We’d all like to believe that we’re excellent drivers. But the truth is that most of us have made poor decisions behind the wheel at one time or another. It’s not just inexperienced folks, either; although 5% of the driving population is comprised of motorists under age 21, even the most seasoned drivers take risks that result in the receipt of traffic violations. Whether you’ve run a red light and were caught on camera or were pulled over due to speeding, you might believe some common misconceptions about traffic tickets. If you don’t know the truth behind these myths, your misjudgment could make this situation even worse.
MYTH: You don’t need to bother to pay traffic tickets issued in other states.
Fact: With very few exceptions, you cannot simply ignore a ticket you’ve received while traveling in another state. In most cases, one state’s DMV will communicate with the one where you live and they’ll essentially transfer the ticket over. If you fail to pay it, you could incur even higher fees and have your license suspended. Your traffic ticket lawyers would recommend that you take care of the ticket as soon as possible, no matter where it was issued.
MYTH: The court will drop your ticket if the officer fails to show up.
Fact: If you choose to work with your traffic ticket lawyers to contest your ticket in court, you may be under the impression that the ticket will be automatically be dropped if the issuing officer doesn’t show up. That’s most often not what happens. Some states don’t even require the officer to appear at the initial hearing; other times, the hearing may simply be rescheduled, which means you’ll have to take additional time out of your schedule for this purpose. You shouldn’t bet on getting your ticket dismissed, nor should you choose to contest your ticket if your traffic ticket lawyers advise you it won’t be worth your time.
MYTH: “Radar inaccuracy” is a good defense when fighting a speeding ticket.
Fact: It may sound like a valid argument to make, and it might even be true that your speedometer didn’t match up with what the police’s radar says. But unfortunately, you probably won’t have any proof that an officer’s radar gave a faulty reading. Your traffic ticket lawyers could possibly argue that the officer’s radar hadn’t been re-calibrated recently, but they’d need to access those records first. Before making assumptions about defenses that might help your case, it’s important to consult with your attorney to determine whether they could actually hurt.
MYTH: Passing and matching the flow of traffic are valid excuses for speeding.
Fact: Some drivers think that passing a slow-moving vehicle or keeping up with the traffic flow will keep them safe from receiving a speeding ticket. That’s not so. While driving too slowly is a hazard, traveling above the speed limit to pass that slow car ahead of you is still illegal. And just because “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t give you a reason to speed, too. In both scenarios, you can still be issued a traffic ticket — and protesting with this reasoning won’t help matters. Your traffic ticket lawyers would advise you not to admit to breaking the law, even if you think your brief period of speeding is justified due to conditions around you.
MYTH: Failing to sign your ticket will get you off the hook.
Fact: There are certain ticketing mistakes that could work to your advantage. For example, if the DMV or the officer makes a huge mistake on a ticket, you could contest the error in court with help from an attorney. But a purposeful mistake on your part — like failing to sign your ticket or misspelling your own name — won’t do one bit of good. Signing your ticket shows only that you received it; it’s not an admission of guilt, and it can still be processed without your signature.
Being issued a traffic ticket can be stressful, but there’s no reason you have to go through this process without help. By having a reputable lawyer by your side, you may be able to fight unfair traffic tickets and restore peace to your life.