How do you contest a traffic ticket?


Quick Answer

The methods for contesting traffic tickets vary depending on the state, but most require you to arrive in court and state your case before a judge. The court date is usually displayed on the ticket when the office issues it.

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How do you contest a traffic ticket?
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Full Answer

Before you decide to contest a ticket, it's a good idea to determine whether it would be easier to simply pay it. Going before a judge takes time and can be stressful, and there is no guarantee that the judge is going to rule in your favor.

If you do decide to contest it, you need to work out a strategy. There are many myths about acceptable defenses. For example, keeping up with the flow of traffic is not an acceptable defense for speeding in most cases. Ones that are more likely to work include speeding for an emergency. If the officer used subjective methods to determine your speed, you can also try to challenge the accuracy of the methods.

You may also build your defense on mitigating factors. For example, you may have ignored a faded traffic sign or one that was hidden behind overgrown bushes. You can argue that you made a reasonable mistake due to those conditions. You can also claim legal justification for your actions, such as if you received a ticket for stopping in a traffic lane but you did so because your car had a sudden mechanical failure.

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