Although no one enjoys getting a ticket for a traffic violation, most of us just pay them – especially when they’re for minor offenses – but there are times when it’s worth the inconvenience of fighting the ticket. Every traffic ticket you receive adds points to your driver’s license, and too many points can lead to a suspended license and higher insurance premiums. Sometimes it’s a good idea to fight back.
When to Fight
It’s important to weigh all the variables before choosing to fight a traffic ticket:
- The time involved (including time off from work);
- The expense involved;
- The likelihood that you will prevail; and
- The consequences of the ticket as they apply to your personal driving freedoms and your insurance expenses.
While there are many valid strategies for fighting a traffic ticket, it’s important to employ only those that apply directly to your situation and that make sense (it doesn’t help to throw every approach at every problem):
- Dispute the personal opinion of the officer
If your ticket comes down to the subjective opinion of the officer regarding your speed or your illegal lane change, you can make a case for the likelihood that the officer’s opinion could be clouded by other factors, such as traffic or obstructions to his or her vision.
- Dispute the evidence provided by the officer
This boils down to whether the officer actually saw you engaging in the act you’ve been ticketed for, and will basically come down to whom the judge ends up believing – your burden is high. However, if you have eyewitness testimony, can clearly illustrate via diagram how the event occurred, or have photographs that depict the crux of your claim, such as an obscured stop sign or a disabled traffic light, you might have a viable case.
- Provide evidence that the ticket is a Mistake of Fact
A mistake of fact is a mistake that you make about the situation that is reasonable under the circumstances. Say you made an illegal right turn because the No Right Turn sign had recently blown away – that would be a mistake of fact. Judges are usually allowed to come to their own conclusions in such instances.
- Argue that your driving was justified by the situation
Present facts that render your violation justified and allowable. With this solution there is no need to dispute the officer’s claim at all; your objective is simply to illustrate why the circumstances necessitated that you drive the way you did.
- Argue that your driving was necessary in order to prevent harm
Much like the argument above, this defense is an attempt to show that your driving was necessitated by the circumstances, but in this case, you will endeavor to show that your ticketed driving was directly related to preventing injury or harm to someone else.
If you’re facing a traffic ticket that could negatively affect your driving freedoms or that stands to raise your insurance premiums significantly, you should not hesitate to seek legal counsel.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Attorney Today
A skilled New Jersey attorney can help you assess your options and will fight to preserve your driving privileges. Contact an experienced attorney with expertise in New Jersey traffic law. Schedule your consultation today by calling Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. at 732-422-1000 or by contacting us online.