Lenoir City woman worries dismissed traffic court charges will still appear on her record
DON DARE 6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator
LENOIR CITY (WATE) - A Lenoir City woman has some questions about charges dismissed in traffic court a few months ago. She is worried that the charges still appear on her record.
Julie Meredith says she was stopped by Knoxville police on July 3 near Cross Park and Corporate drives in West Knoxville. She pulled into the post office there and was given a ticket for speeding, but her troubles weren't over.
"I go to court and find out I had two other tickets that I did not get, but they were in my name," said Meredith.
The two outstanding tickets were for no proof of insurance and no registration dating to February 2013.
Meredith says she agreed to pay court costs for the speeding ticket, but she was ready to fight those other citations with her name on them.
"I was told at the time, I was about to lose my driver's license due to no insurance, so they set a trial date to bring the officer in," she said.
When she returned to court on August 19, the arresting officer for those February 2013 misdemeanor charges was there.
"We go to trial. The officer comes into court and does not recognize me as being the one who he pulled over," said Meredith.
Julie showed the court and the police officer a picture of a young woman Meredith knows well, Traci Forsyth. Forsyth is Meredith's sister. The officer recognized her and found Meredith not guilty.
At this point, Meredith believed her record would be wiped clean. She went to traffic court's administrative office where she received a print out. The information on it alarmed her.
"I figure at that point, we're done. It's off my record and we'll see no more of this. Come to find out, I look at my record again. There it is."
The printout still showed improper registration and no proof of insurance coverage.
"My insurance looks at me as if I am a risk and can possibly drop me," she said.
We did some checking for Meredith. The court administrator told 6 On Your Side the document that Meredith received is a record kept by the city of Knoxville and only the court has access to it.
The administrator confirmed the judge found her not guilty, writing not this defendant.
If Meredith's insurance company pulls up her record, these charges would not appear, nor would they appear on any state record.
Meredith was pleased when we told her what we learned.
"I'm very happy with those results. That was my biggest concern, the risk of my insurance premiums going up," she said. "I went through a bunch of run-rounds and never got this answer. It gives me relief knowing that I don't have anything on my record that stands out for anyone else to see."
In the meantime, Meredith's sister Traci Forsyth has called 6 On Your Side saying she's going to contact traffic court to find out what she needs to do to take care of the misdemeanor charges.
Meredith has yet another step to complete. If and when charges are filed against her sister, Meredith would then have to fill out an order of expungement to have the violations removed from her court records.