Better Call Glew: Two Question Special Edition!
Hey Mr. Glew:
I was parked in front of a fire hydrant for a second while my buddy was using an ATM and a cop gave me a ticket. Can an officer give me a ticket while my car is running and I am in the drivers seat?
Technically, the officer can cite you for what you did. However, you have a great defense, as Vehicle Code Section 22514 states that it is illegal to stop within 15 feet of a hydrant, unless the vehicle is attended by a licensed driver, seated in the driver's seat, who can immediately move the vehicle, should the necessity arise. Assuming you have a valid Driver's License, I would highly recommend fighting this ticket, based upon what you have told me, as you have a very strong defense.
Right now my license is suspended because I got a DUI. I got caught driving and got arrested. What will happen to me?
Unfortunately for you, a violation of Vehicle Code section 14601.2 is a misdemeanor that carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days for the first offense, and 30 days for a second. Further, a conviction under this statute carries two points on your DMV driving record. To be convicted, all that must be shown is that you drove a vehicle, and that you had knowledge of the suspension of your license. These two elements can easily be established through the testimony of the citing officer, and a representative from the DMV.
Because this is the most serious driving on a suspended license charge, I would highly recommend retaining counsel. Unless the citing officer, or a representative from the DMV, fails to show at your trial, there is a strong likelihood you will get convicted. An experienced attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges, at pre-trial, to a violation of Vehicle Code section 12500, driving without a license, a much less serious charge that can be infracted, and carries no DMV points.
Send all questions to email@example.com. And remember, Better Call Glew!
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