Whether you have children or not, you probably know that they often ask why they must do something. Sometimes, the answer is “because I told you so,” and sometimes, we need to explain to them why they must comply.
When it comes to traffic citations, we deserve the explanation because these are the facts listed on the ticket that must be proven for a conviction in a crime – the elements of the offense in legal terms. Your Marietta criminal defense attorney will be aware of this and ensure that you are treated fairly.
As an example, a case was recently heard by Georgia’s Court of Appeals because the citation didn’t address the “whys.” A driver was ticketed with following too closely after allegedly causing an accident. The officer noted the weather, road, and traffic conditions but failed to explain the number of vehicles involved or their traveling speeds, and how the crash occurred. In other words, there are no facts supporting how the driver’s actions caused the accident. The trial court confirmed the officer’s claims, prompting the driver to appeal the court’s decision.
The appellate court disagreed with the conviction and provided the “whys” of its decision. The court stated that the citation or any other record of events must contain the elements of the offense or offenses so that the accused understands what he or she must be prepared to prove or disprove. This particular ticket simply listed the title of the Georgia law, following too closely, and not the elements demonstrating the driver’s responsibility in the accident.