Even the most careful and prudent driver will encounter this matter at some point in their lives. Traffic tickets do happen. And it can occur to you. One day, you are driving under calm weather. Things are fine, and it made you complacent. You missed some traffic rules, and a police car is signalling you to pull over.
Traffic tickets are downright annoying. You need to deal with it; otherwise, there are several repercussions that would come in your way. But instead of thinking about the damages, you might want to contest the ticket first. If you do this, you might be able to lessen the impact of the ticket to the insurance premiums.
Keep in mind that fighting a ticket doesn’t make you a bad driver. In fact, it is your responsibility to do, especially if there are circumstantial factors that might indicate that the ticket is uncalled for. You can go to court for this matter. And while it is true that it sounds scary, there are ways you can actually turn the tides around.
Be Formal And Cordial
When it comes to fighting a ticket, one should observe their manners and conduct. You have to remain calm. Do not show any signs of agitation and frustration, as that could put you into a bad light. You have to do this when talking to the traffic officer or the judge during a court hearing.
Showing proper manners will make things better on your part. The judge will think that there’s an error in the issuance of the ticket. If you are going to the court and cause a tantrum there, then you will just suffer more consequences. It will not help in your cause.
Organize The Details
You can’t fight without the proper arsenal. In any battle, you should be equipped so that you can have a good chance of winning.
When it comes to fighting a ticket, you need all the information that would support your case. The judge will assess them, so you have to make sure that they are accurate and genuine. The court is an inquisitive place, so there’s a need for you to be prepared before you go there. Once you have the right details, winning against a ticket is plausible.
Here are some of the information that you should have:
- Date and time the ticket was issued
- Weather of the day when the ticket was given
- Registration and insurance number
- Copy of the ticket
- The demeanor of the officer who issued the ticket
- Your clothing during the time the ticket was issued
Do Not Lie; Be Formal
Once you are in the court, it is imperative that all the things that you utter have no traces of lie or manipulation. Never exaggerate your stories as it could backfire to you. Just tell what really happened, and let the judge or prosecutor assess your statements.
When speaking, you have to be precise and clear. Make sure that you are audible. If possible, do not stutter, as it will make an impression that you have no hesitations or whatsoever. Moreover, it is pretty essential that you don’t accuse anyone, especially the officer and the judge.
If you believe that the ticket is wrong, you have to explain your side. Do it as thoroughly as possible so that the judge can weigh things properly. If the prosecutor asks questions, answer them honestly.
Interestingly, your clothes also matter here. A formal appearance will show that you are a person of integrity. Your gestures will also say something about you. Be proper in your actions and words.
Justify The “Mistake Of Fact”
Judges have the discretion to consider various situations and factors that are outside your control. If you are able to show pieces of evidence that the error was reasonable and honest, you might be given the benefit of “mistake of fact.” Once this happens, your ticket will be dismissed.
There are examples where this situation is applicable. Here are some of them:
You were not able to stop in a pedestrian crosswalk because the markers are faded already, and you couldn’t see them anymore.
You were not able to stop at a traffic stop after a heavy rain because the signs were hidden by broken debris and branches.
In any of these cases, you should provide sufficient photos that would support your reasoning.