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When is it a good idea to dispute a traffic ticket?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Criminal Defense, Traffic Violations |

If you have gotten a traffic ticket in Georgia, you may think it’s probably better to simply pay it and be done with it. However, that’s an admission of guilt, so you might want to fight it instead. Sometimes, it’s worth it to dispute a traffic ticket.

Know the traffic law you supposedly violated

Although an officer wrote out the traffic ticket and presented it to you, they may not know all the laws pertaining to traffic violations. The first step in deciding whether you should dispute a traffic ticket is knowing what law you supposedly violated. Once you have that information, you have a better chance of being able to successfully defend yourself and fight the ticket.

Attending traffic school may help

Sometimes, when you face a traffic ticket, you can have the ticket forgiven if you attend traffic school. You can look into whether this is a viable option in Georgia. If it is, you can request it from the judge, and you may have the ticket reduced or even dismissed.

How can you defend against the traffic ticket?

There are a variety of defenses that can be used when you choose to fight a traffic ticket. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Officer doesn’t show up: You can win your case if the officer who wrote you the ticket doesn’t show up to court. If you postpone to a later court or schedule a date during the summer or close to the holidays, the odds are higher that the officer won’t show up.
  • Camera ticket and hearsay: Tickets based on cameras are easy to defeat as the court usually doesn’t bother with pictures or video, so your ticket can be dismissed. There’s also the lack of a person to question other than the officer.
  • Trial by declaration: Trial by mail is strictly paperwork. You can choose this type of trial to try to get the ticket dismissed. Officers rarely respond to the paperwork with their side.
  • Speedy, public trial: The Sixth Amendment allows you to get a speedy, public trial, which might get a ticket dismissed. Never sign the document you are presented that states you will waive your right to a speedy trial.
  • Ticket based on radar gun: If your ticket was based on a radar gun, the speed limit measured might be inaccurate. You can argue about it and question whether the radar gun used was recalibrated.
  • Ticket errors: Sometimes, there are significant errors on a traffic ticket, such as the wrong make of your car, the wrong road or even the wrong ticket altogether. Pointing this out may get the ticket dismissed.

Always do your homework after getting a traffic ticket. Once you have all the information, you’ll be better equipped to dispute the ticket.