The relationship between motorists and pedestrians is based on a concept known as duty of care. If a motorist doesn’t look out for a pedestrian, or vice-versa, both parties risk significant personal injuries. What’s more, motorists can face Vehicle Code 21709 charges if they cause an accident that results in a pedestrian’s injury.
You can find yourself facing these charges if you’re accused of driving through a California safety zone. Fortunately, Simmrin Law Group has the means to help you contest alleged vehicle code violations. You can contact our office and fight back against fines and license points when we go to court.
Identifying California’s Safety Zones
VC 21709 notes that drivers must identify and avoid safety zones that appear throughout the state. If you’re not sure what a safety zone looks like, though, there’s a chance you might violate the code unintentionally.
Fortunately, California law establishes expectations for its safety zones. All zones must be clearly marked, indicating that they are solely for pedestrian use. If you’re looking for a safety zone, you’ll want to keep an eye out for vertically-painted stripes and/or raised roadway elements.
Bus stops and medians are two common examples of safety zones seen throughout California. You can also keep an eye out for specialized signage to determine whether or not you’re near a designated safety zone.
Consequences of an Uncontested VC 21709 Charge
Should you choose not to contest a VC 21709 charge, you can take on fines and license points.
California dictates a flat fee for any party charged with a VC 21709 violation. If you want to forgo legal action, you’ll be expected to pay $238.00 to the state. You will also receive one point on your license.
If you have the funds on hand at the time of your conviction, these consequences may not seem particularly severe. It’s when they compound, however, that both the fine and the point can have a more significant impact on your right to drive. If you have too many points on your license at the time of your conviction, for example, California officials may revoke your license.
Compounded Criminal and VC 21709 Charges
It is unlikely that your VC 21709 charges will be compounded by accusations of criminal behavior. However, if a witness claims that you both violated the safety of a marked roadway zone and caused injury to one or more persons, then you may be held liable for those parties’ losses.
Any party involved in a safety zone accident can take you to either civil or criminal court. Either way, you’ll have the right to contest the charges brought against you with the help of a traffic violation attorney.
Because injury with a motor vehicle can see you face fines and jail time, you can work with our team to assess the specifics of your case. When we sit down for your initial case consultation, we’ll discuss the best ways to reduce or convince a judge to drop that VC, criminal, and/or civil charges brought against you.
The Consequences for Ignoring a VC 21709 Ticket
Ignoring a VC 21709 ticket comes with its own set of unique consequences. If you miss your court date and cannot provide a good reason for doing so, you may be held in violation of VC 40508. This violation can see your expected fines increase.
If a court then continues to find you in violation of its orders, you may face misdemeanor charges. These charges can see you pay the court up to $1,000 in fines. You may also spend up to six months in county jail.
Discuss Your VC 21709 Defenses With an Attorney
You have the right to challenge a VC 21709 ticket so long as you uphold the behavior expected of you in court. While you can bring your challenge to court on your own, it’s best to do so when you have an attorney to help you.
Traffic violation lawyers can discuss your possible defenses before you go before a judge. At the same time, we can gather evidence to claim that you either used a safety zone out of necessity, the safety zone wasn’t marked, or that the prosecution misinterpreted your behavior.
The Safety Zone Wasn’t Effectively Marked
Many municipalities don’t have the funds to repair or otherwise maintain their safety zones. If you can’t identify a safety zone while you’re on the road, you can argue as much when you take your VC 21709 charges before a judge.
Your argument can see those charges withdrawn. They may even encourage your city to repair the damage done to its existing safety zones.
You’ve Been Falsely Accused
The word of law enforcement representatives is not the end-all, be-all of your case. You can argue that the officers who ticketed you misrepresented or misinterpreted your behavior on the road. This is most effectively done when you can provide evidence of their oversight. This can include dashcam footage, stoplight footage, and witness testimony.
You Drove Through a Safety Zone in an Emergency
Every person behind the wheel of a car is living their own experience. Law enforcement representatives can’t always tell the difference between an emergency and deliberately reckless or negligent roadway behavior.
You can argue that emergency conditions forced you to drive through a safety zone when you challenge your VC 21709 charges in court. This emergency may be medical, technical, environmental, or personal in nature. So long as you can provide a good reason for your behavior, you can have your charges reduced or dropped from your record.
Schedule a Vehicle Code Case Consultation ASAP
Challenging VC 21709 charges helps you do more than address your behavior on the road. It helps you protect your roadway rights – not to mention your wallet. Of course, you never have to try and challenge a VC 21709 ticket on your own. Instead, you can turn to our team.
Our traffic violations lawyers do more than help you address vehicle code violations. We can help you avoid compounded charges, including failure to appear or contempt. Contact us today to schedule your vehicle code case evaluation.