HOW TO FIGHT TRAFFIC TICKETS ?
If you have decided to fight traffic tickets, you should start to prepare immediately. If you have decided to use our service to fight traffic tickets, we strongly recommend that you sign up for our service now and let us get started with preparing a traffic ticket defense for you. It can take time to get the necessary information from the authorities (police departments and prosecutors). Therefore, getting started with our service sooner will give us more time to collect all the necessary information regarding the traffic ticket evidence that the officer has against you.
However, if you decide to fight traffic tickets on your own, then make sure you first understand exactly what documents you are going to need for your specific type of traffic ticket defense and then request this information well in advance of your traffic ticket court date. You will need to be proactive throughout the process to keep on top of court deadlines and to ensure that you have the most complete traffic ticket defense possible for the specific type of traffic ticket.
In some states (including California) you are entitled to fight traffic tickets for a traffic ticket infraction with a trial by mail or a Trial by Written Declaration. This is the best option to fight traffic tickets. You submit a defense for the traffic ticket in form of a written Statement of Facts describing why you are innocent of the charge on the traffic ticket in writing. The traffic officer must also submit the reasons for which the traffic ticket was issued. The Judge will review both statements and issue a verdict for the traffic ticket case. Should you lose your traffic ticket case in a Trial by Written Declaration, you have lost nothing. You can still request an in-person court trial for the same traffic ticket (as if your verdict for the Trial by Written Declaration never happened), or request traffic school, or just accept the verdict.
If you have decided to fight traffic tickets using our service our traffic ticket experts can help. We have helped thousands of people successfully fight traffic tickets.
FIGHT TRAFFIC TICKET IN TRAFFIC COURT
To fight traffic tickets in court trials, your entire case could rest on your attitude. You should be on your best behavior inside and outside of the courthouse. Always show respect for the traffic court and the traffic ticket proceedings. Win or lose, it is always best to thank the judge. You never know if you will have to appear in front of the same judge again for another traffic ticket.
If you are issued a traffic ticket for a traffic infraction and the officer does not appear in traffic court, in most jurisdictions the traffic ticket will be dismissed. However, you should still be prepared for the probability that the officer will appear in traffic court, as most of the time they do.
Please note, if you appear in traffic court to fight traffic tickets, you should dress for the occasion. Dressing appropriately (think “in your Sunday best”) sends the traffic court the message that you take the traffic ticket seriously, and that you respect the traffic court. Some traffic courts impose dress codes which, although typically not excessively rigid, should not under any circumstances be violated. If you do not intend to dress for the occasion, at least find out what will get you sent home to change your clothes. Do not under any circumstances wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, halter tops, or miniskirts to traffic court. Such clothing almost invariably will violate any dress code that is in place, and sends the message that you have no respect for the traffic court. Do not wear a hat in the courtroom. If you have plans to make your traffic ticket the “trial of the century”, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Traffic court matters are often short and cursory. You may have to be quite assertive in order to convince the traffic court to permit you to present your full traffic ticket defense, and may find the hearing officer or the judge to be quite impatient with your questioning of witnesses or the officer who issued the traffic ticket.
If your traffic court hearing falls within a critical time for your insurance (e.g. Right before your policy is up for renewal), you may wish to obtain an extension to delay the traffic ticket trial until after you have renewed your policy. While insurance companies do not always verify driving records before renewing policies, they frequently do check for traffic tickets. Thus, delaying the traffic court hearing until after renewal can give you a reprieve on any increase in your premiums that would follow from a conviction on a traffic ticket.
In many states, for many traffic tickets it is possible and sometimes even fairly easy to challenge the police officer’s view of what happened. This is particularly likely in situations where an officer must make a subjective judgment as to whether you violated the traffic law. For example, when an officer gives you a traffic ticket for making an unsafe left turn, you may argue that your actions were “safe and responsible” considering the prevailing traffic conditions. It will always help your traffic ticket case if you can point to facts that tend to show that the officer was not in a good location to accurately view what happened or was doing other tasks or the conditions were such that your move was safe and the traffic ticket should not have been issued.
In traffic ticket cases where the state traffic law requires an objective observation by the officer (not a judgment call about whether your action was safe), it often boils down to an argument about whose version of the facts is correct. For instance, if you were issued a traffic ticket for failing to come to a stop at a red light or for making a prohibited turn, the dismissal of the traffic ticket will depend on who the judge believes. Unfortunately, the guy wearing the badge usually wins, unless you can cast real doubt on his ability to accurately perceive what happened. However, there are a number of techniques that may work to raise at least a reasonable doubt as to your guilt for the traffic ticket violation. That is why having the knowledge to prepare a traffic ticket defense can make the difference of winning the traffic ticket case or not.
