Fighting a Traffic Ticket

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Should I Fight a Traffic Ticket?

Some tickets you can fight, and others you cannot.  You must first determine what kind of ticket you got.  Your success on fighting a ticket will be largely based on the type of ticket you got.  As an alternative to fighting a ticket you may just want to take the easier alternative and pay the fine and/or go to traffic school to have any points removed from your record.

What Questions Should You Ask Yourself Regarding Fighting a Ticket?

You should always ask, “What am I charged with?”  Many times police don’t know the law, and technically what you did was not actually a violation of the law -- the officer simply thought it was.  Many officers are not correctly informed or up to date on the law and make mistakes on the application of many laws.

What Suggestions Do You Have in Breaking Down the Charge?

Many state DMV’s have traffic laws available on the internet.  At first, simply break down whatever you are charged with into parts and analyze what you have done as against the law as written.  This will help you critique whether you have any case at all. 

How Closely Do Judges Follow the Word of the Law for Traffic Violation Cases?

Judges will stick to the law in these cases.  This type of hyper-technical, word-by-word reading of statutes is the key skill all lawyers and judges learn in law school. In fact, they know of no other approach.

What Other Types of Questions Should I Ask Myself about the Case?

Do I Have any Chance against the Citing Officer in Court?

By right the judge must listen to both sides of the story in court.  If you have good reason to defend against the traffic violation, there is no reason the officer should be at an advantage.  As long as you are throwing facts and law at the judge, and not lies and circumstance, you should have a case.

What Happens if the Officer Doesn't Show up in Court?

No matter what your defense is, you normally win if the officer fails to show up.

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Last Modified: 01-06-2011 12:18 PM PST

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