Legal Question in Traffic Law in Pennsylvania

So a few weeks ago I was coming home to my neighborhood (I live in PA) from getting my car washed. I was in my neighborhood and came up to a four-way stop sign that is about 300 yards from my house. There was a car in front of me, so I was not going fast. I then noticed a police officer sitting parked on one of the streets. I found this to be extremely odd as I live in a upper-middle class area and have never seen a cop in my neighborhood in the 20 years I've lived here.

Anyways so the car in front of me stops at the sign, and goes through. Now I do not remember if I stopped or not at the stop sign, but I have a manual transmission car so even if I did, I was going less than 5mph in neutral or 1st gear. Regardless, the cop car was facing me so it should be on camera.

I make a turn at the intersection and pull into my driveway moments later. I get out of my car and turn around to see the cop pulling into my driveway, no sirens/lights, and I had no idea he was following me. I ask him if "everything is alright" as I think he's about to tell me someone in my family got hurt or that I was in danger or something and he just says "get back in the vehicle". So I sit back in my car with the door open and my feet out the side, again, this is all taking place on my private property and I'm in my driveway.

So he does his whole cop routine, and then proceeds to give me a $130 ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. He hands me the ticket and I go to stand up, this is then where he pushes me back into the car and says "You'll leave when I say you can". He then proceeds to be very rude to me and when it's all said and done he walks back to his cruiser with his hand on his gun, looking at me over his shoulder. My dad came home about 20 seconds after this cop left my house and apparently in that time he pulled someone else over.

I'm going to traffic court for this, given the ridiculous nature of the event and the fact that he got physical with me on my property over a stop sign violation. Just wondering if I have a case, what I should do/argue in court, should I get an attorney? etc. I really just don't want the points and would pay the fine, so I'm hoping to negotiate that. Any advice guys? Thanks

Asked on 3/09/17, 10:32 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Solomon Weinstein Solomon Weinstein, Esquire

The question is whether you violated the stop sign or not. If so the office was justified in giving you a ticket. You indicated you do not know whether you stopped or not. The officer's subsequent behavior if accurate may be questionable but does not relate to the traffic charge. You may want to have an attorney because of the previous interaction perhaps the attorney can get the offense changed to a non point offense.

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Answered on 3/13/17, 11:19 am

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