Four Things To Know To Defend Yourself Against A Traffic Violation
Jun 29, 2018 11:11
When someone is given a citation for not following the rules of the road, they have several alternatives to deal with the ticket. Drivers typically have the following options: plead guilty, avoid going to court, or attend traffic school; usually, if you do so, the ticket will not affect your driving record or your insurance rates.
If you believe that a citation was either mistakenly issued or have a different problem with getting a ticket, before you decide to fight it, it is essential that you do some research. The best way to deal with fighting a traffic violation is to hire a traffic lawyer to represent you in court; but, if you want to go it alone, then there are specific things that you need to know.
1. Know what you are charged with
The first thing to determine whether you want to fight, plead guilty, or hire an attorney, is to know what the charges are. To assess the severity of a violation, States will either use the Vehicle Code, the Motor Vehicle Laws, the Transportation Code, or some other rules that govern the way that you drive within the state lines where you received the ticket.
On the ticket, there should be a section that has the specific code of what you allegedly violated. It will contain a short description of what violation you are accused of breaking. Make sure that you understand what the officer is alleging you did wrong before you decide that you didn’t deserve the ticket.
2. Refer to the statute
If you use the code on the ticket, you can Google to find out what the laws are within the state in which you got the ticket. If you Google both the violation code and the state, then finding out what you are being accused of should be reasonably straightforward.
3. Read through the exact statute
Find the code violation and read through it very carefully. In general, a traffic citation is usually less severe than other types of offenses; but, when it comes to fighting a traffic citation, the onus to prove that you aren’t guilty will not be on the prosecution.
As the defendant, you will have to show that you didn’t do what you are being accused of and that you are not guilty. Therefore, the burden of proof rests on you and your argument. If you aren’t sure the exact nature of what the allegations are, then you can’t adequately find an argument to prove that you aren’t guilty.
For instance, if you were charged with making an illegal U-Turn, it is essential to know exactly how the statute is worded. Things like the distance of any other car around you might be necessary to know. Or, it might be that there was a specific sign indicating that it was an intersection where you may not make a U-Turn.
The only way to form a winning argument is to take apart all components of the statute individually, to figure out exactly where along the lines you didn’t break the law. If you can find one part of the statute that doesn’t fit with what you are being accused of, then you can win your case.
For instance, if the statute says “an intersection with a no U-Turn sign,” but there was no sign, then it is possible for you to take a photograph to present as evidence in court. If the statute has specific conditions that make you guilty, and all of those components were not present in your case, then you might be able to fight and win.
4. Look for other cases that won
The best way to make a case in court is to find previous rulings that fit your situation where the court has ruled in the defendant’s favor. If you can use another verdict as precedence, then you will lend credibility to your case.
It is not as easy to fight a traffic ticket as you would think. The state works overtime making sure that their citations stick. To fight a traffic violation, first, make sure it is worth it. Second, make sure to get the counsel of a traffic lawyer when necessary.
To protect your driving history and your insurance premiums, it is essential that have a winning argument in court; this can be best accomplished by having a traffic lawyer at your side.
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