A traffic ticket can be one of those minor annoyances that are part of everyday life in the Tarheel State. But getting a traffic ticket can also cost more than a little fine. Depending on the charge, your insurance could go up, and you’ll likely have an increase of points on your driver’s license. (More than 12 points, and your license could be suspended.) If you drive for a living, you could lose your job as well as your license.
Sometimes, drivers have been known to talk their way out of a ticket. But that’s not always an option.
While it’s tempting to just pay it and be done with it, you may not want to do that. But how do you go about fighting a Raleigh, NC traffic ticket? It takes a little time and effort, but it can be done, successfully.
Dispute The Officer’s Subjective Judgement/Conclusion
If you were in a situation where the officer was required to make a judgment call as to whether or not you violated the law, you may be able to levy a challenge. Was the officer in an ideal location to observe your actions when giving you a Raleigh, NC traffic ticket?
Dispute The Officer’s Observations
While a police officer’s observation and opinion is frequently the prevailing one, evidence may be used to prove your side of the story:
- Witness statements who can substantiate your version of the events (these would be passengers, bystanders or anyone else who was a witness)
- Drawings and/or diagrams of the area where the ticket was issued, including the locations of your vehicle as well as the officer’s. Include locations such as stop signs, other vehicles, traffic signals and other landmarks.
- Photographs of the area where you were stopped and ticketed, including road conditions, obstructions, and anything else that can prove your version of events.
- Additional evidence that would dispute the officer’s ability to correctly observe your alleged violation.
The “Mistake Of Fact” Defense
Old, faded or hidden stop signs, or other markings that aren’t readily visible can mean that even the most attentive drivers miss something. Because the sign or instructions weren’t clear to the driver, (especially something like a stop sign that’s hidden behind a tree, branch or other obstruction) you weren’t given notice of the conduct that was expected. Under these circumstances, a judge may dismiss your ticket as a “mistake of fact.”
If you find yourself in this situation, taking pictures of the hidden sign or other invisible signage is essential to proving your case.
“Legal Necessity” For Your Actions
Should you find yourself in a situation where you needed to pull over, speed up or slow down to avoid an accident, injury or other danger, you may be able to use this defense. Rather than disputing the officer’s testimony, you’ll introduce another legal point which may be successful.
For instance, if your vehicle began making a loud noise, or suddenly stops operating, you stop in the middle of the road to avoid harming other drivers and causing an accident. Or you swerve and/or speed up to avoid another vehicle that’s out of control or an unexpected object. If you’ve ever swerved to avoid a bag or a box in the road, you understand this.
Of course, you’ll also need evidence, such as pictures, repair bills, witness statements, or other documentation in order to prove your defense.
Winning By Default
Police officers sometimes don’t show up for court. If this happens, and your ticket is dismissed, pat yourself on the back. Make sure you don’t owe any fines or court costs before you leave the courthouse, or you’ll be in for another surprise later.
You Can Fight A Raleigh, NC Traffic Ticket
Don’t fight a ticket alone, especially if you already have points on your license. Keep your license and your driving record clear with the right help. Dewey P. Brinkley is ready to help you fight back against a traffic ticket and keep your driving record clear. Call him today at 919-832-0307 or contact him online to schedule your free consultation.