December 21, 2016
To Fight or Not to Fight a Traffic Ticket
Don’t be afraid to fight your traffic violation, you have the right to know what you are being accused of, why and whether you were truly in the wrong.
Be Nice & At Ease
Getting pulled over is never fun, but arguing or being rude to the officer is not going to help you. Turn off your car or at least put it in park, take off sunglasses or hats and keep you hands on the wheel. Follow their directions in a friendly manner.
Know the Facts
- Ask the officer how they determined your speed. There are different kinds of paperwork for each way your speed was determined, if you ask the police politely to see the documents that will be used against you (which is your legal right), it should be no problem.
- Check your ticket. Missing or incorrect information may be grounds for dismissal. It needs to be significant, like a completely incorrect make, model or color vehicle, license number or VIN.
- Note the exact code sections you’re cited for violating. If you don’t understand what you did, ask the officer on the scene before they leave. Understand exactly why you were pulled over and why you’re being ticketed.
- Record all relevant details from the scene. As soon as you can, make a record of the time it was when you were stopped, where you were stopped, what the weather was like, how much traffic there was, how long you were detained, and any other relevant information. These details can help support your understanding of the situation based on differing state laws.
Weigh the Pros & Cons of Fighting It
If you know that you were speeding above the accepted limit (i.e. most states will let you slide if you were going up to 7 mph over the limit) or made an illegal U-turn, it might be simpler to pay the fine. If you know for a fact that the officer’s radar gun was not calibrated correctly or you were perfectly in the right based on all information, and the fine is pretty hefty, you can try fighting it.