The Wild Wild West: Arizona – Where Cyclists are Criminals.

No kidding, this is a true story. Simply unbelievable and unfortunately all to common. Recently I helped another client on a pro bono basis who was unfairly charged with criminal property damage. He was facing significant fines, and a criminal record that in Arizona could never be expunged. Here in the “Wild Wild West” we have a saying (and a law) that says: Once a criminal, always a criminal. Seems a bit harsh right? Maybe even unfair? OF COURSE its unfair and definitely harsh. Here is what happened:

My client, the innocent cyclist, was riding along in the roadway legally along the most far right hand side when a car pulled up beside him and began honking its horn. This car was full of college students that felt the need to poke fun at the cyclist and participate in all manner of harassment against him. The story gets better – the harassment, name calling, and horn honking was so severe that my client stopped his bicycle to let the car pass. Of course, the car also stopped and continued the harassment even though there was no stop sign, or stop light, or anything else justifying the car to stop. Their sole intent was to continue harassing the cyclist.

At this point words are exchanged between the cyclist and the passengers of the vehicle… to spare the readers the gory details, lets just all assume that the words exchanged were less than kind from both parties. With the vehicle firmly stopped and the harassment ongoing, my client the cyclist positions himself between his bicycle and the vehicle; the bicycle acting like a makeshift protective barrier just inches away from the car. The passengers in the vehicle determine that their last intimidating maneuver (short of exiting the vehicle and literally assaulting my client) is to lunge the vehicle forward as if they would hit the cyclist standing there. This is all taking place in the roadway no where near a valid or legal stopping position for the car. Out of fear and defense my client steps away and backwards from his bicycle when the vehicle lunged forward. The vehicle’s mirror caught the handlebars of the bicycle and brought the bicycle partially onto the hood of the car – at which point the cowardly driver sped off fleeing the scene.

My cyclist client was furious and called the cops himself to report the incident, after all fleeing the scene is a crime in Arizona. While my client is speaking to the police the vehicle along with the harassing passengers actually returned to the scene for what I can only assume was Round #2 of intimidation and harassment. My client seeing the vehicle coming again warned the police and flagged down the driver. They came to a stop and told a great story of how my client was blocking the road and then out of anger towards them as “college kids just having fun” threw his bicycle on their car causing a grand total of approximately $100 of property damage. “Are you kidding me?” is the only thought that came to my mind when listening to this story, as it is not the first nor do I suspect it’ll be the last time I help a cyclist in this sort of predicament. The officer promptly goes to the cyclist (who by way of a minor detail was VERY ANGRY and understandably so, and therefore spoke harshly towards the police officer) and issues a “criminal property damage” citation to the cyclist. The car full of “college kids just having fun” didn’t receive any citations, warnings, or anything else.

A long story short, this case proceeded all the way to trial and settled just minutes before the judge took the bench. The prosecutor refused to believe any part of my client’s story. The police officer refused to believe any part of my client’s story. For months we hammered through issues in and out of court on the pending criminal case for this victim cyclist. Eventually we were able to get the whole case dismissed and the charges dropped with prejudice (never to be filed again in this instance against my cyclist) minutes before the judge took the bench. We were finally able to persuade the driver that taking a bit of money to fix the alleged property damage is his only shot at getting anything out of my client as we would surely prevail at trial. Could we prevail at trial? I’m not sure I am convinced we would have won… The problem in these cases is that many drivers already have unkind feelings towards cyclists and tend to form subtle biases against us for many different reasons including but not limited to: cutting off drivers, running red lights or stop signs, taking a lane and slowing down traffic, and on and on and on. So goes the familiar tale, cyclist then in a way gets punished by the system designed to protect it. Welcome to the Wild Wild West!

Be safe out there. Be extra cautious. Treat everyone with respect as you never know when you will need their help as a witness, police officer, or even the help of an at fault driver.


Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge

Ben-&-BikeIf you, or someone you know were injured in a bicycle accident caused by road debris, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles.

Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire united states. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the country. it isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases.

Ben Dodge is a proud member of Bike Law. Bike Law is a national network of elite like minded bicycle accident attorneys founded in 1998. In concert with the mission of Bike Law, Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches the police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.

A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free

In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the united states every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.

Ben dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
  • the applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • your cyclist’s rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • the process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
  • the value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.

You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of bike accident attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922 (855.one.ez.call). Mr. dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. there is never an obligation for a complimentary consultation with Mr. dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.

Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, the Arizona Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at ben@bikeaccidentattorneys.com

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and can assist in representation in all 50 states.

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