Deciding Whether to Fight a Traffic Ticket
Receiving a traffic ticket doesn't necessarily mean that you are guilty of the alleged crime. However, courts are more inclined to believe traffic officers than defendants. Thus, if you have been ticketed, you should evaluate your situation carefully before deciding to mount a challenge. Here are some of the factors to consider first.
Whether Your Actions Endangered Anyone
Traffic laws are meant to keep all road users safe on the road. Therefore, in a few isolated cases, you may succeed in getting the ticket thrown away if you can prove that your actions weren't endangering anybody even though you were technically breaking the law. For example, in many jurisdictions, it is permissible to exceed the speed limit slightly as long as it is safe to do so. This means that going five miles per hour over the speed limit may be permissible as long as the overall traffic is flowing at the same rate. In fact, in such a case, driving below the speed limit may be more dangerous than exceeding it.
Whether the Officer's Observations Are Doubtful
Even if you can't prove your innocence, you can weaken the officer's claim by casting doubt on their observation. For example, you can show that the officer's view was obstructed by a fallen tree or billboard. You can also show a video record that shows an alternative view of what the officer is claiming. It will be difficult to challenge the officer's observation without providing proof of an alternative view.
Whether You Can Legally Justify Your Actions
If the court asks you why you committed the offense, can you provide a legally acceptable justification for it? The answer to this question is critical in a situation in which it is clear that you indeed committed the offense. For example, if you were issued a ticketed for driving in the wrong direction, can you explain why you were doing it?
A legally justifiable explanation might get the ticket dismissed. For example, the court may let you go if you were driving along the correct lane and swerved to the wrong lane to avoid hitting a kid. However, not just any excuse will suffice; you can only succeed with this argument if the evil you were avoiding was worse than the offense you committed.
The onus is on you to prove that you do not deserve the traffic ticket. Get a traffic lawyer, such as one from Taylor Bayona Law Firm, to help you fight these accusations if you want to increase your chances of success.