Anyone who has ever gotten a traffic ticket — even the smallest of misdemeanor traffic offenses, with an equally small punishment — will know how taxing a ticket can be on one’s bank account and one’s mental and emotional health. Simply admitting defeat, accepting the ticket, and paying the subsequent fine can often seem like a better option, especially compared to a drawn-out court process that could become pretty expensive.
But if there’s any chance at all that you could beat your ticket or have the charges (and punishments) reduced, most traffic lawyers will advise that you do so. If you aren’t sure where to start, here’s a short list of some of the most common defenses used to fight traffic tickets:
- If you’ve gotten a ticket for running a red light or for speeding: It’s hardly a secret that electronic devices are wont to malfunction under questionable weather conditions, especially under extreme heat, frozen temperatures, or maybe even strong winds. If you can prove that your ticket was issued on a day when the camera may not have been functioning properly, again, you might be able to beat your ticket.
- If there’s no way to prove that you didn’t break the law: If you can argue that you only broke the law because of an honest mistake, you may be able to beat your ticket (or at least have the charges lessened). Something like a tree obstructing speed limit signs can mitigate a speeding ticket, or if a stop sign was just recently placed at an intersection you frequently drive through, you can argue that you didn’t mean to pass through the stop sign, but that you aren’t used to seeing it.
- And on a similar note, if you can prove that you only broke the law in order to prevent something worse from happening, you may be able to prove your case. Swerving into another lane unexpectedly, for example, would like warrant a reckless driving charge. But if you can prove that you swerved over to avoid hitting a large animal or another car, especially if there are witnesses who can back up your claims, then you may be able to beat your ticket.
Most importantly, if you decide that you definitely want to try to fighting a traffic ticket in court, make sure to spend plenty of time researching the traffic laws in your state, as well as collecting data and evidence that could support your case. And of course, getting legal help from a professional is always a good idea, too. Great references here.