How Do You Beat a Stop-Sign Ticket?

Good defenses for contesting a stop sign ticket are showing that the stop sign is obscured from sight or proving the vehicle came to a complete stop further back, advises Nolo. Most state laws specify several conditions that must be met to find someone guilty of running a stop sign.

Proving that a stop sign is turned sideways or covered by branches is a good defense, explains Nolo. Even if a vehicle actually fails to come to a complete stop, it can be seen as a reasonable mistake if the sign is illegible or hidden from view. Another defense is demonstrating that the vehicle stopped before the stop sign while not yet in the ticketing officer's sight. The officer's notes should be obtained, and then pictures should be taken from the exact spot where the officer observed the violation. A passenger or other witnesses are helpful in presenting this defense.

Some judges react negatively to video evidence in traffic court, but if video footage clearly backs up an argument, it may be worth pursuing, says Nolo. It is recommended to contact a court clerk well in advance to be sure this is acceptable. Photo evidence that shows an unclear sign or an officer's obscured vantage point is also good support for defense.