What should we plead?

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What should we plead?

My son was driving in a 45 mph zone on wet roads. He was going at a speed of 40-45 mph in a vehicle with almost bald tires. He took his foot off of the gas because he came up to a big hump in the road. When he went over the hump, he lost control of the vehicle and went across the road. He tried to correct it but ended up going across the road again and ended up hitting a fence. The cops were called and he got a ticket warning. The ticket was marked clearly at the top with the box by warning with an X in it. He received a pre-warrant notification in the mail this week. We called and they say it is a citation not a warning and the only way he can talk to the prosecutor or the judge is to plead. The problem is that he doesn’t know what to plead.

Asked on December 7, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You should first show up to court with your son and plead not guilty, because his failure to appear was not intentional and the form he received was somewhat confusing.  If he is young, you don't need your insurance rates going through the roof over a misunderstanding.  
Some prosecutors will be reasonable if you can show them the discrepancy in the form.  For example, they may tell your son that "if he can avoid any new citation for 90 days, they will agree to dismiss the charges."  Your son's case is in municipal court...most will be reasonable.  If you are concerned that you or your son can't effectively make an argument for his dismissal, then ask for a "reset" of his case so that he can retain a ticket attorney.  Many offer very reasonable rates and have the rapport with the prosecutor to resolve the charges with minimal effort.


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