Your Traffic Ticket—Pay It or Fight It?

Young woman reading speeding ticket, policeman in background

You’re driving along, listening to your radio and talking to your passenger, and are having a great day. Suddenly you hear a siren. You look in your rear view mirror and see something that makes everyone’s heart drop—the flashing lights of a police vehicle right behind you. Your palms begin to sweat, your heart is pounding and your stomach starts churning. Can you get yourself out of this one?

If you aren’t one of the fortunate ones and do, in fact, receive a traffic ticket, what should you do? Do you simply pay the ticket and move on with your life? Or, do you fight it?

Consider the Law

It would be nice if legal jargon was always simple to understand. Unfortunately, a lot of times laws seem very convoluted to anyone other than attorneys. Even law enforcement officers don’t always understand the exact wording of the law.

When an officer writes you a ticket, it’s important to read the exact reason that they wrote you up. Then, research the law that you’ve been accused of breaking. Sometimes, within the wording of the law you may find a way out of the ticket. You may find that what you’ve were pulled over for doesn’t match what the law you’re accused of breaking. This is a time when you can get out of it based on a technicality. To be sure you’re correct in your assumptions, it would be wise to discuss the matter with a legal professional.

Figuring Out Your Defense

If you can’t find a technicality that can get you out of the ticket, there are other ways to make your defense. The biggest thing to take into consideration is the circumstances leading up to you being pulled over. For instance:

  • Was there heavy traffic? How did the officer know for certain that he pulled over the correct vehicle?
  • Were you endangering anyone around you? There are certain situations in which the law allows a driver to drive slightly over the speed limit as long as they weren’t driving dangerously.

These are just a couple of defensive moves you or your attorney can take to help you fight your ticket. A legal professional will have more questions like this for you to answer so as to create a defense for you.

Defenses That Won’t Work

There are some cases in which it would be a waste of time to go to court and you should just pay the traffic ticket. If you clearly broke the law, you’ll need to bite the bullet and pay the ticket. For example, you can’t argue that you didn’t harm anyone when you ran a red light in the early hours of the morning. You still broke the law and a judge is going to throw your defense out if you attempt it.

In most cases, whether you choose to fight a traffic ticket or not would best be decided after getting practical legal advice. Contact the office of John C. Fitzpatrick for some valuable feedback on your traffic ticket situation.