It’s fairly well-known that you need to stop your vehicle when approaching a Utah railroad crossing under the following circumstances:
• If there is any clearly visible sign warning you of an approaching train
• When the crossing gate is lowered or there is a person giving notice that a train is approaching
• When you can hear the signal warning of an oncoming train
• If you can plainly see the train and realize that it’s too close to cross
• Any condition exists that makes it obviously unsafe to cross the tracks
Crime Versus Prohibition
We discovered, however, that when these circumstances exist you are prohibited from disobeying the rules—not a criminal if you choose otherwise. Crossing Utah railroad tracks during certain situations isn’t classified as an infraction or a misdemeanor. Of course, if you decide to cross Utah railroad tracks when you shouldn’t you could be hit by a train, which is its own punishment.
Prohibited Acts May Come with a Consequence
Even though some actions are not considered criminal, you might still be given a consequence if you fail to follow the rules. For example, it’s prohibited to park facing the traffic on a street, but not a crime. You could still plan to receive a ticket if you choose to park inappropriately, but you won’t be charged with a criminal act.
It’s important to be aware of traffic rules and other laws, but there may be a time when you get in trouble with the law doing something you weren’t aware is considered criminal—or even prohibited. If that should occur, don’t wait to contact a Utah criminal defense attorney. You shouldn’t discuss your situation with law enforcement, only an experienced attorney who can advise you of your rights.
Make that important phone call today.