Recently I received an inquiry regarding a red light at a four-way intersection which resulted in a collision with another vehicle. While there were no injuries, the client was charged with ‘Failure to observe signal’ and was unsure of the consequences of the ticket.

There are several implications to a violation of that statute. If you plead guilty, you will be assessed fines and 2 points. In addition, your plea of guilty will be admissible against you in civil action for property damage and or injury. If you decide to plead guilty, ask the Judge to enter it with a “civil reservation.” That will make your guilty plea inadmissible in a civil court.

If you contest the case and have a trial and the Court finds you guilty, that finding is not admissible in a civil court but any testimony you gave in court is admissible against you in a civil court. An accident in and of itself is not evidence that you violated the statute but could be used by the Judge for purposes of determining the amount of the fine.