Traffic tickets are some of the most annoying bank account depleters out there. But are some worth fighting? Even if you believe you were unfairly ticketed, it may not be worth the time, energy and money to fight the ticket in court. However, if the traffic ticket is setting you back thousands of dollars and increased insurance, then it might be a good decision to fight it. Here are a few of the best and worst defenses against your traffic ticket.
GOOD: Officer Neglects Coming to Court
The easiest way to win your case if having an officer neglect to arrive. Because you have a constitutional right to question your accuser, the majority of these cases are immediately dismissed. Here are a few ways to increase the odds of the officer not showing up.
- Choose a court date closer to popular holidays or summer vacation
- Never go to court on the date of your ticket. Usually officer schedule multiple hearings on one day. Postponing your court date means there’s a higher probability the officer won’t arrive
- If possible, choose a court location far away from the officer’s jurisdiction
BAD: Blaming the Officer
Generalized statements accusing the officer of lying never hold up in court. When faced with a baseless accusation, the judge will usually side with the police officer. Additionally, don’t make claims such as “the police officer was targeting me,” as this raises an additional question of “selective enforcement” and accuses the officer of picking on just one driver for a specific reason. You should have an incredible strong defense complete with witnesses and evidence if you plan to use one of these claims.
GOOD: Ticket Inaccuracy
When you receive your ticket, spend some time combing it over for errors. Seemingly minor errors—a misspelled name, wrong car color, incorrect road—could possible lead to immediate dismissal of the ticket. Double check the officer’s work. Many times they may cite an incorrect law or mistake the model of your car.
BAD: Harmless Violation
“But nobody got hurt!” This claim can be easily dismissed by the judge. Just because your illegal action didn’t harm someone does not prove your innocence.
GOOD: Camera Tickets
Don’t be discouraged if your traffic ticket is based on camera evidence. This can still be challenged in traffic court. First of all, courthouses rarely go through all the extra steps needed to bring the incriminating photo or video into court. If the photo does not arrive, the ticket is usually automatically dismissed.
Sometime it pays to challenge a traffic ticket in court. Know your defense and use strategic claims to prove your innocence. If you’re worried about your court appearance, don’t be afraid to talk with a traffic lawyer in Wytheville, VA. They can advise you on the correct defenses to use.
Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into criminal law and traffic ticket defenses.