7 Important Tips to Remember if You Receive a Traffic Ticket
June 2024
7 Important Tips to Remember if You Receive a Traffic Ticket

Let’s face it, we’re all human, which means we can all make mistakes while driving. We may inadvertently speed, roll through a stop sign, or pick up that phone call from a family member. Getting pulled over by a police officer and being issued a ticket can not only be a stressful experience, but it could also negatively affect your driving record if points are assessed to your driving record. And you may even end up in court.

But good news—there are some tips that can help with getting a traffic ticket dismissed. So if you’re asking yourself “is it worth it to fight a speeding ticket,” the answer is “yes.”

Here are seven tips that make it easier for you to get your traffic ticket dismissed in court.

1.  Be respectful to the officer

If you’re pulled over by a police officer, stay cool, calm and collected and answer their questions truthfully. Your demeanor during a traffic stop counts. In other words, treating officers with respect can not only make a difference when it comes to getting a ticket, it can make a difference further down the line, in court.

2.  Preserve evidence 

If it can help your case, take photos of the scene. Depending on the facts, dashcam footage may also be useful. You can also ask for a copy of the officer’s notes, which will be helpful at trial, as you’ll know what to expect them to say, and you can prepare questions to ask the officer.

3.  Don’t enter a guilty plea or just pay the fine

In some states, you have the option to request an in-person trial, or a trial “by declaration.” The latter is an option for people who don’t like public speaking. It allows people to defend tickets in writing without having to be in court. Some people prefer requesting this type of trial because if you lose, you can request a second trial in person.

4.  Prepare, prepare, prepare

When it comes to winning in court, there’s no such thing as being too prepared. Organize your documents and arguments. Get all of the relevant facts together in a way that you can easily refer to them, whether it’s on notecards, typed out on paper, or in some other format. You want to present all the relevant facts concisely to the judge. If you have witnesses, make sure that you prepared them.

You want to be familiar with the information that’s important to your case, like radar readings (if it’s a speeding ticket), the date, the time of day, and your registration and insurance details. When presenting your case, details from when it happened will be discussed, such as the weather and what you were wearing.

You can sign up for LegalShield membership online to gain access to lawyers in your area 24/7 for covered legal emergencies. The mobile application even includes a feature to take a picture of your traffic ticket and send it directly to your LegalShield provider law firm. Your membership plan includes consultations with a provider your lawyer that covers any type of personal legal matter, including traffic tickets and auto accidents.

5. Make a good impression on the judge

Somewhat similar to No. 1 above, make a good impression on the judge. Dress professionally, be courteous, and don’t give them an excuse to rule against you. You also want to be respectful to the clerks and all other court employees.

Even if the prosecutor tries to rattle you with questions, stay calm—angry answers can only hurt you.

6. Allow the lawyer to direct you regarding the best course of action

The judge could dismiss your ticket.

Don’t put forth every single defense under the sun that you can think of. Many simply aren’t helpful. Here are several commonly used defenses that rarely meet with success:

  • Claiming ignorance of the law
  • Claiming you were simply “going with the flow” of traffic
  • Claiming the officer singled you out
  • Claiming no one was hurt and there was no property damage
  • Telling an exaggerated sad story

Let a professional review the facts of your case and guide you on the proper defense.

7. Consult a LegalShield Provider Lawyer

When it comes to motor vehicle issues, like traffic tickets, getting a professional legal opinion is always a good idea. Lawyers can truly make the difference with respect to your driving record. For example, in California, minor violations stay on your record for 3 years and major violations for a whopping 10 years.

LegalShield offers membership for a low monthly fee—this means that you could get legal help for a tiny fraction of what such services usually cost. There are so many benefits of a membership, but a member favorite is legal assistance for traffic violations. Whether you have a general traffic question or specific questions about your ticket, LegalShield is here to give you the advice you need.