Traffic Tickets Lawyer FAQ

1.Why did I get a traffic ticket?
There are many reasons why you can get a ticket for a traffic violation. You could have disobeyed the law regarding speeding, parking or any other various traffic signs and signals. A traffic ticket is basically just an order to pay a fine. The amount of the fine depends on the severity of the law that was broken. Also, the tickets depend upon the state, as each one is allowed to write its own legislation, regarding traffic law.

2.What happens if I forget or refuse to pay my ticket?
The government does have records of your traffic offense, even if you committed it while driving in another state. Failing to pay a ticket can result in a suspended license or even jail time. The best way to fight a ticket that you think is unfair is to hire a legal professional to represent you in a courtroom and present your case. Just not paying the fine is never a smart solution.

3.Can I get my ticket dismissed if the officer made a mistake?
Typically not. If the officer writing the ticket accidentally misspells your name or does not properly identify the correct shade of your car's color, you will probably not be able to get it repealed. However, there are some "fatal flaws" that police officers sometimes make when they are writing up tickets that can make them worthless in a courtroom. It is important that drivers not rely on these flaws, however, and seek professional counsel before taking the case to court.

If you need legal assistance with a traffic ticket issue, please consult with a Traffic Ticket Lawyer near you to discuss the details of your case. The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only.

4.What if I just have a faulty speedometer?
Unfortunately, the claim that your speedometer does not work accurately is not a viable defense in court. Though it often happens, law enforcement officials expect that for the safety of all people on the road, drivers will perform the necessary maintenance and upkeep on their vehicles.

5.Is the officer required to show me the radar reading?
No officer is required to show a driver the speed reading on a radar gun, used to stop those driving above the legal limit. He or she may choose to share the reading with the offending driver, however, this will do no good in the driver's case. Lawyers recommend that drivers refrain from asking police to show them the radar reading. Being polite to police officers is absolutely crucial when you are pulled over, and this may be interpreted as questioning their authority.

6.Does the officer have the right to search my car?
If the officer has a probable cause to search your vehicle, he or she does not have to first obtain a search warrant. Probable cause can include the suspicion that you have drugs, drug paraphernalia, illegal weapons or alcohol in the case of minors, inside your vehicle. However, without some evidence, such as the smell of marijuana wafting from the open window, the police officer is not allowed to search your personal car or truck without permission.

7.Can the police search me if I am the driver or the passenger in the car?
Again, if the officer has reasonable suspicion that you, either as the passenger or the driver, is hiding contraband on your person, he or she can request to search you. This is generally not done without extremely extenuating evidence, because if the officer fails to find anything, he or she can face a lawsuit for unnecessarily violating your personal privacy.

8.What is a traffic infraction?
This term refers to what is generally punishable by traffic ticket. This means that it is not a crime and the person who commits it cannot be made to pay extreme fines or be jailed for the offense. Depending upon the speed at which you were driving when you were pulled over, most speeding tickets are considered infractions. Also, non-moving violations and non-dangerous moving violations are infractions.

If you need legal assistance with a traffic ticket issue, please consult with a Traffic Ticket Lawyer near you to discuss the details of your case. The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only.

9.What is a traffic violation?
In contrast to an infraction, a violation is an actual crime that is committed. The offender can be sentenced to jail time or to heavier fines. He or she might also be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the crime. DUIs, reckless driving and failure to stop at the scene of an accident are three such offenses.

10.What is a non-moving violation?
This area typically covers the tickets that are given because of parking violations. They are aptly named, because they can only be given while the car is not moving. A few examples of non-moving violations include parking in front of a fire hydrant, letting the meter run out or parking without an appropriate permit. These offenses are usually only punishable with a small fine.

11.Does my attitude matter, when I get pulled over?
Any lawyer will tell you, it is of the utmost importance to remain polite. Even if you do not feel that you should have been pulled over, you should allow the officer to write you a ticket, then contest it in a courtroom. You should keep both of your hands on the steering wheel and be careful not to fidget or give the officer any reason to believe that you may have a weapon in your car. You should also turn your engine off to make him or her feel more at ease. This may allow you to go with only a warning.

12.Should I go to traffic school?
Many states offer a program that allows drivers to attend a few hours of driving school in exchange for having a traffic ticket expunged from your permanent record. This method is much more failsafe than taking a ticket to court, so if you feel that your chances of winning a case are slim, traffic school may be a more logical option. Each state has various limitations and regulations concerning traffic school.

13.Can radar detectors be used to avoid speed traps?
Though several states have made them illegal, some drivers use a special device that is installed in the car to tell them when they are approaching an officer with a speed-detecting radar gun. This allows the driver to slow down, before he or she reaches the officer, and risks getting a speeding ticket. Some states, however, have adopted new technologies that shut speed detectors down, and so the best defense against speeding tickets is to simply drive the legal limit.

14.Are there any excuses for speeding?
If you are carrying a sick or pregnant passenger to the hospital, you may be exempted from a speeding ticket, and will most likely be given a police escort to the hospital. However, to avoid the hassle of being pulled over in an emergency, you should utilize ambulance services, before you attempt to make the drive yourself, potentially causing a dangerous situation for you, your passenger and other motorists.

15.What is reckless driving?
This frequently used term is defined as "willful or wanton disregard for safety of persons or property." This offense is considered a major traffic violation and it has severe consequences. The prosecution must prove in cases of reckless driving that the driver knew that he or she was creating a hazardous situation, and that he or she was indifferent to the potential consequences. Punishments may include heavy fines or even jail time.

16.What does it mean to leave the scene of an accident?
Also known as a hit and run, drivers who leave the scene of an accident where personal injury or property damage occurs can be prosecuted as criminals. If you are involved in an accident, you should stop in a safe place, get out of your car to assess for damages and check for injuries, then exchange personal information with the other motorists involved. Drivers must then notify the police of the accident.

17.What should I do if I hit a parked car?
If you do damage to another person's car, you are responsible for trying to contact that person. If you cannot find him or her, you should leave a written note with your contact information and a description of your vehicle on their windshield. You also have the responsibility of contacting the police with the information, so that they too can search for the vehicle's owner.

18.Is driving over the speed limit a crime?
Technically, driving over the speed limit is a crime. Yet there are typically only charges brought about for speeding when the violation has exceeded aggravated levels. For instance, in many states a driver may be arrested and charged if they were found driving in excess of 100 mph. In other states this may not necessarily be so.

19.Do I have to wear a seatbelt?
It depends on the laws of your state. Some do not have seatbelt requirements and others only state that the driver and passenger in the front seat must wear seatbelts. However, all fifty states have laws requiring children to buckle up. They vary on the age that defines child and what restraining device is appropriate for small children.

20.Can I still collect damages in a personal injury suit if I was not wearing a seatbelt?
Again, this question depends heavily on the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. Most courtrooms do not consider failure to wear a seatbelt a form of negligence. However, some do, and these areas will award smaller amounts of compensation if the driver was not wearing his or her seatbelt in the accident.

If you need legal assistance with a traffic ticket issue, please consult with a Traffic Ticket Lawyer near you to discuss the details of your case. The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only.

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