You’re enjoying your Friday night with your significant other as you cruise to your favorite downtown hotspot when you see red and blue lights come into your rear view mirror: you’re being pulled over. Nothing can kill a good mood like a little law enforcement and the ticket you are about to receive could mean a hefty fine. However, there have been a lot of theories and opinions on different ways to get out of a ticket. Patrick Allan from Lifehacker has examined five popular traffic law myths and determined their validity.
Your Ticket Is Automatically Dropped If the Officer Doesn’t Show Up in Court
This is surely one of the most popular beliefs among Americans when it comes to going to court for a traffic ticket. It is based on the notion that if you contest the ticket instead of pleading guilty and paying the fine, and the officer doesn’t show up for whatever reason, the ticket will automatically be dropped. While this would be a simple win, it’s not that easy. “In many states, like Massachusetts, the citing officer doesn’t have to show up to your initial hearing at all, and only has to appear if you appeal that initial hearing. In that situation, you would have a hard time getting your ticket dropped unless you had some seriously compelling evidence,” Allan writes. At the very most, this can be labeled as a gamble.
“Radar Inaccuracy” Is a Good Defense for Traffic Tickets
Ah yes, the old “blame it on the radar gun” defense. While it’s true that radar guns can fail and report inaccurate speeds, arguing against them in court is an uphill climb. A judge will likely request proof of a radar malfunction, which is extremely hard to do, so it becomes your word against the radar’s word. “The best you could do is suggest that the officer’s equipment hasn’t been re-calibrated recently. For that, you’d need to see the officers calibration records and that would probably involve hiring a traffic attorney. You still may not even win, and at that point, you have to decide what will cost you less,” Allan explains.
Matching the “Flow of Traffic” and Passing Are Valid Excuses for Speeding
While it seems like “staying with the flow of traffic” seems like a good enough reason to drive over the speed limit, it’s not likely that it will get you out of a traffic ticket. Allan warns that drivers can go with the flow, but at their own risk, and don’t be shocked when you are pulled over by a police officer who is looking to make an example out of somebody. “Speeding is speeding, no matter the reason. So the only time making excuses might work is if you have an emergency-related excuse,” Allan writes.
You’re More Likely to Get a Ticket at the End of the Month Due to Ticket Quotas
You have probably heard somebody say that law enforcement officers become more desperate to pick a violator out for a ticket near the end of each month because they have to meet a quota of tickets handed out. Not only do a vast majority of police departments in the United States not set quotas at all, even those that do have quotas are at considerably low levels.
Traffic Tickets Don’t Transfer to Other States
Just like you can’t run from your problems, you can’t run from your traffic tickets either. 44 out of 50 states are members of the Non-Resident Violator Compact, which means they all share ticket data. This means that there’s nowhere to hide and record points and fines will follow you wherever you go.”
This article is just for informational purposes. Readers are encouraged to speak with a qualified and experienced lawyer with any questions regarding any traffic citations or traffic crimes.
Your best bet when getting pulled over is to cooperate with the police officer as politly and respectfully as possible. They are just doing their job and ultimately looking to keep you safe. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an auto accident due to a driver who was violating the rules of the road, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced with accidents caused by drivers blowing through red lights, stop signs and ignoring other traffic signs. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.