Another common question that I get as a criminal defense attorney is: How can I beat my traffic ticket?
My answer is almost always the same: Set every traffic ticket for trial. In the words of the great DUI defense attorney Charles Unger, “Good things happen when we answer ready for trial”.
In order to prosecute most traffic cases, the police officer has to be present. If the officer is not present the case will be dismissed. In some specific cases, more than one officer must be present to prosecute the case. Whenever possible I like to set my tickets for just before a holiday weekend. I have had a great deal of success with this in the past.
If the officer is present, then, what I normally do is talk to the officer about the case. Without giving up our potential defense, we talk about any evidence or exhibits we have and discuss whether or not the officer is willing to dismiss the offense or reduce it to a non-moving violation. This would be something that does not carry a point for DMV purposes.
If the case involves the use of a “radar” device, I assess the merits of traffic radar survey where it is applicable. If there is no survey or the survey does not comply with the law for use with a radar device, I may earn a dismissal for this reason.
If I am unable to resolve the case then we may proceed to trial. Even if we lose at trial, many judges will still give the defendant traffic school if we make a good case at trial. Sometimes judges will even reduce or suspend fines for us.
Traffic school affords us the one time ability every 18 months to remove the point from our record. Currently, traffic school can be attended on the internet and is affordable and quick to complete.
The only reason not to set a traffic ticket for trial is because it does take some time. It often requires two court appearances and can be inconvenient. If your time is too valuable to set your case for trial, than hire a lawyer to handle it for you.
For questions about your traffic ticket, call me: (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340.