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What’s the best way to fight a traffic ticket in court?

There are times when it makes sense to pay a traffic ticket, as well as situations in which you're better off fighting back. With the right approach, you may be able to prevent the serious consequences often attached to a traffic violation.

There is no surefire way to fight a traffic ticket in court and win, but here are some of the strategies to consider:

  • Dispute the officer's opinion: There are times when officers issue tickets based on their personal opinion. For example, if you're cited for an unsafe turn, you can do your part in proving to the court that the turn was legal and 100 percent safe.
  • Dispute the evidence: Even if the officer has evidence, you may be able to dispute it. The use of diagrams, photographs of the scene and witness statements can help back up your position.
  • Explain that your behavior was necessary: Rather than search for mistakes, you can admit to your actions but explain that your behavior was justified. For instance, if you received a ticket for speeding on the interstate, you can present evidence claiming that it was necessary in order to get away from a distracted driver.
  • Argue that you were trying to prevent an accident: This is similar to the defense strategy above, with presenting evidence that your driving behavior was necessary to prevent an accident. An example includes swerving out of the way to avoid an object on the road. The key to success is to prove that had you not taken action, someone would have suffered an injury.

A traffic ticket can result in serious consequences, such as:

  • Fine
  • Points on your license
  • License suspension
  • Insurance premium increase or cancellation

While fighting your traffic ticket may not help you avoid all these consequences, you may be able to prevent some of them from coming into play.

The key to success is understanding why you were pulled over, the charges against you and the defense strategy you can use to protect your legal rights. With this knowledge in place, you'll feel confident in your ability to successfully fight your Columbia traffic ticket in court.

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