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FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Can anyone give me legal advice and feedback?

Asked by FrankHebusSmith (4316points) August 23rd, 2008

Ok, so I’m driving to work today at about 2:40. I’m on Neil at Lane (north campus) turning right onto Lane. There is one car ahead of me in the turn lane with her blinker on, but despite there being no cars going ON lane, she’s just sitting there. After 20 seconds when i’m about to lay on my horn the light turns green anyways and we go.

Now I decide, I do not want to be behind this lady who’s gonna do 20 in a 35, so when I start moving I hit the gas a bit, the tires squeel for a second, and i pull into the far lane (of our two lanes) and she takes the close one. I get up to about 40 mph, then put it in neutral and continue driving as normal (not speeding or anything like that).

Well down by the Schott, I notice a cop truck with it’s lights on so I pull over thinking they’re just passing. Turns out they’re after me. They pull in front of me and get out. Barely with the windows down one officer is in my face yelling crap like, “do you wanna go to jail!?” I respond, of course, “no, i don’t.” They make me get out of the car, take my license, then handcuff me, search me and remove all of my belongings and put me into the back of their truck. I asked while being cuffed, why am I being arrested, he didn’t answer. I asked again “why am I being arrested?” He waited a moment and then said something to the effect of when you slam on the gas and speed thru a turn with the car sliding all over the place that’s reckless operation. While I’m sitting there my car is THOROUGHLY searched, and then towed to the impound lot. The cops then take me downtown.

Once downtown, the officer (now in a much calmer mood) tells me that they’re not going to “arrest” me and that so long as I cooperate with them here at the processing center I’ll be free to go. I say, that while it may not have been the best choice of my life to speed around the other car, it was HARDLY reckless operation as his account is pretty much completely inaccurate. My cars spun for a split second off the line, it didn’t slide AT ALL (and in fact with my car being a sports car i’m mildly offended he said it did), and i only got up to ABOUT 40 mph in a 35. He goes off on some high and mighty speach about reckless drivers out on the road and how it was clearly reckless operation cuz I did it willingly and of choice and yada yada.

They print me, photograph me, ask me a few random questions, and then let me go to walk 4 miles home.

Question 1: Was I “arrested”? The cop said it wasn’t an arrest, but a former police officer whom I know said the second they took me away from the scene in handcuffs it was an arrest (fun to note, I was not read Miranda rights).

Two: Do you think this qualifies as reckless operations? Now granted you don’t have both sides of the story. Take what I said for fact. My tires squelled off the line, and I accelerated QUICKLY to just over the speed limit. The car DID NOT slide, in fact thinking about it, it should be physically impossible for my front wheel drive car to slide at those speeds.

Three: Does anyone have any advice on what to do from here? My former police officer friend (whom I should note retired as a captain), says I should get a lawyer and sue the bejesus out of them, as this is outrageous. He was actually offended they did this.

Any feedback welcome, thanks a bunch guys!

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5 Answers

lefteh's avatar

JESUS! ANOTHER COLUMBUSITE!

Welcome to Fluther, fellow central Ohioan.

Now, the way I see it, everybody screwed up here. Speeding on Lane (or anywhere on campus, for that matter) is a big mistake. They will nab you. And yes, going 40 in a 35 is speeding. Operating your vehicle in a manner that will cause your tires to squeal is probably going to be viewed as reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

Now, the officer certainly should have read you your rights. Furthermore, if I am correct, if you were “not arrested,” the officer would have needed your permission to search your vehicle. His story contradicts itself there.

If it were me, I would let it go. You were breaking the law, and they let you off. He screwed up, but you are lucky to have been let off without any consequence. I would also recommend you do not break any traffic laws around that area. Between Olentangy and High on Lane or any other crossroad. I have been pulled over once, and it was at Olentangy and Lane for going 36 in the 35. He let me off because I was polite and apologetic.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

well that’s just it, I have a ticket for reckless operation of a motor vehicle, I have to be in court on the 2nd

lefteh's avatar

Oh..

Well, you will be asked to plead guilty or non-guilty. If you plead guilty, you will receive a lighter punishment than if you plead non-guilty and are found to be guilty. When it is your word against the cop’s, you will rarely win.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

agreed I would rarely win, but the officer arrested me for reckless operations, and no one seems to think that’s just

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

anyone else have advice?

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