How Do You Fight a Traffic Ticket?

Something as minor as a broken tail-light can quickly escalate to a traffic ticket, a court case, and even revocation of your driving license. This is why you need to fight a traffic ticket with as many resources as you can.

Besides your driving license, a traffic ticket can cause a long-term increase in the cost of your insurance premiums, a class in defensive driving, and retaking the driving test.

A traffic ticket lawyer can help you through this process by assessing the circumstances surrounding the citation and how to tone down your charges. Having an attorney who has specialized in traffic ticketing raises the odds that the judge’s rule will be in your favor.

After the officer stops you for a traffic violation, you can try to talk your way out of the citation by being calm and cooperative. If the officer gives you a ticket anyway, take details of the scene before you drive away. 

Take notes on things like time, what was spoken or said, and photos of things that can be used as evidence to support your case in court.

Here’s a list of ways you can further use to fight a traffic ticket:

Challenge the Officer’s Report

When a police officer pulls you over for a traffic violation, they rely on their observation of your behavior to develop a subjective opinion of how you broke a law. Such cases that require personal judgment, as opposed to analyzing evidence, are easy to challenge in a court.

You can fight the traffic ticket by arguing that the action in question was harmless, considering the conditions at that time and setting.

For instance, if you were given a ticket for driving at 65mph in a 55mph zone, you could argue that all the other cars were at 65mph, and so slowing down was impossible.

Prove that It Was a “Mistake of Fact”

A mistake of fact refers to when a driver unknowingly violates a traffic rule due to mistaking the situation for something different. In other words, the driver thought that the situation and circumstances were right to perform the action that led to a traffic violation.

For instance, if you frequent a particular road and recently made a right turn because the signpost was knocked down the previous day, the judge can rule that it was a mistake of fact.

However, if you are new to this road, the same argument would not be admissible in a court of law.

Challenge the Evidence

In other cases, the judge will rule based on the strength of the evidence presented against you. Here, the challenge is to provide counteracting evidence that questions whether the officer saw you taking the ticketed action. 

If you can convince the judge to believe in your side of the story, the chances of your case being dismissed are high. The details you collected after the ticketing incident can come in handy at averting the consequences of a citation.

Present eyewitness statements that counter the evidence, photos of the scene, and video surveillance as a way to challenge the evidence.

Prove the Violation Was Justified

This involves pleading guilty to the traffic violation but presenting another fact that justifies the ticketing action. Here, the aim is not to challenge the violation but to explain why it was necessary to take that action.

Such arguments are often viable because hadn’t you performed that action, there would be more harm or injuries. An ideal example is when you drive a little past the legal speed because you were avoiding an intoxicated driver. Another instance is when you swerve between lanes to avoid hitting a pedestrian.