How to Go About Fighting a Traffic Violation in Court
If you have recently received a traffic violation, you are certainly not alone. As a matter of fact, there are over 100,000 tickets that are handed out in this country alone on a daily basis. That adds up to approximately 1 in 6 individuals who will receive a ticket this year.
However, if you feel that you have received a ticket that was unwarranted, there are certain things that you can do. Below, we wanted to provide you with a few tips on how to go about fighting a traffic violation in court.
Get your information together. You should be prepared for the fact that the police officer who gave you the ticket will probably be in court to share their side of the story. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you have the information needed to challenge their point of view. Say that you got a ticket for a rolling stop that you don’t agree with. Be prepared to talk about the time of day (light or dark out) and the road conditions (was it raining out). Or if you happened to get stopped for what was perceived to be a ran red light when you believe it was yellow, if you had a witness in the car with you, it can never hurt to bring them along. In other cases where photographs or diagrams would be useful, don’t hesitate to bring them along as well.
Decide if you need legal representation. If you were stopped for a speeding ticket and you haven’t received one in years, it’s probably in your best interest to either pay the ticket (especially before the court date) or go to traffic school. However, if you were stopped for something such as a DUI or a felony hit-and-run and you don’t believe that you are guilty, you probably should hire an attorney. Before you do, look over your ticket for the code that is on it and how it correlates with the list on the back of the ticket just to be certain of what you are being formally charged with. In cases like these, you probably already have a court date on it but if not, contact the clerk’s office so that you can request a trial. While you’re talking to the clerk’s office, also inquire about what is known as a written request of discovery. This will provide you with documentation of all of the evidence related to your case. Your lawyer can then work with you to prepare a solid defense.
Ask to cut a deal or for a continuation. When you get a traffic violation for something serious, you might want to request for a pretrial conference with the prosecutor where you can plead to a lesser charge and possibly work out a deal. If it’s something more minor like driving without car insurance, you get a car insurance quote that you can afford before your court date and you request for a continuation in the meantime, there’s a chance that the police officer who issued the ticket will not show up, which could get your case dropped. The bottom line here is that there are ways to get around going to court. So, based on your particular traffic violation, check with the clerk’s office to review what the legal rights within your state are.