Learn the Ins and Outs of Fighting a Traffic Ticket
Every driver has dealt with the unpleasantness of receiving a traffic ticket at least once. One moment you are cruising down the highway and the next moment you see those dreaded flashing lights behind you telling you to pull over. One small infraction shouldn’t taint your driving record or hike up your insurance rates. If you learn how to fight a traffic ticket, you can keep your driving record clean and keep your hard earned money where it belongs – in your pocket.
When you get pulled over, always remember to be respectful and courteous to the officer. Sarcastic remarks or arguing will not be received well and may actually get you into even more trouble. Be sure to answer the officer’s questions directly, and don’t elaborate on them. Never get out of your car unless the officer asks you to, as this could be seen as a sign of aggression.
Do not openly admit your guilt or try to think of outlandish stories or excuses for your behavior. Reply with a simple, “No, Sir” or “No, Ma’am” when the officer asks if you know why they pulled you over. It is their responsibility to explain what the offense is, and they should do it in as much detail as possible. If you were speeding, make sure they let you know how fast you were going, and how much above the speed limit that is.
If you are going to court, you will need to know the name of the officer and their badge number. This is written on the ticket but is sometimes illegible, so be sure to ask. For a speeding infraction, ask the officer about the device that was used and where they were located when they determined that you were going too fast. Check that area for clearly marked speed limit signs. If there are none, take pictures so that you have further evidence for your court hearing.
When you ask very specific questions, it can sometimes lead the officer to believe that it’s not worth the effort of showing up to the court date. If they think that you will gather enough evidence they may conclude that your ticket will get thrown out or the charge will be lessened anyway. Officers have to appear in court on their day off, and many would rather be with their family or out on the driving range. Your case will be automatically dismissed if the officer does not appear.
You can still win, however, even if the officer does make an appearance, especially if it is your first offense, or it is deemed as a minor one. You can get the charge completely thrown out, or the fine may be reduced. If it is a more serious infraction, you may want to consider hiring an attorney. Companies such as X-Coppers are run by former police officers and can help give you tips and strategies on how to win your case. You will have to determine whether or not it is worth spending the extra money on this kind of help.
You will need to be prepared for your court case, whether you hire a lawyer or not. Prepare your statement to the judge well in advance and gather as much information as possible. A motion of discovery should be filed as soon as your ticket is received, as this is your right to know exactly what you are being charged with and what kind of evidence will be presented. Knowledge beforehand is key in order to defend yourself effectively.
Some jurisdictions offer traffic school as an option, instead of being convicted with an offense. Check your local area to see if this is a viable choice. It is always a good plan to voluntarily sign up for a refresher course and will help to prevent further tickets and fines. Not getting a ticket in the first place is the best strategy in learning how to fight a traffic ticket.