Almost every driver has experienced the dreaded traffic ticket at some point or another. No sooner do you accelerate on the highway than you see the flashing lights and siren behind you indicating a wrong-doing. A momentary lapse of good judgment should not, however, tarnish your clean driving record. Knowing how to fight a traffic ticket will ensure that you don’t pay excess fines or get your license taken away.
It is extremely important to remember to always respect the law; never get angry with the officer or start arguing with them, as this will only get you further into trouble. Be sure to directly answer all of the officer’s questions in a courteous and polite manner. Do not exit your vehicle unless they ask you to.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should not openly admit your guilt or try and come up with unbelievable stories or excuses. Let the officer explain your infraction and if they ask if you know what you did, answer with a simple, “No, I don’t.” For a speeding offense, be sure that they inform you of what speed you were going and what the limit is in the area.
The name and badge number of the officer will be listed on the ticket, but it can sometimes be unreadable, especially if they have bad handwriting. Be sure to ask them for this information and write it down for yourself, as you will need it for when you go to court. You will also need to ask them detailed and specific questions about the device they used to determine your speed or other infraction and where they were located. For speeding, check for clearly marked signs; if there are none then be sure to take videos or pictures to further prove your case in court.
The officer may come to the conclusion that because you are being so thorough with your questions, that the case may get dismissed, and it is not worth the effort of showing up in court. They do not get paid for court dates and hearings, and many of them would rather be spending time with loved ones or friends anyway. If they do not appear, your case is automatically dismissed.
Your case can still be won, though, even if the officer does show up. The judge may consider all of your evidence and dismiss the case altogether or lessen the fine that you must pay. For more serious offenses, it may be worthwhile hiring an attorney. There are also companies that are comprised of former police officers that give you advice and tips on how to proceed in court. You will have to decide for yourself if spending money on this type of assistance is needed.
Knowledge is power, and gathering every detail possible is paramount to proving your case, whether or not you hire anyone to help you. Immediately after receiving your ticket, file a motion of discovery. This will let you know exactly what you are being charged with, and what type of evidence will be used against you.
Volunteering for traffic school may also be a way for you to get your offense lessened or dismissed completely. Not all areas offer this, so be sure to check with your local jurisdiction. There is a great benefit to receiving a refresher course and can help to prevent future tickets and fines. Knowing how to fight a traffic ticket could be as simple as preventing one in the first place.