Lane weaving (California Vehicle Code 21658(a)), also known as lane changing without signaling or without proper caution, is a traffic violation and can result in a ticket and fines. However, if a driver is facing charges for lane weaving, they may have several legal defenses available to them. Some possible defenses include:
- Lack of intent: The driver may argue that they did not intentionally weave between lanes, but rather the lane change was an accident or mistake.
- Necessity: The driver may argue that they were forced to weave between lanes due to an emergency situation, such as a sudden obstruction in the road.
- Improper traffic control: The driver may argue that the traffic control devices, such as road signs or signals, were not clearly visible or were malfunctioning, which led to the lane weaving.
- Lack of evidence: The prosecution must prove that the driver was in fact weaving between lanes, and the driver may argue that the evidence presented is not sufficient to prove their guilt.
- Improper observation by law enforcement: The driver may argue that the law enforcement officer did not properly observe the lane weaving or misjudged the situation.
Contesting an Infraction
If you want to contest an infraction, such as a traffic ticket, there are several steps you can take:
- Review the citation: Carefully read the citation and any accompanying paperwork to understand the specific charges against you and the deadline to respond.
- Gather evidence: Collect any evidence that may support your case, such as photographs, witness statements, or documentation.
- Plead not guilty: If you wish to contest the citation, you will need to plead not guilty. You can do this by mail, in person, or online, depending on the instructions provided on the citation and the court's process.
- Attend the court hearing: Once you plead not guilty, you will be given a court date to attend a hearing. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your evidence, call witnesses, and argue your case.
- Propose a settlement: If you believe that you have a strong case, you may be able to negotiate a settlement with the prosecution. This could involve reducing the charges or fines, or dismissing the case altogether.
- Appeal the decision: If the court finds you guilty, you have the right to appeal the decision. You must file the appeal within the time frame specified by the court.
The penalties for lane weaving can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. In general, lane weaving is considered a traffic violation and can result in fines and points on the driver's license. Some possible penalties include:
- Fines: The driver may be required to pay a fine, which can range from a small amount to several hundred dollars, depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the violation.
- Points on the driver's license: Lane weaving is considered a moving violation, and the driver may receive points on their license, which can lead to higher insurance rates, license suspension, or revocation.
- Traffic school: Some jurisdictions may require the driver to attend a traffic school or defensive driving course as a condition of dismissing or reducing the charges.
- Community service: The driver may be ordered to perform community service as a penalty for lane weaving.
- Suspension or revocation of the driver's license: In some cases, if the lane weaving is considered a serious violation or the driver has a history of similar offenses, the driver's license may be suspended or revoked.
It is important to note that the penalties for lane weaving can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. A driver facing charges for lane weaving should consult with a qualified attorney to understand the potential penalties and to discuss their options.
Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.