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Careless Operation: What is It and why I Should Fight It

By June 5, 2019 September 18th, 2019 No Comments

Louisianans are ticketed for careless operation of a motor vehicle very often and for many different reasons.  When you are cited for careless operation, do you know why you received this ticket? La. R.S. 32:58 defines careless op as “Any person operating a motor vehicle on the public roads of this state shall drive in a careful and prudent manner, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. Failure to drive in such a manner shall constitute careless operation.”

The language of the Louisiana law for c.o.m.v. is intentionally vague because officers write this ticket for a variety of reasons.

Examples of Careless Operation in Jefferson Parish

Even though the letter of Louisiana’s careless operation law is spelled out above, most readers are still wondering what actions violate the law?  All sorts of on-road actions qualify as careless operation. As an example, failing to brake in time and to avoid an accident might be careless operation.  Swerving in and out of traffic is another example of careless operation. Police often issue a summons for careless operation when a speeder is cited for driving faster than 15 miles over the posted limit.  But, in most cases, people receive careless operation tickets when a police officer suspects your actions caused a traffic accident.

Why You Should Fight Careless Operation Tickets

When you are issued a ticket for careless operation there are serious financial consequences, so you should always fight these tickets.  First, the fines and court costs will cost you at least $300.00. Second, if your insurance find out you were operating your motor vehicle careless, their first fear will be that you were involved in an accident.  Even if there wasn’t a wreck, your insurance will go up because your insurance company thinks you caused a collision. Third, a conviction for careless operation will be reported to your driving record even if there wasn’t an accident.  More tickets on your record means higher insurance premiums and a lower credit score. The worst thing you can do is admit guilt and pay the fine.

Instead of paying the hefty fine, the best course of action is to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney in Jefferson Parish.  Your attorney will evaluate the details of the incident, build a legal strategy, apply years of knowledge about fighting tickets, and represent you in traffic court.  This way, you do not have to waste hours waiting in traffic court to get a couple minutes in front of the judge. Let your attorney do the work for you and you just might avoid the fine, subsequent auto insurance hike and marks on your driving record.

Careless Operation Tickets can be Beaten

The wording of the law that defines the careless operation of a motor vehicle is open for interpretation.  Louisiana lawmakers intentionally used unclear language when writing this law in order to give police officers significant leeway in determining whether drivers are acting in a careless manner.  In other words, this is more of a subjective law than an objective law. Your traffic ticket attorney will pick apart the words of this law, apply them to the context of your citation for careless operation and hopefully emerge with justice.

Experience Matters

The best possible outcome is to have the ticket dismissed without any penalty whatsoever.  However, it is incredibly difficult for an individual to represent him or herself in a court hearing for a careless operation ticket.  Traffic court judges are much more inclined to respect an organized legal defense delivered by an experienced traffic ticket attorney.

Contact Our Traffic Ticket Attorneys Today

The bottom line is you bear the burden of proof after a police officer issues you a careless operation ticket.  The traffic court judge will assume the police officer’s decision to issue a careless operation ticket has merit unless your attorney can prove otherwise.  Meet with our legal team as soon as possible, explain what happened and we will do everything in our power to convince the traffic court judge your on-road actions were not careless.

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