Whenever I go to a party, I get one or both  “party questions” that is part of the job since I fight traffic tickets in Florida. The fist question is usually about DUI. More specifically, it is about the breath test and roadside exams. I have written several articles about that, so I will focus on the second most common question I get. How do you fight a traffic ticket when I am 100% guilty? There are several ways to deal with a traffic ticket in court. The first and most obvious way we get traffic tickets dismissed is that we look for a defect on the face of the traffic ticket. Wrong statute, date or other missing or incorrect information. But I need to say one thing to those of you who believe you should pay a traffic ticket if you are guilty. What would you do if your son or daughter got arrested for DUI? Would you let the judge throw the book at her? If you child or loved one got caught with drugs, would you tell the judge to send him to prison? If you received a traffic ticket for every stop sign you rolled through and every time you exceeded the speed limit by even 1 MPH, would you just pay the thousands of dollars in fines? I think not. Thus, if you get a traffic ticket, don’t just pay it, fight it.

What evidence is relevant in defending a Florida traffic ticket?

It is a common and honorable notion for Florida residents to believe that when they are being pulled over, they must have done something wrong.  However, despite most Florida police officers good intentions, there are numerous errors that they can make that can put into question the Florida traffic ticket they are about to issue. However, despite the errors that can be made, most drivers are unaware of the potential for these errors, which could, if argued in court, result in a dismissal of the case.  As a result, most drivers will simply mail in their ticket with an admission of guilt, which serves as the starting bell for potential increased insurance rates, driving school requirements and points on one’s license.For those who feel that they were wrongfully pulled over, looking into the circumstances of the stop can reveal common errors made by police officers and can give the driver a great chance at beating the ticket in court.

Where was the officer stationed when you crossed paths with them?

Police Officers often have favorite hangout spots where they can see a car before the car can see them.  This allows them to catch the unsuspecting driver before they can apply their brakes so the officer can record the highest level of speed possible. Although this tactic is entirely legal, looking at the spot the officer claims they were stationed and where you actually recall seeing them can be vastly different. For the most part, this is merely a lapse of memory on the part of the officer. However, this lapse could open the door to questioning whether the alleged speed and the alleged speed limit were accurately depicted in the traffic ticket as well. Drivers who take their ticket to court should go back to the scene and photograph the area where the infraction is alleged to have occurred.  This evidence, which can be presented in court, may convince a judge that if the officer cannot accurately recall where they were positioned, they may also not be able to accurately recall what speed the driver was operating at.

Where were the speed limit signs?

Although posted speed limits are supposed to be posted in obvious places so that drivers can be fully informed, this is not always the case. Speed limit signs can be knocked down, covered by tree branches or, in some cases, reveal a different speed limit then what was alleged in the traffic ticket. By revisiting the area and finding the nearest speed limit sign to the traffic stop, a driver may find that they were not properly informed of the speed limit in the area and thus, the speed they were traveling at was reasonable under the circumstances.

What information did the officer give during the stop?

As has been illustrated in previous posts, a police officer will often ask the driver why they feel that they were pulled over. After a driver states that they are unsure of the reason, it is important to pay close attention to the officer’s reply. In this reply, the officer may give key details as to his thought process at the time he initially viewed the vehicle and thus, may give a hint as to his potential strategy if he is called to present evidence before a judge. By understanding the basis for a charge, a driver can formulate the best possible defense, which will give them the best possible chance to succeed in convincing a judge that they are not responsible. No one wants to face the consequences of a Florida traffic ticket.  However, if the proper investigative measures are taken, enough doubt may be cast to allow the driver to walk free of any serious consequences. So if you get a traffic ticket for anything, call me, Jason Diamond, for a free consultation.

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