It starts when you see those dreaded flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. Even though you’re polite and cooperative, the officer writes you a traffic ticket. You might not have even been speeding! If you think you’ll fight the ticket in court, here are some things you’ll need to know.
Procedures and Protocols
When the police write traffic tickets, they have procedures and policies they’re supposed to be following. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might need a special radar certificate before they issue a radar-based speeding citation. They also need to test their radar in a certain way.
In some cases, officers head out to write tickets on an unsuspecting public even though they don’t follow rules or licensing requirements. With a little bit of research, you might find the police didn’t follow their own rules. The result can be dismissal of your ticket.
Get Information About Your Case
The government is supposed to operate in a transparent way. That means you can often request records or video from the police before your trial begins. Research your location’s information for formally requesting public records and it can help you prepare a strong defense.
There Might be Other Consequences
A finding of guilty for a ticket can have civil consequences as well. If there is an accident or property damage, you might also face a civil suit in addition to the ticket. It’s important to discuss the ticket with a car accident attorney if possible. An admission or a finding of guilt can cause heartache in civil court, so it’s important to defend yourself to the fullest extent of the law.
You Have the Right to your Day in Court
The government can’t deprive you of your life, liberty, or property without due process. Basically, you have a right to your day in court. Just because the police accuse you of something, doesn’t mean it’s true. The justice system assumes most people aren’t going to fight a ticket and most people don’t. Take your right to have a day in court and use it to your advantage.
Fighting a traffic ticket is stressful. However, you can gather information and evidence before you ever set foot in court. In addition, a skilled attorney can help evaluate your options and defend you in both traffic court and in other civil court. You might be surprised to discover you can find success and avoid paying costly fines and fees.
Author Information: Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check her out on Twitter at @eileenoshanassy.