Can I fight a traffic ticket?

Question: Not too long ago, I was heading to work and made a left turn on a yellow light. A few moments later, I was pulled over and issued a citation. Can I fight this ticket? It’s true I was in a hurry, but the light was definitely yellow when I went through it.

Answer: So many people are the under the assumption that you can’t fight a ticket. I suppose it goes back to the old adage, You can’t fight city hall. The fact, however, is not only can you fight a ticket, you should.

There are myriad reasons for doing so. You may think that one or two tickets on your record are no big deal. While it’s true that many insurance companies often forgive one ticket, that is not always case. When they don’t, it can result in higher insurance rates. In addition, the cost of most tickets is not a mere pittance. Some can run into the hundreds of dollars. Finally, if you aren’t guilty of the traffic offense, you have as much right to be presumed innocent as any other person accused of a crime.

If you’re not sure what defense you could possibly mount—after all, you think, it’s your word against the cops—consider that traffic court is no different than any other court. The prosecuting attorney must still make a case against you. Law enforcement is not infallible. Where was the officer when he claims you went through the red light? Was he really close enough to discern if it was red when you entered the intersection?

If you are fighting something like a speeding ticket, there are many reasons that speeding may have been necessary or even legal. For example, were you exiting a residential area and into an area with a higher speed limit? Questioning where the officer claims you were on that strip of road could result in a ticket being dismissed.

In short, tickets are worth contesting. Don’t be afraid to do it.

 

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