Written by Gregory Monte.
When its time to write a new blog post, I often get inspiration by reading motor vehicle statues and the related judicial opinions based on them. Today, however, the inspiration is a Facebook post that I read this morning. It was a response to my blog post from June 14 entitled Impatient Driver Flashing High Beams Behind You? It’s legal, and you are required to move over.
Here is how I started off that blog post:
“I am not an attorney, but I spend quite a bit of my free time reading and interpreting motor vehicle codes for fun and entertainment.”
Here is the Facebook response:
“Mark Kenney The article is prefaced with “I am not an attorney.” Yeah, that’s pretty obvious. Maybe he learned the law by watching Perry Mason or Law & Order re-runs. Wannabe lawyer with a vanity blog. Sheesh!”
Clever comment, don’t you think? Too bad it is so far off the mark …
Setting the Record Straight
As I made clear in my post from way back in April, No I’m not a f****ing attorney – but I know the law, I don’t need to be an attorney in order understand the law. All that it takes is a moderate amount of intelligence and the desire and drive to get answers.
That is why the overwhelming majority of my blog posts are original – I don’t reference other websites to support my analysis. I go right to the original sources (statutes, judicial opinions, etc.) to prove my points.
I answer traffic ticket questions in a very simple and straightforward way – it’s not rocket science:
- I find the relevant statute that governs the traffic offense.
- I find a judicial opinion to support my interpretation of that statute.
An Example to Prove My Point
Here is a perfect example from my blog post from a couple of days ago: A Police Officer Must be in Uniform to Issue a Speeding Ticket … in PA, at Least …
The Relevant Statute – Title 75, Section 6304(a
“A member of the Pennsylvania State Police who is in uniform may arrest without a warrant any person who violates any provision of this title in the presence of the police officer making the arrest.”
The Judicial Opinion – Commonwealth v. Weston, 3 Pa. D. & C. 4th 411 – Pa: Court of Common Pleas 1989
“The issue presented is whether a non-uniformed state police officer has authority to make a stop of a motorist for speeding under the present circumstances … The commonwealth has cited no authority which creates an exception to the requirement that the officer making the arrest for a traffic summary offense must be in uniform, nor have we found any such authority. Therefore, we reverse …”
Before I wrote about this, how many people out there had any idea that in Pennsylvania a cop has to be in uniform to give you a ticket?
Not many, I dare say.
I even followed up that post the next day to clarify the issue: Can a police officer without a hat give you a ticket – or is he out of uniform?
If you have the time, you may want to read another great example which illustrates the method I use to answer traffic ticket questions. Check out Traffic Ticket for Tinted Car Windows? As I explain in that post, my son’s friend got six separate tickets for each tinted window. I found a PA Superior Court case which invalidated each of these tickets: Commonwealth v. Brubaker (Superior Court, 2010)
Most Traffic Ticket Website are Worthless – Which is Why I Started This Blog
When my son got a stop sign ticket last Summer in Hawley, PA, I searched the internet for solid information about how to challenge it. I found a couple of “kind of helpful” websites, but most were just “fronts” for attorneys who wanted you to hire them. If you want to go the attorney route, there is nothing wrong with that approach. But I write this blog for those people who want to fight the system on their own rather than pay a lawyer.
I got so frustrated at the worthlessness of most information out there on the internet related to fighting tickets that I even wrote 2 posts about it:
Because most traffic ticket websites were useless, I spent the better part of three months researching and writing The Pennsylvania Stop Sign Ticket Defense. It is the most comprehensive book that I know of out there to help fight a ticket of this type. My son actually used the method I uncovered to beat his stop sign ticket in Pennsylvania. He discovered that the sign was not properly authorized by the local authorities and so was not enforceable. You can read his opening statement in the Wayne County, PA Court of Common Pleas and also an outline of the strategy he used. I call this outline The Pennsylvania Stop Sign Ticket Defense in a Nutshell.
Both are free – no strings attached.