Getting a traffic ticket (or at least receiving a warning from a police officer) is practically an inevitability of driving a car, right? Even the safest and most law-abiding driver can find her or himself pulled over and handed a ticket. That said, you do not always have to accept the ticket, pay it and take a hit to your driving record. Learn when and how to fight a traffic ticket.
Do You Have Grounds To Fight?
The first thing you’ll need to do is determine if you have a legal leg to stand on regarding your ticket. You say you were only going five miles over the speed limit while the cop gave you a ticket for going 10 miles over the posted limit. If you don’t have concrete, irrefutable proof you were, in fact, only going five miles, then it’s your word against the police officer’s.
If you do feel you have adequate proof of your innocence, the next question you have to ask is whether the time and money it takes to go to court are less stressful than paying the ticket. With this particular question, you also have to consider long-term effects, such as higher insurance premiums due to points on your driver’s license. Can you take time off work and time away from your other obligations to go to court? You’ll need to take a long look at your circumstances to determine whether you should let this matter go, or fight it.
Can You Challenge the Officer’s POV?
Maybe you view the situation in question differently from the officer who gave you the ticket. For instance, maybe the officer didn’t have an unobstructed view of the road where you committed the supposed traffic violation. You can work with legal professionals like those at law firms like Tully Rinckey to gather evidence and build your case. Researching state traffic law is also a good idea, too, as there may be changes neither you nor the officer is aware of.
Can You Prove You Made a Simple Mistake?
If overgrown tree branches obscure a stop sign, no one can blame you for accidentally driving through it. The same applies to a stop light knocked out of commission due to a local power outage. If you can show your ticket is the result of a simple mistake, you may succeed in having it thrown out. Again, you’ll need solid evidence of your oversight. This means taking pictures of the area where you received the ticket, making sure the images are dated and can be easily verified by a judge
Do You Have Legal Justification?
You may have speed through a stop sign or red light because you were taking someone to the emergency room. It may be you slowed down in the passing lane because you needed to make a left turn. Your stop in the middle of the interstate could be contributed to the fact you heard an unsettling rattling coming from the engine and didn’t want to put yourself or other drivers in danger. No matter your reasons for violating the law, it may be enough to get you out of your traffic ticket.
Were You Avoiding Harm?
While you want to follow the rules of the road, no one can blame you for breaking them if you do so to avoid harming another person. For example, you may swerve over the yellow lines into another lane to avoid a pedestrian or foreign object in the road. Perhaps you drove over the speed limit for a few seconds to hurry out of the way of the driver behind you who was about to rear-end you. No matter your reason, be sure it’s one that can stand up in court. Otherwise, Tully Rinckey professionals and other firms are unlikely to take your case.
You aren’t bound to paying a traffic ticket. Use the above tips to see if there’s a way you can preserve your driving record and your finances.