How can I contest a traffic ticket in court?


Quick Answer

Contest a traffic ticket by obtaining copies of all police reports and then checking the State Vehicle Code to determine if a valid defense exists, says The Law Dictionary. Take pictures of the incident's location, and make sure the vehicle's odometer works.

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How can I contest a traffic ticket in court?
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Full Answer

Ask for dismissal of the ticket, and present all evidence that supports a defense, notes The Law Dictionary. Be sure to bring any witnesses to the court, including passengers. If it's necessary to subpoena a witness, forms are available from the court. Make a good impression on the judge by dressing appropriately, refraining from argument, and referring to the judge as "your honor." A police officer that wrote a ticket can be cross-examined but is not allowed to ask any questions.

Study the exact wording of the law that pertains to the ticket, and break it down into its essential legal elements, says Nolo. Proving that the ticket was issued for conduct that didn't violate any single element of the law should result in the court issuing a verdict of not guilty. Other defenses include demonstrating that an officer's view was obstructed or that the officer stopped the wrong vehicle after briefly losing sight of it. If it's a speeding ticket, some state laws say it's legal to drive just over the limit as long as it's clearly safe to do so.

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