Whether an officer pulled you over on the way home from work or you got a ticket in the mail because of a camera at a traffic light, a ticket can seem like a major inconvenience. In reality, it is much more than just an annoyance you need to address as soon as possible. A traffic ticket can represent significant financial penalties and other consequences that affect other areas of your life.
You have the right to fight back against a traffic ticket. You may think this is not necessary or that it would be better just to pay the fine and move on. There are actually several effective ways that you can dispute a ticket. Before you pay or assume that you have no options, you may want to speak with an attorney about the most appropriate way forward.
Possible defense strategies
There are a few reasonable ways by which you may be able to fight a traffic ticket. The ability to do this successfully depends on the circumstances of your case and the factors that led to your traffic stop. A few of the ways you may be able to avoid fines and preserve your interests after a ticket include the following strategies:
- Challenge the evidence -- There are situations in which it may be appropriate for you to challenge the evidence that the police officer used as grounds to write you a ticket. You may be able to present evidence or eyewitnesses to support this challenge.
- Challenge the officer's opinion -- Police officers are hardworking and well-meaning, but they are not perfect. You may be able to challenge the officer's opinion that you were driving in a way that merited a traffic stop or more than a warning.
- Prove the justification or necessity -- There may be a specific reason why you were driving the way you were. For example, you may have swerved to avoid an animal in the road, or you may have been attempting to pass a driver you thought was driving recklessly.
- Prove a mistake of fact – It may be possible to fight your ticket if you can prove that your mistake was a result of things beyond your control. For example, speeding in a zone where the limit recently changed without notice or running past a stop sign you were unable to see.
If you think you have grounds to fight your traffic ticket, you do not have to do this alone.