Did you know that roughly 41 million speeding tickets are given out to speedsters every single year? Yikes! That’s a huge number! Were you one of them recently?
While many speeding tickets are reasonable (face it, sometimes you know that you were going above the speed limit), this isn’t always the case. Sometimes tickets are given out unfairly and you are left having to fight a speeding ticket that you didn’t earn.
This can be expensive and look bad on your record. It can even raise the cost of your insurance.
In this case, it might be reasonable to contest a ticket. But how do you do that?
If you’re in the position where you know that you’re innocent and you want to know the next steps, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn how to fight a traffic ticket.
What If I Decide to Pay the Speeding Ticket?
Paying the speeding ticket might not sound like such a big deal, especially if you have the money to lose. Maybe you’re thinking that fighting it just doesn’t seem like it’s worth the trouble so you’re assessing your options. While that’s fair, is it true?
If your ticket was inexpensive, there are times where this might be the more appropriate choice. However, this isn’t always the case. You need to look at the bigger picture.
Paying for a speeding ticket is admitting guilt. While we don’t generally think of it this way, speeding is a crime. This crime can negatively impact your insurance rates and drive up the amount that you have to pay every year.
An affordable ticket can end up costing you thousands over a lifetime. You could potentially have your license suspended if the offense was large enough.
If you have an otherwise clean record and you know that this ticket was given to you under false pretenses, fighting it can save you a lot of money and trouble.
Can I Just Lessen My Costs?
There is a way to avoid a hearing and potentially drop your costs (or a mark on your record). You can negotiate your fines.
If you choose to do this, you are still admitting guilt to a crime. That said, the court may be lenient. You will still have to argue for this leniency, but it could save you money or a mark on your driving record.
This isn’t the ideal situation, but if you aren’t actually confident in your innocence, this could be the best path for you.
What if I Decide to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Court?
You have the option to fight your traffic ticket in court. This can go a few different ways.
Remember, this is a court hearing. You’re a defendant being accused of a crime. You need to plan for this.
This article assumes that you’ve already received your ticket. For future reference, when getting pulled over make sure to not say anything that you do not have to. You can ask the method that the police officer used to gauge your speed and how fast you were allegedly going. This might help you later.
If you have that information, you’re going to have to go into research mode. How reliable is that equipment? How often does it make mistakes? How often should it be maintained or replaced? These things will be useful to you in court.
If you don’t have that information, this could be harder. This is a great time to have some kind of dashcam or GPS software that can gauge your speed. Try to gather evidence like this to bring with you to help support your case.
It can also be helpful to look for any cameras in the area where you were allegedly speeding. They could be your saving grace.
If you have witnesses (like passengers or onlookers) now is the time to gather them for your time of need.
Getting a Lawyer
This is a lot of work for someone to handle on their own, especially if they’ve never been to court before. If this feels overwhelming, you might want to seek out legal counsel from someone who knows the ropes.
Lawyers might seem expensive for traffic tickets, but look into your insurance rates and see how much they can go up from this single event. If it will cost you more than what the lawyer costs, then the lawyer is money well-spent.
These people are professionals who know how to handle your situation (provided that you’re innocent). It’s easy to mess up in court if you’re defending yourself. If you have any doubts at all, there’s no shame at all in seeking help from someone experienced and qualified.
Your Day in Court
Eventually, your time in court will come and you will plead not guilty to a traffic ticket. This can pan out in several ways.
Sometimes the cop who gave you the ticket won’t show up at all. These cases can be nuisances to police officers. This often means that you’re free to go and the case is dismissed. You can’t really rely on this happening, so plan on defending yourself.
Just like any other case, you will be able to ask questions of the accuser, call in witnesses, and present your evidence. The bulk of the work is in the preparation. If you have a lawyer on your side, you’ll be spending a lot of your time being quiet.
Do You Have a Traffic Ticket to Dispute?
Speeding tickets are common, but they can do damage to your insurance rates. If you need to fight a traffic ticket, you need to be smart, be prepared, and potentially enlist the help of some seasoned professionals.
If you’re innocent, there’s no reason that you should have to pay a fine that you don’t deserve.
Let us help you out. If you have a speeding ticket to dispute in Louisiana, contact us. No one should suffer for a crime that they didn’t commit.