Are they able to give me a ticket for ‘improper use of lanes’ when there was no witnesses

I wa in a car accident. I was switching lanes and did not see the other driver. As far as I now she was speeding. Anuyway there was no witnesses. It was only her inher car and me, my daughter and gramnddaughter and a friend n my car. My friend said that she had not seen the other friver either. Anyway the police were called and the police officer made a police report and gave me a citation for ‘improper use of lanes’ My question is why was I given a ticket when there were no witnesses and it is possible the other driver was speedin. I used my turn signal and checked my mirror. Is there anyway to beat this ticket? I live in Iowa

Asked on September 2, 2016 under Accident Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A witness is not strictly necessary (though it is unclear why the other driver would or could not be a witness); all that is necessary is that there be evidence of the infraction, which evidence could come from the location of the damage on your car as well as the location of your car on the road when the accident occured. For example: if the impact is on the rear half of your car's side, and it occured as you were entering another name, the evidence supports an inference that it occured because you were changing lanes carelessly or improperly and moved sideways into a car already in the lane you were entering. 
You can fight the ticket by trying to present your own evidence and witness testimony (e.g. you, your daugher, granddaughter and friend) that you were not doing what the officer accused you of. Be aware, however, that the testimony of the accused driver and her family/friends is generally discounted to a large degree, since you have an obvious incentive to lie or shade the truth. In my experience, if you have an otherwise clean record, you are better off speaking to the prosecutor at court (you go to talk to him or her when you first get there, day of trial) and trying to negotiate a plea to a lesser offense. That is successful far more often that "fighting" the ticket.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.