As any driver can attest, they do not like getting pulled over by law enforcement. While it happens on the daily in Illinois and elsewhere, the reality is that it does not make the experience easy for motorists. Additionally, many drivers are not left with a warning and are given a traffic citation. A traffic ticket may seem like something minor; however, it is important for motorists to know that they could take action against a traffic citation.
When a motorist sees lights in their rearview mirror and hears sirens going, this does not always mean he or she will face a serious charge, such as a DUI. However, a traffic citation could result in an officer alleges the driver was speeding, ran a red light or made an illegal U-turn. As such, it is important for one to understand what options they have to defend him or herself against a traffic citation.
Fighting a traffic ticket
While motorists could take various actions to fight a traffic citation, this post will focus on the five strategies most often used. To begin, a motorist could dispute the personal opinion of the police officer. In other words, a motorist could challenge the subjective conclusion made by the officer. A motorist could argue that the officer was ahead of them when making a turn or that they were traveling a safe speed for the current road conditions.
The second strategy is to dispute the presentation of evidence by the officer. This challenges whether the officer observed the motorist doing the ticket action and what proof there is to support that. Third, a motorist could argue that there was a mistake of fact. For example, a driver could argue that they were driving in two lanes because the lines were so worn that it was difficult to see where the line was.
Fourth, a motorist could argue that their driving was justified. This doesn’t dispute the officer’s statement or the charge of the ticket but rather illustrates the circumstances that necessitated his or her driving. For example, one could argue that they sped up to evade a driver that was crossing the line or a drunk driver. Finally, one could argue that their driving that was ticketed was necessary to prevent harm. This is similar to the fourth strategy; however, it focuses on avoiding harm to individuals, such as speeding to avoid an accident with a swerving car, or crossing the line to avoid a pedestrian that fell off of the sidewalk.
Whether one seeks to reduce the impact the ticket has on their driving record or have it entirely dismissed, it is important for motorists to understand their options. In order to better understand what actions to take, one must assess the details of their situation. This not only ensures they take the best course of action but also that their rights are protected along the way.