Millions of traffic tickets are issued every year in the US. Depending on the state, an offender can get a penalty cost ranging between $150 and $2000.
Speeding violations in Florida are not any less strict as they carry fines of up to $500. If you happened to commit the infraction near a construction zone or school, you could get a maximum penalty of $1000.
Getting a speeding ticket is one of the simplest ways you can turn a good day into a stressful one. Apart from getting huge unwanted expenses from the fine, you have to deal with the hassle of showing up in court to resolve the issue.
But, can you fight for ticket dismissal in court? Keep reading to find out what you need to do if you receive a traffic ticket.
What are your Options and How do You Take Care of A Traffic Ticket?
Whenever you receive a traffic ticket, always be sure to read through it carefully and follow all the instructions that it lists. The ticket indicates the violation the traffic officer is citing you for, the date to attend court, and the amount to pay.
There are several options available for dealing with a traffic ticket. The fastest and easiest is to accept the charges and pay the fine either through the mail or online. What do you do if you did not commit the violation but received a ticket?
If you do not want to admit the charges, you can try to get the ticket dismissed. It may not be an easy process since the chances of getting a dismissal are very low. However, there are ways the law can help you get a termination of your ticket.
Steps to Getting a Ticket Dismissal
There are several steps you have to take if you want the court to dismiss your traffic ticket. Here is what you should do.
1. Contact the Court
The ticket comes with a deadline date on which you must report to the court to acknowledge that you received the ticket. Then you will get to learn about the options that you have.
One option you can choose is a deferred dispensation where you receive probation for a short time and still pay the full fine together with the court fees. However, the court scraps the ticket from your record.
2. Taking Defensive Driving
Another alternative way is by taking a defensive driving or driving safety course. The course allows you to get a dismissal of one ticket within one year. However, the court needs to approve dismissing the ticket first before you take the course.
Taking the course is an excellent way to show the judge that you are consistently working to rectify your wrongdoing.
3. Getting Organized
Before you head to court, it is essential that you organize everything you need to ask for a dismissal. It can be helpful if you have a clear record of how everything happened before you were issued with the ticket.
You should note the time, date, weather, and any other information that you may find relevant about the day you received the citation. You should also include your insurance information as well as radar reading.
Make sure to remember even the details that seem unimportant about that day. The prosecution will try their level best to make you look guilty. However, by having plenty of information, you stand a chance of proving your innocence.
Do not forget to write the reason why you think you do not deserve the ticket. Even If you did not commit the offense or the violation was due to a piece of faulty equipment, be sure to carry some evidence to support your claims in court.
4. Consulting A lawyer
If you are not confident about standing trial on your own, you can get the services of an ideal lawyer to help you through the process.
Ways you can Fight your Ticket
Certain situations may warrant a court to dismiss your traffic ticket. Some of these include:
1. If there is an Error on the Ticket
Once you receive a citation, the officer gives you a ticket that contains your details such as your car registration number and the date you need to visit the court. Once you receive the ticket, you should go through it thoroughly.
You can get the court to dismiss the ticket if you find any errors such as the wrong vehicle code statute or license plate number.
2. If it was A Mistake of Fact
A judge may offer you some leeway if you can demonstrate that you made a reasonable error. A good example is failing to stop at a stop sign because the signboard was hidden from view or broken.
The judge may find the mistake unintentional and withdraw the ticket. However, for you to successfully convince the court, you need to provide enough convincing evidence to support your claims. You can take a picture of the site and present it in court.
3. If You can Legally Justify Your Actions
Depending on the circumstances of your violation, you can argue in court that the actions you took were legally justified. You could use this defense if there were an emergency that forced you to commit the violation.
Some of these examples include:
- Swerving to avoid hitting a person on the road or another vehicle.
- Trying to avoid an obstacle on the road resulting in making a dangerous swerve.
- Stopping in the middle of the road due to a car breakdown.
- Exceeding the speed limit if there is a passenger in the car that requires immediate medical attention.
- Increase your speed to exit the highway if you suddenly feel ill.
The defense idea is to convince the judge that the violation was meant to avoid severe damage to another person, someone’s property, or to oneself.
Is there A Chance to Get Your Ticket Dismissed?
There is no guarantee that you will indefinitely get a ticket dismissal. However, you have better chances if you follow the above process to the letter.
Your chances are even better if you get a lawyer to help you through the whole process. Contact us today if you are looking for an attorney to help with your traffic ticket case.