5 Tips for Fighting a Traffic Ticket in Court
Traffic tickets are not fun for anyone. Usually they can put a serious dent in our finances – depending on how harsh the penalty is. Different states and counties have different rules and guidelines about traffic laws, but no matter what – and no matter where you are – no one likes to be pulled over and handed a traffic ticket. In addition, not every traffic ticket we get is actually our fault. There are a number of ways to protest a ticket and prove that it wasn’t our fault, but we need to know exactly how first, before we stand in front of a judge. Here are 5 tips for fighting a traffic ticket in court.
- The speed limit is only a suggestion. If you received a ticket for speeding from a police officer you might be able to prove to the judge that not only was the cop wrong, but that you were actually being safe and are in the right. In most cases, a speed limit is only a suggestion – this is especially true on the freeway – and it is up to the driver to make the judgment as to whether to follow the “suggested” speed limit or not. For instance, if you were going 80 mph on a freeway where the speed limit is 60 mph, but other cars were going 75mph or 85mph – you might have been driving at a safe speed for the specific conditions of the road.
- Witness statements and photographs. Sometimes you might be able to use real, hard evidence to prove that a police officer was in the wrong when he gave you a ticket. Perhaps you were stopped at an intersection for not making a complete stop, but you notice a number of people waiting at a bus stop or a restaurant – you might be able to ask them to provide statements or you can provide photos to prove that the cop didn’t have the visibility to see if you made a complete stop or not. Moreover, it is important to remember that a point on your license can effect your auto insurance quote too.
- Prove that it was an honest mistake. Sometimes when you get a traffic ticket you can prove that you made a simple mistake that anyone would have made. For instance, if a stop sign had faded paint or was hard to read or if the markers in an intersection were confusing. In addition, it could also be an honest mistake if you had been driving on a particular road and they just decreased the speed limit.
- Legally justify your conduct. Sometimes it is necessary to drive too slowly, especially if you are protecting other drivers. Perhaps there was something in the road that you needed to warn other drivers about or if your car started smoking and you needed to pull over. All of these conditions are legally justifiable.
- Delay the date of your hearing. Sometimes when you are stating your claim to get a traffic ticket thrown out, you can delay your court date if you have a reasonable excuse, such as wedding. If the police officer does not appear – often they don’t, if the ticket minor and issued months prior – your whole ticket will be thrown out.