What do some experienced traffic violation attorneys suggest anyone facing a violation should be do in order to win a ticket battle?
We spoke with attorneys in different states about their recommendations about fighting back in a battle over a ticket and they provide this guide we have put together on how you can best fight a traffic violation successfully.
A car accident occurs every 13 minutes in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And tickets are issued – literally – in the millions.
Stanford University’s Open Policing project has been tracking the total number of traffic stops conducted by state and local police in the United States since 2015.
ValuePenguin analyzed Stanford’s data to determine the likelihood of a typical driver being stopped and the effect that such stops have on insurance.
According to the analysis, the average driver has a 1 percent chance of being pulled over in a year, although this probability varies significantly by state. For instance, in South Carolina, about one in five typical drivers are pulled over in a 12-month period.
However, even though the chance of being stopped never exceeded 20 percent in any given state, it is not advisable for drivers to regularly speed or disobey traffic laws. A single ticket could raise a car insurance premium by 48 percent, while two or more tickets could more than double the rates.
However it is the other costs and implications of traffic violations that trouble many drivers. So what are the best steps they can take?
Here are 5 key steps anyone facing a violation can consider.
Phoenix traffic attorney Brandon White an attorney AZ who has handled many such claims and he provides five,key things that drivers need to keep in mind.
- Remain calm
Despite the surprise and/or the stress of facing an officer who is issuing a ticket, it is important to remain calm and take stock of the situation.
Take note of any relevant details, such as the location, time, and circumstances surrounding the violation. This information may be helpful if you decide to contest the violation later should it come to a court proceeding.
- Be aware of your rights
Although it may be intimidating to face a traffic violation, you need to know that you are by no means powerless. By understanding your rights, or hiring an attorney who is familiar with your rights and can advise you, you are far better prepared to handle the situation.
Understanding the specifics of your charges in relation to local law is key, as is finding out information about the officer and the equipment used when making the arrest.
- Know the Risks and Penalties
Being aware of the risks and the penalties will certainly sharpen the senses when it comes to deciding whether to defend a speeding ticket or defend a claim that you failed to stop at a stop sign.
While it might seem like an inconvenience and an annoyance, it’s important to understand that traffic violations are serious legal matters with real consequences if the case isn’t handled properly.
Knowing the risks and penalties you face in court before heading down the path of fighting your ticket goes a long way in helping to ensure that your rights remain protected and that your case is ultimately successful.
- Know the court process
Although this is the area for your lawyer to assist with, knowing the court process will help you in your defense.
Fighting and beating traffic violation cases can be difficult for someone without proper legal knowledge.
During the trial process, you can expect to be required to provide evidence that supports your defense and rebut any points presented against you. In some cases, witnesses may also be called upon to testify either in person or remotely. It’s important to remain calm and prepared throughout the trial since this will increase your chances of success.
- Consider a negotiated plea
In some jurisdictions there may be an ability to negotiate a guilty plea which can keep some violations off your license, although you may need to pay a higher fine. For the prosecutor, he can still chalk up a ‘win’, but you keep the license clear.
This is one way to avoid repercussions that may be otherwise avoidable and a good traffic lawyer can help with that advice. Jurisdictions are different and they will treat violations differently.
Similarly, in some jurisdictions you can arrange a mitigation hearing rather than a contestation hearing.
What is that?
A mitigation hearing involves admitting to committing an act but arguing that certain circumstances excuse or justify the behavior, which can lead the court to lower the fine or suspend the ticket for a period of time depending on the state. These hearings are informal, and judges are primarily focused on listening to your testimony to decide on the fine reduction.
On the other hand, a contestation hearing involves disputing the violation and presenting evidence to the judge. In many cases, the evidence against the accused is strong, and they risk paying the full fine if they lose. The judge considers both the evidence presented and the explanation provided by the defendant.
For instance as a traffic ticket attorney Phoenix Brandon White and lawyers will look at exactly what the offenses alleged are and what the best tactic to deal with it will be, which makes the decision a pretty straight-forward choice.
Remember that there are a large number of technicalities associated with traffic violations and whether the citation is correctly written, complies with local law (for instance to local traffic sign requirements), whether there is some technical error or problem with the device used to measure speed (in the case of a speeding ticket) and so forth.
Having an attorney who knows the local law and the way it is administered is one of the keys to successfully handling traffic violations.
The best way to defend a ticket is to hire a local attorney with experience fighting traffic tickets to represent you; they know all the rules, procedures, and common faults in the tickets in your area, and if it’s worth the fee to you, generally can get the ticket dismissed or reduced if there’s any legal basis on which to do so.
Source: Brandon White PC