If I was involved in a car accident and about 5 minutes later when the police officer arrived he gave me a ticket for running a red light, can he do that?

Asked on September 14, 2012 under Accident Law, California


Anthony Van Johnson / VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, L.L.C.

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is rare that the investigating officer actually witnesses the automobile accident he/she is responding to.  Accordingly, the officer conducts an investigation and based on statements from drivers and witnesses, taken together with any physical evidence at the scene, the officer makes a decision as to how he/she believes the accident occurred and issues a citation accordingly.  Because the officer did not witness the accident, if you decide to contest your citation in court, the other driver would be required to appear at the trial of the case.  If the other driver does not appear at your trial, your case should be dismissed.   It is recommended that you retain the services of an attorney.

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