Here are a few samples of the types of evidence most likely to help you convince the judge that you, not the officer, are in the right and the traffic ticket should be dismissed:
- Statements of witnesses, such as passengers or bystanders, who testify to your version of events. These statements must be carefully prepared to establish your side of the story leading to the traffic ticket.
- A clear, easy to understand diagram showing where your vehicle and the officer’s vehicle were in relation to key locations and objects, such as an intersection, traffic signal, or other vehicle. Diagrams are especially important for traffic tickets given at intersections, such as right-of-way, red light ticket or stop sign ticket violations. One advantage of using our traffic ticket experts is that we will prepare professional looking diagrams to illustrate what the conditions were.
- Photographs of intersections, stop signs, and road conditions. These can be used to show conditions like obscured stop signs or other physical evidence that backs up your traffic ticket defense.
- Any other evidence that would cast doubt on the officer’s ability to accurately observe your alleged traffic ticket violation. A classic way to do this is to prove the officer’s view was obscured or that his angle of observation made it impossible to accurately see what happened and the traffic ticket was issued without proper observation of the alleged violation. Therefore, the traffic ticket should be dismissed.
Judges are allowed some leeway when reviewing traffic ticket cases in considering circumstances beyond your control. If you can show that you made an honest and reasonable error, a judge might find you made a “mistake of fact,” meaning your traffic ticket should be dismissed. Here are several examples:
- You failed to stop before coming to the pedestrian crosswalk markers because they were old and faded and could not be clearly seen. Our traffic ticket experts are really good at generating the supporting evidence in these type of traffic ticket cases.
- You failed to stop at a stop sign after a major storm because the stop sign was hidden by a broken branch. If possible, you should take pictures of the obscured stop sign and show them to the judge to support your traffic ticket defense.
- Often this argument comes down to your claim that you were not given fair notice as to the conduct that was expected of you. For example, a judge might dismiss a traffic ticket for running a stop sign if it was brand new. However, the judge would probably not buy this traffic ticket defense if:
- The stop sign had been up for more than a few weeks
- You had never stopped at that intersection before (and therefore should not have been fooled by its sudden presence), or you were speeding
You may also successfully argue that your actions were “legally justified” considering the circumstances of your alleged violation for the traffic ticket. For example, if you were issued a traffic ticket for driving too slowly in the left lane, it is a legal traffic ticket defense in all states that you had to slow down to make a lawful left turn. In this situation you do not have to deny that you were driving significantly below the speed limit and causing vehicles behind you to slow down, but you can offer the additional fact that legally justifies your otherwise unlawful action. Such traffic ticket defenses can be very successful in beating a traffic ticket because they raise an additional fact or legal point, rather than simply contradicting the officer’s testimony. Our traffic ticket experts have many years of experience in preparing traffic ticket defences that clearly explain the conditions surrounding your traffic ticket case and why your traffic ticket should be dismissed.
Here are a couple of examples of situations in which this traffic ticket defense might work to fight traffic tickets:
- You are forced to stop on a freeway because your car has begun to make a loud and dangerous-sounding noise and you fear you would put other drivers in danger if you continued to drive without checking it out.
- You swerved into the right lane without signaling a lane change to pull over because a hornet flew into your car through your open window.
- You had sudden and severe chest pain and safely exceeded the posted speed limit to get to the doctor, whose office was only one half-mile away.
Emergencies not of your own making are often another legal “necessity” traffic ticket defense, recognized in all 50 states. To take an extreme example, you should be able to beat a charge of speeding ticket if you can prove you sped up to avoid an out of control truck. The key here is to convincingly argue that you were forced to violate the exact wording of a traffic law in order to avoid a serious and immediate danger to yourself or others. Our traffic ticket experts can prepare a convincing argument with supporting exhibits for your specific traffic ticket case. Here are some examples:
- Driving in the right, or slow, lane, you are boxed in from the back and the left side by speeding cars. To avoid colliding with a car entering the highway from the right, you accelerate well beyond the posted limit.
- Because there is a car just to your right, you briefly speed up to avoid being rear-ended by a super-aggressive big rig that is tailgating you. Once you are in the clear, you move to the right and resume a legal speed.
- You swerve across a double yellow line to avoid hitting another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or other unexpected obstacle. If you had failed to take an evasive action, you would have been at high risk of being involved in an accident.
To fight traffic tickets it is important to realize that there is a big difference between presenting a necessity traffic ticket defense based on road conditions or coming up with traffic ticket excuses for breaking the traffic law based on your own inattention or personal need. Traffic ticket excuses that are born to lose a traffic ticket fight in traffic court include:
- My mind wandered and I didn’t realize I was speeding.
- I was arguing on my cell phone and I didn’t see the stop sign.
- I couldn’t fasten my seatbelt because my stomach was uncomfortably full from lunch.