There are several important reasons to fight a traffic ticket. In addition to the cost of the fine, a ticket can affect your driving record and insurance premiums. Fortunately, any experienced traffic ticket lawyer will tell you that there are some effective ways to contest a ticket. First and foremost among them is entering “speeding ticket lawyer Los Angeles” into your search bar to locate qualified legal help. Read on to learn about some key tips for fighting a ticket.
Look for Mistakes
When a police officer writes out a ticket, he or she must get everything right. Mistakes, especially those concerning vital information such as location or vehicle information, can lead to getting the ticket dismissed. Reviewing the ticket carefully is important, as you want to catch any errors.
Back up Your Version
In some cases, there may be a conflict between what you believe happened and the version presented by the ticketing officer. For example, your ticket may allege that you were over the speed limit or ignored a stop sign. If you can document the speed you were actually traveling at or that you stopped at the sign, you have a good chance of successfully contesting the ticket. Photographs, videos or witness statements are some types of proof you might offer.
Point out Mitigating Circumstances
You may have indeed broken a traffic rule but there was a good reason. For example, there may have been a stop sign but it was not visible due to vegetation. Road conditions, poorly visible signage and other issues are all relevant to the issue of whether your ticket should get dismissed.
Challenge the Officer’s Observations
The validity of some tickets depends on what the officer says he or she observed at the time of the traffic stop. However, police officers can make mistakes, just like everyone else. For example, if you can provide photographs or diagrams showing the officer could not have made the observations as stated in the ticket, doubt may be cast on the remainder of the allegations. If you have reason to think the officer’s observations were inaccurate, it is important to let the court know.
Make the Prosecution Prove Its Case
If you contest a ticket, the prosecution typically proves its case by having the ticketing officer appear and testify. If the officer does not appear or fails to provide credible testimony that supports the ticket, this can be grounds for dismissal. One common strategy is to request continuances. The longer the time period that elapses between the traffic stop and the court testimony, the less likely the officer is to be able to appear or to provide sufficiently accurate and detailed testimony.
Every case is different, so the best strategy for each depends on the individual circumstances. Local traffic laws and court practices can also affect the utility of a particular approach. Lawyers who focus on helping clients with traffic tickets in your location are most likely to be able to assist you. Searching for traffic ticket lawyer Los Angeles is a good way to find knowledgeable attorneys in your area who can develop the most effective approach for your specific case.