29 May 20 Tips: Will My Traffic Ticket Get Dismissed?
20 Tips: Will My Traffic Ticket Get Dismissed?
Getting a traffic ticket is not only frustrating but can also be quite expensive, depending on the infraction, not to mention additional costs and consequences such as increased insurance premiums and license suspension/revocation as per ny-defense.com. This is why you are best served to fight the ticket rather than simply pay the fine. When you decide to fight your ticket, the best outcome you can hope for is for your ticket to be dismissed, but will your traffic ticket get dismissed? Let’s find out.
Circumstances where traffic tickets are dismissed as well as key considerations to note
If you choose to contest your traffic ticket in court, there are several circumstances in which you may be able to get the judge to dismiss your case, and they include:
The police officer doesn’t show up
The most common situation resulting in dismissal of a traffic ticket occurs if you appear in court as required prepared to fight your traffic ticket, only for the officer who issued the ticket not to show up. Without the issuing officer, the People cannot prove its case against you. In such a situation, you can request to have your case dismissed.
Why is a no-show by the officer grounds for dismissal?
As discussed at ny-defense.com, according to the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, you have the right to be confronted by your accusers. Since the issuing officer is the only witness to your alleged offense, not only does their absence mean there is nobody to corroborate the information in the ticket, but your constitutional rights would be violated if you are still tried and convicted.
How likely is this scenario and will I get a dismissal?
While some judges may dismiss a ticket if the issuing officer doesn’t show, other judges, require two or more “no shows” by the officer before considering dismissing the ticket. So, it is likely the judge will reschedule your court appearance to give the officer another opportunity to show up. It is also worth noting that officers very rarely fail to show up in court as it is part of their job description to do so, so don’t count on it.
The police officer makes a major error during trial
Another scenario that may lead to the dismissal of your traffic ticket by the judge is if the police officer who issued you with the ticket makes a major error during the trial. As outlined at ny-defense.com, major mistakes during the trial include inconsistent testimony or omitting important information.
How to take advantage of such errors
To take advantage of the possibility that the officer may make a major error during the trial, you must listen to everything the officer says – and take notes – so that you can point out potential inconsistencies during cross-examination. You can also ask to see the officer’s notes to see if there are discrepancies between them and their testimony. Of course, hiring a lawyer covers all these bases for you.
There is incorrect information on your ticket
In some cases, errors on your traffic ticket made by the officer in recording your information may be grounds for the automatic dismissal of your case. Among such errors include an incorrect driver’s license or license plate, the wrong date, or the wrong vehicle code section. In such cases, the judge may determine the ticket to be invalid and dismiss your case. The team at ny-defense.com has the experience and skills to identify such errors and use them to your advantage.
Not all errors will result in a dismissal
It is also important to note that not all errors will result in the judge dismissing your case. Irrelevant errors include the vehicle’s make, model, or color, the speed, or the address/location where the offense allegedly occurred. The officer misspelling your name will also not lead to dismissal because it is not you as there will be other information on the ticket that can be used to identify.
Your speed was detected using faulty equipment
As articulated over at ny-defense.com, for speeding tickets, if you can prove – or at least question the validity – that the equipment the officer used in determining whether to give you a ticket – such as radar detector – was faulty, then you may be able to have your ticket dismissed. Read your ticket carefully, if the officer said they stopped you with radar, but the radar space on the citation is empty, you can bring this up in court.
Still on the equipment used to determine your speed when issuing you with a ticket, you may also ask to see calibration records of the equipment to determine whether it was properly maintained and adhered to departmental standards, and if not, it may provide you with an opportunity for a dismissal.
If the officer doesn’t mention radar in their testimony
Also, if the officer fails to mention radar in their testimony but told you that you were clocked at a certain speed, you or your attorney can ask if the police car was equipped with radar, whether the officer was trained in its use, what percentage of tickets the officer issues rely on radar, how the officer determined your speed if not through radar, and similar questions designed to elicit enough doubt to get your case dismissed.
As pointed out by ny-defense.com, the faulty equipment defense can also apply to your vehicle. You can have your vehicle checked to see if your speedometer is calibrated correctly, which may help get out of a speeding ticket. In such a scenario, you may be able to argue that you didn’t realize you were speeding because of a mechanical defect in your vehicle.
It is your first offense
If you are lucky to get a sympathetic judge and this is your first traffic offense, then you may be able to get your ticket dismissed, especially if you have an otherwise clean driving record. Additionally, you can also introduce evidence of your good character such as eyewitnesses, community service – anything that may give the judge reason to dismiss your case.
Defensive driving course
In addition to using your otherwise clean driving record as a first offender to get a dismissal, if you take a defensive driving course and bring evidence of your attendance to the court, then the judge may also be more inclined to dismiss your ticket.
You have proof that you were nowhere near the scene
If you weren’t anywhere near the scene where the ticket was issued – and can prove it (very important) – then there is a strong possibility that the judge will dismiss your ticket. This is a defense that is typically used by those who receive red light infraction tickets in the mail courtesy of red-light cameras or those who receive a ticket from an automated speed detector and can prove they were elsewhere at the time of the alleged infraction.
Defenses that won’t get your ticket dismissed
There are some common defenses people try when fighting traffic tickets to get them dismissed, but they just don’t work according to ny-defense.com, and they include:
Ignorance of the law
It is important to note that it doesn’t matter that you honestly misunderstood or didn’t know the law. Most minor traffic laws don’t require that you intentionally violate the law. Therefore, even if you were unaware of the particular law you violated, the judge won’t care.
Going with the flow of traffic
According to ny-defense.com, you can not use the defense that you were simply going with the flow of traffic to get your ticket dismissed. The fact that other drivers were also violating the law doesn’t help your case in any way.
The officer only picked you out of many other potential violators
Don’t also use the argument that the officer only picked you for the enforcement when plenty of other people were violating the law. By making this argument, you are essentially admitting that you, and the other violators, are in fact guilty. The fact that the officer picked you, and not somebody else, is generally irrelevant unless you can prove that the officer did so unethically.
No one was hurt and no property was damaged
As is covered at ny-defense.com, you should also avoid using the argument that your violation didn’t harm anyone or cause any property damage. Most minor traffic infractions don’t require that the officer prove someone was injured or property was damaged for a violation to occur.
A sob story
Traffic court judges handle lots of cases daily and have seen it and heard it all. They hear all manner of excuses all day long and may doubt your honesty if you start telling a sad story as part of your defense. At best, if your story is compelling enough, you may get a slightly reduced fine, but you are unlikely to get a dismissal.
The officer is lying
Remember that, in court, the officer is under oath, to tell the truth. Between you and the police officer, the judge is more likely to believe the officer, unless you have specific proof. Therefore, if you make it a case of your word against the officer’s, then you will lose out.
While getting your traffic ticket dismissed is not very common, it can be done as discussed in this article, and hiring the top-rated ny-defense.com gives you the best chance of getting your New York traffic ticket dismissed, or at least getting a more favorable outcome.