First time I've ever been ticketed while running in Chicago (Read 1479 times)


A Saucy Wench

     

    Because it is something that you enjoy doing.

     

    Although your point about supporting the locals is taken and I agree.  What I cannot grow I try to buy local,

     

    ahhh, yes, but I dont enjoy gardening.

    I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

     

    "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

      If those photos tell the whole story, maybe you should get a lawyer and at least try to keep the misdemeanor conviction off your record.  I'm not sure a reasonable person would look at the path in that third photo and think, "hey, that's dangerous and illegal, I'b better not go there." It actually looks like an improved and maintained path of some sort.

        True, but given the circumstances, I believe it would be ridiculous if men's rea, was not taken into consideration.  I have a real bad feeling about this case though, since I was shocked that men's rea was thrown out the door, when the cop originally pulled me over.

        I think we're not connecting on the meaning of mens rea -- it's the mental state of the actor in regard to his conduct.  Example: Perp ran parallel and approximately 10 feet adjacent to railroad tracks.  Did Perp mean to run parallel and approximately 10 feet adjacent to railroad tracks?  Mens rea does not reach the distant question of whether Perp knew -- or should reasonably have known -- of the illegality of running parallel and approximately 10 feet adjacent to railroad tracks.

         

         

        Either way, based on ymmv's images, your best bet is to take these photos with you to court; show them to the judge; say you're sorry, you had no idea what you were doing wasn't allowed, and you wouldn't have run there if you had known; and see what happens.

         

        And hey, maybe it's like traffic court and your ticket gets ripped up if the rent-a-cop doesn't show!

        “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

          I used google street view from your gps track to see where you ran. I think you ran down the sidewalk, towards the viewer, in this first picture. I don't think you ran on the asphalt paved path next to the tracks (with people on it). Maybe the asphalt is a passenger platform.

           

          sidewalk

           

          For the next picture, I turned 180 degrees to see what your options were to continue straight. You could either use the Ace Hardware alley/parking lot entrance to the left, the clear area that looks like a path next to the tracks, or you could cross the tracks and run along a parallel road.

           

          choices

           

           

          I went to the other end of this stretch for a view of where you would have come out. I see no warnings or barriers for the clear path next to the tracks, You would be running towards the viewer here. The Ace Hardware lot is to the right, just out of view on the other side of the trees.

           

          exit

           

          Thanks for digging out all those pictures.  I was running on the right side of the passenger platform or not even close to the tracks.  And as you can see on the dirt path, there's plenty of room between it and the track.  Believe me if it really was a tight squeeze, there's no way I would have ever thought about using that path, as many other pedestrians have too.

            If those photos tell the whole story, maybe you should get a lawyer and at least try to keep the misdemeanor conviction off your record.  I'm not sure a reasonable person would look at the path in that third photo and think, "hey, that's dangerous and illegal, I'b better not go there." It actually looks like an improved and maintained path of some sort.

             

            There's plenty of room on that path.  I've used it many times before, while trains passed by too.  I really wish the judge could just go out and examine the path his or her self , just to get a clearer understanding, how it's perfectly reasonable for anybody to use it.

               

              There's plenty of room on that path.  I've used it many times before, while trains passed by too.  I really wish the judge could just go out and examine the path his or her self , just to get a clearer understanding, how it's perfectly reasonable for anybody to use it.

               

              Why do you think the width of the railroad right-of-way has anything to do with the citation?  You weren't cited for running too close to a train; you were cited for trespassing on the railroad right-of-way.  It doesn't matter if the path was a foot or a mile wide.  That's the way the judge will look at it.

               

              The pictures may be relevant to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges, or to convince the judge to give you supervision (a/k/a suspended sentence), because the pictures do show that you didn't knowingly create a unreasonably dangerous situation for yourself or for others.  But don't argue that you should be able run there because its wide enough.  That's a dead end argument.

              How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

                In traffic court in my city, you go to a hearing the police officer doesn't have to be at and plead guilty or not guilty -- and they have specific scheduled days the police officer is scheduled to be at court if you plead not guilty that they'll make the court date. 

                And hey, maybe it's like traffic court and your ticket gets ripped up if the rent-a-cop doesn't show!

                PR's (certified courses)

                5K-; 21:45 ; 10K- 45:17; Half: 1:41 --- full : 3:40   (2009)

                Distance - 54 mi, 10 hours (2012)

                 

                Current Weight: 185 lb

                Goal Weight: 130 lb

                  You can blow up those StreetView shots and whip them out onto an easel, Perry Mason style, but your best bet is that the Metra cop won't show up.

                  Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                  C-R


                    And that is why you find good representation - to make the proper argument based on the understanding of the court system.

                     

                     

                    Why do you think the width of the railroad right-of-way has anything to do with the citation?  You weren't cited for running too close to a train; you were cited for trespassing on the railroad right-of-way.  It doesn't matter if the path was a foot or a mile wide.  That's the way the judge will look at it.

                     

                    The pictures may be relevant to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges, or to convince the judge to give you supervision (a/k/a suspended sentence), because the pictures do show that you didn't knowingly create a unreasonably dangerous situation for yourself or for others.  But don't argue that you should be able run there because its wide enough.  That's a dead end argument.

                     

                    This thread still delivers. Now if only there were some kind of body, you could have a Law and Order Chicago pilot.


                    "He conquers who endures" - Persius
                    "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel

                      In traffic court in my city . . . . 

                       

                      This isn't a traffic violation.  Its a misdemeanor.  Fair or not, its closer to a DUI than to a speeding ticket.

                      How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

                        This thread still delivers. Now if only there were some kind of body, you could have a Law and Order Chicago pilot.

                        I agree- quite entertaining.

                         

                        By the way, there are always metra cops at this platform. They nab the cars that turn onto Devon just west of the tracks, even though there is a no-left-turn light (you know, for when there are actually trains passing) at the Devon/Lehigh intersection. You're welcome!

                        Anne

                           

                          This isn't a traffic violation.  Its a misdemeanor.  Fair or not, its closer to a DUI than to a speeding ticket.

                           

                          Which just adds to the insanity since 1) I sure wasn't speeding 2) I don't drink. Joking

                            My guess is that running down the station platform (instead of the parallel sidewalk) is harder to defend than taking that dirt/gravel path.

                              My guess is that running down the station platform (instead of the parallel sidewalk) is harder to defend than taking that dirt/gravel path.

                               

                              But if that's a station platform, then isn't it legal to be there? Does running somehow make it illegal?

                               

                              Can't wait for the next episode of "As The Metra Turns." I"m hooked.

                                If those photos tell the whole story, maybe you should get a lawyer .....

                                 

                                ---I still can't believe you folks are talking about getting lawyers!   I am telling you, just go call and ask a few how much it will be for representation, and you will quickly drop the idea.  Several hundred dollars?  Perhaps over a grand for a lawyer?  And the guarantee that a lawyer will even do any good?  0 !

                                 

                                Because it is all a crap-shot on what happens:  It all depends 100% on the Judge.  You may get a softie, you may get an old "crusty dusty" bastard trying to win the judges office pool for "most fines collected in a month"!

                                 

                                Life isn't always fair, just suck it up, pay whatever fine the Judge deems, and roll on, that is what I say.

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                                The Plan (big parts)→  /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (PR 80 Miles) ///  Nov:  New York Marathon  ///  Dec:  Seashore State Park 50K  ///  ∞