If you have received a speeding ticket, you should know that you are not alone. Lots of people have been issued tickets as a result of speeding. Most of the time, after a driver gets a ticket, they will prefer to pay for the ticket and get it over with. However, there are times when the ticket’s consequences will be dire, and the driver can decide to fight the ticket in traffic court. Let's take a closer look at how to properly prepare for traffic court.
When you are being accused of minor traffic offenses such as distracted driving, speeding, or turning a red light in most states, you will not have the right to a jury trial. In case you decide to fight a traffic ticket, traffic court judges will be responsible for determining if you are guilty or not. The law allows you to contest a traffic ticket during traffic trials whether you are guilty or not.
If you plan to contest or fight a traffic ticket, you may be wondering how to go about it. With your court date coming up and having watched several courtroom shows and not being in a similar situation, you may be wondering what will happen in traffic court. Also, you may be wondering what part you should play during the court hearing. Here are a few ways that you can use to guide you on how to prepare for traffic trials.
On this page
What You Should Know
Here are some of the things that you need to know as you prepare for traffic court.
It Helps to be Respectful to Everyone
You should be respectful and cordial to everyone that you meet along your way in the courthouse. This does not mean that you should only be kind to the traffic court judge and the prosecutor in your case, but as well to the receptionist and even the security personnel that you meet while entering the courthouse. Aside from the fact that it is how you should behave since it is good manners, your behavior can determine how your case will turn out.
You should keep in mind that since the municipal courthouses are not that big, the workers, the law enforcement officers, the judge, district attorney, and other staff members, are closely knit and will regularly interact. The result of interacting is sharing their day-to-day story. Don’t make the wrong way headlines in the traffic law courthouse.
Being disrespectful to the receptionist or the security guard will most likely be discussed in the courthouse without your knowledge. You do not want to make a negative impression even before your case starts. Also, you should avoid being argumentative or awful to the judge or prosecutor. This is because you may need courtesy extended to you at some point during the case especially if you want a favorable plea bargain argument.
How You Dress Will Make an Impact
Many drivers going to court can fail to understand the importance of dressing up when they are going in front of a judge. Most of them tend to think that dressing up is the lawyer's work, and they can show up to court in jeans and a t-shirt. However, this is far from the truth. If you would not show up to a date looking your best, you don’t want to show up to court without putting in any effort.
The clothes that you wear to court will send a message to the judge and the prosecutor. Your dress choice can send out the message that you took the time to dress up because you feel the session is important or that you are too busy with life to take the session seriously. You should note that a well-dressed driver will be taken seriously during a case. In fact, a well-dressed driver has a higher chance of getting a favorable outcome during a plea bargain of hearing if they are pleading not guilty.
Even though you do not have to wear a suit wearing a business casual outfit is recommendable.
Most drivers will blame busy traffic and long lines on their lateness and complain about how they ended up missing work when they are facing civil traffic violations.
They fail to understand that their early appearance in traffic courthouse can help them secure a spot in line and the court proceeding. Even though it does not happen in all courts, most courts will listen to people’s cases in the order that they check in. Also, it is essential to note that cases that are being represented by attorneys will get called in first. Hiring an attorney can determine how fast you walk in and out of the courtroom.
Be Ready for The Unexpected
Be ready for the unexpected when you spend day in traffic court. There are times that the set court date for your hearing can be changed. You will be first in line other times, but maybe four or five attorneys will go in before you. Despite what happens, you should remain calm and be prepared for anything. Having an attorney with you during going to traffic court will help you not take the occurrences that take place so hard when they happen. An experienced traffic ticket attorney will know what to expect, and they will help reassure you.
Preparing for a Traffic Court Testimony
As a defendant, if you are well prepared with what to say and understand when to say it, you will have a high likelihood of winning the case and maintaining a clean driving record. You don’t want to wait until the traffic court appearance date and just decide to try your luck. You might not like your outcome if this is your strategy.
Why Should You Testify?
It is preferred for a defendant to be quiet during most criminal trials and only speak when the case has reached its end. At this time, they can argue about the prosecution’s failure to meet the burden of proof. However, when it comes to traffic court, a driver’s failure to testify will limit the evidence presented to the court to the authority’s testimony.
When there is only one side of the story, that is, the police officer's testimony, it will be unlikely for the judge to be on the side of the plaintiff. Testifying will allow the judge to view another side of the story. The judge having another side of the story will create doubt about the experienced police officer’s story. If all goes well, the judge may rule in the driver’s favor.
What You Should Focus on In Your Testimony
When you know what the prosecution side needs to prove to get a conviction for the traffic offense, you will understand what is essential to cover in your testimony. As a driver, you should focus on creating doubt by giving a compelling argument with your testimony. It helps to know and understand the statute and traffic offense that you are being accused of violating.
Suppose a driver breaks a basic speed law that prohibits them from driving higher than a specific speed limit, and they receive a ticket for violating this law. In that case, their testimony at court should be intentional. In court, the driver's testimony should be focused on issues such as favorable road conditions or clear visibility. Using these grounds can help show that the driver under these circumstances drove at a reasonably safe speed.
Hiring a knowledgeable defense attorney will give you peace of mind as you navigate through the traffic court trial. Having an experienced traffic attorney from Ktenas Law walk you through the trial experience will help give you have a higher chance of winning the case. Preparing for traffic for court and having details on traffic trials and laws what to expect can help you get closer to a positive outcome.