Traffic Violation:

Challenging a Traffic Violation

There are several strategies for fighting a traffic ticket. It may be possible to challenge the police officer’s view of what occurred. This becomes more likely in situations where a cop makes a subjective judgment as to whether you violated the law. It may be helpful to point out facts that show the officer was not in a good location to view what happened.

In cases where your state law requires an objective observation by the police officer, it may come down to an argument between whose version of the facts is correct. Unfortunately, the officer usually wins this argument unless you prove serious doubt on his ability to perceive what happened. Diagrams, witness statements, photographs of intersections and stop signs can help you in this situation.

If you can show that you made an honest and reasonable error, a judge may find you made a mistake of fact, which means your traffic ticket will be dismissed. Examples where this strategy would work include if a stop sign was hidden by a tree after a storm and you were cited for failing to stop at the sign. You can also prove that your actions were “legally justified”. For example, if you were a mile from the hospital with severe chest pain and you began speeding, your actions may be legally justified. Lastly, you can prove your conduct was necessary to avoid harm. For instance, if you were driving in the slow lane and became boxed in by speeding cars, you speed up to avoid a collision.

While these strategies may work, hiring a traffic attorney may increase your chances of successfully fighting your traffic ticket.