What began as a reported isolated incident has uncovered dozens of tickets issued in the Dallas area for a law that doesn’t even exist.
Last week a woman went public, notifying the media that she was ticketed for driving without speaking English. She was upset and rightfully so, there is no such law. This single event, however, has uncovered 20 Dallas officers that have issued similar tickets in the last 4 years according to the Dallas Morning News.
The initial incident was written off as a rookie mistake, the officer who wrote the ticket having been fairly new to the job. However, the officers now known to have committed the same error range from rookies to a 14 year veteran.
The fine for this supposed crime was $204 and some actually paid, in part or in full. While their intentions were good, some of them probably didn’t realize they were being had.
The confusion, it seems, may have been caused b y the software in patrol cars. When issuing a ticket, the officers select the offense from a drop down menu, a drop down menu that included a Federal offense applying only to commercial drivers, an offense Dallas Police aren’t responsible for enforcing.
The matter is being investigated for possibly being racial profiling though the officers say it was just a mistake and the ticket payers will be refunded their money.
Not all traffic offenses are as simple as a ticket and although this is one example of wrongfully sanctioned drivers, there are many incidences where you could be facing criminal charges for a traffic offense.
Of course the language you speak has nothing to do with your ability to drive. If, however, you drive with disregard to the safety of other people you could be charged with criminal reckless driving.
Think that race you had with friends was just a little fun? Think again, drag racing is another criminal traffic offense, one that could be charged as high as a Class A misdemeanor.
This case of driving while speaking Spanish is an example of the police overstepping their bounds, whether intentional or not. However, if you are facing criminal charges for a traffic offense you may be wondering if you too have wrongly accused or charged in error.
Regardless of the charges against you, I would like to be able to help. Contact me today with the details and let’s discuss a plan of action.