How to Fight a Traffic Ticket

It’s inevitable: tickets are a part of driving life. Perhaps you rolled a stop sign or failed to perceive a decrease in the speed restriction. For whatever reason, there are options available to you after receiving a ticket besides simply paying the money and acknowledging the infraction on your record. 

Depending on your state’s rules and the nature of the ticket, you may be able to dismiss it in one of two ways:

 

Let’s examine the inner workings of each of these choices.

 

Taking a Defensive Driving Course

Taking defensive driving is likely to be the easiest option for you if you meet the requirements. A few hours is all it takes to complete an online course using your computer or mobile device. They’re not outrageously priced, costing about $25 in the majority of states. After you finish the course and submit your certificate to the state, your ticket will be removed.

Obviously, there is a cap on how many times defensive driving can be used to get a penalty dismissed in most states. As an example, defensive driving can be used once every twelve months in Texas. On top of that, this type of ticket dismissal might not be an option if the traffic infraction was particularly significant. Going to court will be necessary under certain circumstances.

Going to Court Over a Ticket

Even though the steps to challenge your ticket in court differ from one state to another, there are ways to increase your odds of winning no matter where you call home. 

 

Turn Up

Most of the time, a ticket can be dropped simply for turning up. The judge will likely dismiss the ticket if the officer who issued it does not appear in court, which happens rather frequently. 

Instead of appearing in court on the scheduled date, you should request a continuance of the hearing to increase the likelihood that the officer will not show up. A written request to your area’s DA is required for this continuance. Remember to keep track of the new date if you receive a continuance.

Make an effort to act appropriately and politely when you appear in court. It’s unfair, yet people do judge others too quickly by their looks.

 

Investigate Thoroughly

Your ticket will include a citation for the specific statute that you are alleged to have violated. Find out what the law says by reading it online. It is common practice to classify traffic legislation into its constituent “elements.” 

In order to secure a conviction, the state must establish that you possess these characteristics. Find out whether there’s anything you can say that the police officer couldn’t use to establish that you did it. 

 

Submit Proof

The truth is that the court will likely accept the word of the officer if the case is between you and the police. To show that you were not, in fact, in violation of the law, you must present evidence. You can submit evidence such as witness accounts, photos, and maps of the suspected crime scene.

You could be able to prove that the police couldn’t have noticed you staring at your phone from their vantage point by submitting a snapshot of the scene. But this will only succeed if your arguments are reasonable and convincing. This leads us to our second point: tell the truth about what transpired.

 

Keep it Real

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: You can’t lie in court! In your case, you’re arguing that the light was yellow, not red, or that the officer had no way of seeing the incident for which you were cited. Do not attempt to deceive a judge in any way!

Sad tales are also not a good choice. Because the judge feels sorry for you, they will not dismiss the ticket, even if doing so will weaken your case. Remain composed and provide the evidence. (You should probably think twice about going to court if you are unable to prove your case with evidence.)

 

Maintain Order

It is crucial that you ensure that you possess all the necessary items. Your ability to argue your case before a court or lawyer improves in proportion to the amount of material at your disposal. The prosecutor will question you; therefore, it will be helpful if you have all the necessary documents in one place. You should make sure to include the following as you are gathering your information:

This may sound strange, but knowing what you were wearing on the day of the ticket may help you be prepared if the prosecution asks. The questions they may ask are unpredictable.

 

Think About Hiring a Lawyer

It may be prudent to retain legal representation if you are unable to engage in defensive driving and are uncertain of your options for presenting your defense in court. You can find a lot of advice on how to avoid a ticket online, but most of it is useless or even detrimental to your case.

It may be necessary to bring in an expert if the traffic infraction is significant enough that you require the dismissal of the charge.

Interested in learning defensive driving techniques that won’t get you in trouble with the law? Check us out!