ticked off someone enough to write this ticket out for him?". I'd fight it. Show up in a dress shirt and tie and be professional and calm in Court, and I bet you don't have trouble. Alternatively, find out who the county/city/district prosecutor is, and try to stop by their office. You may get it thrown out without even going to court.
 
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tempnexus

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On my way home in Pennsylvania i was ticketed for high beaming a cop. He was traveling uphill and i was traveling downhill. The road curved to the left and down in front of me. As youd imagine, his lights were blinding me. I then, instinctively, turned my high beams on to see the road in front. ( the area has a huge deer population from my experience driving there and i try to see as far as i possibly can, especially in the dark, in PA, and while in a corner. He pulled me over and wrote me ticket. I asked him why he didn’t write a warning (as i was licensed and mostly drive in NYC, where every taxi driver and their mother drive with light bars and high beams, you name it and the cops dont really care) and he responded with “this isnt nyc; i could have but i chose to write you a ticket.” I tried explaining to him further that i was traveling downhill right after cresting a hill, in a sedan with a lower ride height, and that his suv’s low beams were blinding me. I pleaded with him that i was getting blinded and i need to turn my high beams on and his response was “ i didn’t build the road” and “i didn’t choose your car”.
What are my options?
P.S. I have dashcam footage. Footage shows i turned my beams on about 40 feet away. But footage also shows a huge amount of glare coming from his headlights.
Does the footage shows him saying that "I could have but I chose to write you a ticket?" if it does then it will be thrown out.

My wife got one in MA when the cop pulls her over and says: "I normally would not write you a ticket but I want to teach you a lesson to slow down"

It got thrown right out as soon as my wife presented that....alas that was before dash cams but the cop confirmed saying that.
 

belnir

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Does the footage shows him saying that "I could have but I chose to write you a ticket?" if it does then it will be thrown out.

My wife got one in MA when the cop pulls her over and says: "I normally would not write you a ticket but I want to teach you a lesson to slow down"

It got thrown right out as soon as my wife presented that....alas that was before dash cams but the cop confirmed saying that.
His audio recording surely does. Anyone have experience filing a freedom of information act?


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Super Dave

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I’d definitely fight it and at the very least claim innocence and say you had been driving awhile in the dark and didn’t realize they were on. You came around a curve/ hill and... I can’t imagine a ton of high beam tickets are even written or that stick.

I mean just tell them you’re not one of those crazy rd people who speed all the time...!
 
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STS-134

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His audio recording surely does. Anyone have experience filing a freedom of information act?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Ask for the recording when you send in your discovery request. There's a ton of procedural stuff you can throw at them to try to get the case dismissed too. In California, if you show up in person at your arraignment, and you tell the Judge that you do not waive time, and you schedule your trial as close as possible to the 45 day limit, you can then send in a discovery request exactly 21-23 days before the trial (use certified mail or delivery confirmation so you know they got it). In California, the prosecution has exactly 20 days to respond to a mailed discovery request. Should they fail to do so, you can then tell the Judge that you shouldn't have to choose between your right to a speedy trial and your right to discovery (and it will also be too late to reschedule the case, so it'll get dismissed by default).
 

sdrawkcaB

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Another reason for the delayed trial is that if the video from the officers dashcam and or body cam is uploaded and stored on the LEO's department servers, the more time that passes then the more likely it may roll off or not be retained.

Also, if you want to use your own dashcam footage, make sure you make a copy of your dashcam fully intact. Swap out memory cards if you have a spare, so that the original isn't modified. I've read in a few threads here on RDF that some courts won't let you submit a trimmed video clip, but only the entire dashcam memory card contents as they originally are - unmodified.
 

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Thing is.. if shows from his camera that you were low beamed and then high beamed him, it may hurt you. If you can show from your camera he was blinding you it may help some. I am not really sure how you turning on your high beams was going to help you all that much, you added more light to an already (by your words) too bright situation. Best option in that situation is to look at the fog line / edge of the asphalt and not straight ahead into the light that is dazzling you.
 

STS-134

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Thing is.. if shows from his camera that you were low beamed and then high beamed him, it may hurt you. If you can show from your camera he was blinding you it may help some. I am not really sure how you turning on your high beams was going to help you all that much, you added more light to an already (by your words) too bright situation.
Signal to noise ratio. The cop's lights were the noise, and if his high beam was on, there was an excessive amount of noise. What the OP needed to do was boost the signal (i.e. the amount of light reflecting off objects in front of his car).

Think about what would happen if a nuclear weapon were to explode behind the OP's car (or the Sun were to somehow rise from that direction in a matter of 1 second). This also increases SNR to the extent that the light from the cop's high beams won't even bother him. There's still the same amount of "noise" but it gets completely drowned out by the "good" signal.
 

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