3 Surprising Ways To Get A Traffic Ticket Dropped
Even the most careful and obedient of drivers will likely be pulled over and issued a ticket at some point; whether it be a citation for speeding, failure to come to a complete stop, or making an unsafe lane change, traffic tickets can be expensive; not only do they result in fines, but they could cause an increase in one's auto insurance rates as well. Fortunately, there are some ways to go about fighting a traffic ticket and potentially having the charges dropped in court.
The "Mistake of Fact" Approach
Most judges are willing to consider dropping traffic charges in situations where it can be proven that the circumstances were beyond the driver's control. For example, if you failed to stop at a stop sign because a low-hanging branch was obscuring the sign, the judge may see your side of the story and decide to drop your charges. Of course, you'll need to prove that this was the case with photographs. Also, keep in mind that the judge will probably not "buy" this excuse if that intersection is one you traveled through frequently.
Proving "Legal Justification"
Another option for possibly having your traffic charges dropped is providing reasonable legal justification for your actions. For example, if you were cited for speeding, but your reason for speeding was that somebody in the car was having a medical emergency and you were trying to get them to a doctor, this may be seen as a legal justification for breaking the traffic laws. In such a situation, however, you'll want to make sure you have plenty of proof; this could include gathering statements from witnesses, medical bills, and any other evidence that will support your statements.
Challenging an Officer's Observations
Finally, if you don't have a case to provide legal justification for your actions or proving a "mistake of fact," you may fight your charges by simply challenging the officer's observations. For instance, if you were cited for speeding but the officer didn't have a radar gun, you might argue that the officer had a mistake in his or her judgement of your speed. Understand that challenging an officer's observations can be difficult, as most judges will side with an officer who has made a sworn statement, but it may be worth it for you to try--especially if you're facing a traffic charge that will have a large impact on your insurance rates.
For more information, contact Armstrong & Barrington PLLC or a similar firm.