You can be the safest driver on the road, but it only takes one mistake to find yourself pulled over and face to face with a police officer.
Your head is spinning, your palms are sweating, and your stomach is tied in knots. However, there’s something to remember: Just because you receive a traffic ticket doesn’t necessarily mean it will have a huge impact on your life.
There are many ways to fight a traffic ticket in court and win, with these three defense strategies among the most common:
Dispute the officer’s opinion: Depending on the type of citation, you may be able to argue that the officer’s subjective conclusion is not exactly what happened. For example, if you received a citation for an illegal lane change, you can attempt to prove that there was a reason for your maneuver, such as to avoid an accident.
Dispute the evidence: Some traffic tickets are clear-cut, such as if you run a stop sign or make an illegal U-turn. However, you can still challenge the ticket, such as by presenting photographs of the scene to back up your claim. For instance, if a parked truck or tree was blocking a stop sign, you can argue that it wasn’t your fault that you drove through it.
Prove that your action was justified: You don’t want to get into the habit of violating the rules of the road, but there are situations in which you may need to do so to remain safe. A common example is arguing that you were speeding on the highway in an attempt to escape a dangerous situation, such as a distracted driver or trucker who was acting in an aggressive manner.
It’s easy to believe that paying a traffic ticket and putting it behind you is the best option, but doing so can impact your life in a variety of ways. For example, if you have several moving violations on your record, one more could result in an insurance premium hike, insurance cancellation or license suspension.
Once you know how to fight your traffic ticket, collect evidence and create a strategy that will guide you when your day in court arrives.