Traffic tickets are a reality for every driver, but using tricks to try and get out of them is never a good idea. Below are five misconceptions many drivers have when it comes to citations.
Myth #1: You’re allowed to speed if you’re going with the flow of traffic
We’re all guilty of matching the (excessive) speed of the cars around us, because hey, everyone else is doing it! But unfortunately, this means that the judge has heard this excuse a million times before from other speeding ticket recipients. He or she won’t be impressed, because it doesn’t matter if other drivers are speeding; by law, you are required to obey the posted speed limit.
Myth #2: You can count on the officer not showing up
Yes, police officers are busy people, but part of their job is appearing in court for traffic tickets they write. It reflects poorly on the officer if they are routinely not showing up, so rest assured they make these court hearings a priority. Therefore, don’t expect to get out of a ticket based merely on the assumption that the officer who cited you won’t be present. If you’re hinging your entire case on that, you’re better off pleading guilty and taking traffic school if you can.
Myth #3: A mistake on your ticket will get it dismissed
Blatant errors, like an inaccurate description of the situation that occurred or noting the wrong make or color of your vehicle, can potentially help you win your case. But many drivers believe that tiny clerical errors on their citation will get their ticket dismissed entirely. Technicalities like this rarely happen, and you can’t rely on them for ticket dismissal.
Myth #4: If you don’t sign the ticket, nothing will happen
Some drivers mistakenly believe that signing a traffic ticket is an admission of guilt for the traffic violation. However, this is not the case. By signing the ticket, you are merely acknowledging that you received the citation, and promising to appear in court. Not signing the ticket will not make the ticket go away; in fact, it will likely make the situation worse. In some states, like Texas, you may even go to jail for refusing to sign your ticket.
If you believe you were wrongly cited, you can always fight the ticket. Don’t make more trouble for yourself by not complying with the officer.
Myth #5: You can’t win your case without a lawyer
While a lawyer can certainly give you the best legal advice when it comes to your ticket, it’s not impossible to win your case without one. And the costs that come with paying a lawyer can outweigh the benefits you get from having one. So if you’re facing a ticket for a minor offense that you think you could fight, consider taking care of it on your own. You might be able to save your driving record without any help.
Ultimately, the best way to avoid the hassle of traffic tickets is to drive safely so you don’t get them. But if you do find yourself with a ticket in your hand, handle it responsibly. At least now you’re better informed!