Challenging A Traffic Ticket: 3 Legal Defenses Your Lawyer May Employ

19 January 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog

Have you recently received a traffic ticket that you feel is unfair or unlawful? If so, a reputable traffic ticket lawyer may be able to help you challenge this ticket using one of the legal defenses described below.

Your Actions Were Legally Necessary

The law recognizes that situations will occur in which it is necessary to break the law in order to ensure your own safety or the safety of others. For example, if you encounter an unexpected obstacle in the road and are forced to cross over a double line in order to avoid this obstacle, the law provides you with the ability to complete this otherwise illegal action in order to prevent personal injury or property damage.

If you feel as though the actions you were ticketed for were legally necessary, your lawyer may be able to have the ticket dismissed using this defense. However, you should be aware that determining legal necessity is at the discretion of the judge in your case. Consequently, you should be ready to present a convincing case before choosing to employ this defense.

The Ticketing Officer Was Mistaken In Their Observations

Law enforcement officials are people too. This means that they will make mistakes just as you do. If you believe that the ticketing officer in your case was mistaken in their observation of your actions, you can choose to challenge these observations in court. For instance, if you were ticketed for an unsafe lane change, you can argue that your actions were both safe and reasonable given current traffic conditions. You can also argue that from the officer's location, it was impossible for them to fully observe the situation as you saw it.

In many cases, challenging the observations of the ticketing officer will come down to your word against theirs. As you can imagine, the judge is often far more willing to accept the testimony of a police officer than of a civilian. Therefore, this defense is best reserved for cases where other witnesses are available to corroborate your version of events.

It Was An Honest Mistake

If you are able to prove that your conduct was the result of a reasonable mistake that anyone could have made, the judge in your case may be willing to dismiss your ticket as a mistake of fact. For instance, if you were unable to see a stop sign due to debris from a storm and were subsequently ticketed for a failure to stop, you could assert that this action was a mistake and that you would have stopped had you been able to see the sign. In this situation, you have demonstrated that your actions were a mistake of fact and that the resulting ticket should be dismissed.