Hefty overweigh citation, how to proceed in court?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by while parked, Jul 25, 2021.

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  1. while parked

    while parked Bobtail Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    I was driving a truck with a drop axle, and pulling a trailer with a drop axle. I had a heavy load, but was preoccupied with a situation at home and forgot to drop either drop-axles. Once I got to a scale, it dawned on me that my drop axles weren't down. I immediately dropped the tractor axle (on the ramp well before the scales). I went over the scale, and was instructed to pull around and reweigh. I parked in the parking lot momentarily and got out and dropped my trailer axle. This infuriated the officer who came out and yelled at me and told me to raise it back up. He also told me he saw me drop my tractor's drop axle while on the ramp so he instructed me to raise my tractor axle back up, as well. So I weighed with neither drop axle down. The result was a $987 dollar fine. I am a part-time driver and in dire financial shape. I would like to ask the court for a reduction in the fine. The DOT officer... once he started acting decent towards me... said I could go to court and plead not-guilty and see about getting the fine reduced. I really don't understand what this means? It seems like he's saying I have to plead not-guilty in order to plea bargain for a lower fine. I am not hiring a lawyer. I don't have the money. I'm hoping someone here had general experience with this.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
    tscottme Thanks this.
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  3. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

    May 25, 2017
    under a shade tree
    well you came to the right place, cuz everyone here IS a lawyer.

    best thing you can do, is seek out a REAL lawyer, familiar with trucking regulations, and ask him/her......many times the first visit is free.
    tscottme, Opus, ncmickey and 9 others Thank this.
  4. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    Gettin' down westbound
    Pay it and go on ur way. An overwight ticket is just the cost of doing business... thats unfortunate u ran into a ######## dot guy that see you made an honest mistake and took advantage of it ... a good guy wouldve seen your mistake reweighed you with axles down and maybe checked paperwork and seen ur good and remind you to pay attention next time.... Taking it to court is going to cost you more money... you are most likely not going to get out of an overweight ticket
    T.Rucker, nredfor88, mtoo and 3 others Thank this.
  5. BigBob410

    BigBob410 Road Train Member

    Feb 2, 2016
    Baltimore, MD.
    What state wrote you the ticket?
    while parked and D.Tibbitt Thank this.
  6. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    I will be honest with you…if I were a judge and you told me this sob story, you would piss me off. Keep it simple, “I forgot to drop the axles.” The pity party stuff might tick the wrong person off.

    Now, my concern about going to trial is, YOU have to pay for that. And money is already tight, correct? An overweight ticket is a non moving violation, it does not hurt your driving record. See if you can somehow get it reduced by calling the court clerk (free), and then see if you can somehow make payments.
  7. Concorde

    Concorde Road Train Member

    Jun 29, 2016
    West Melbourne Florida
    What @D.Tibbitt said..I second that..

    However if I was in your financial situation I’d go to court without a lawyer. I’d explain my dire financial situation with the hopes of getting a payment plan spread out.

    If they’re human, they’ll probably even reduce the fine.

    Good luck with it.
    Maybe it’s time to reassess your current job situation since most of us out here are killing it right now.
    Rates are the best they’ve been in memory and you need to get a piece of it before it’s gone.
    D.Tibbitt, Bean Jr. and while parked Thank this.
  8. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    In most states, legal aid societies and pro bono attorneys provide free legal services or assistance to low-income individuals. Contact your local legal aid society, state bar, or local bankruptcy lawyers to find out about aid for people who wish to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but can't afford an attorney. Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  9. PoleCrusher

    PoleCrusher Road Train Member

    Aug 26, 2014
    Call the clerk of courts. Explain your financial situation. A lot of states have a process for people who are indegent. You will have to fill out some paperwork showing that you are financially unable to pay the fine. If the judge agrees, they will dismiss or reduce the fine.
  10. while parked

    while parked Bobtail Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    Very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to give me your sarcasm.
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