Traffic tickets are no different than other types of criminal charges. Their penalties are just less than misdemeanor or felonies. It basically all boils down to the same thing: an alleged breaking of a law. A broken law is a broken law, no matter whether it is speeding, robbery, or murder. That may be a little drastic, but I am trying to make a point: They’re all crimes.
A person has rights, no matter what the charge. If a cop pulls you over for failing to stop at a stop sign, it isn’t as cut and dry as “here is your ticket, pay the fine.” You have a constitutional right to defend yourself and present any evidence of innocence. That is why you have the option to fight the ticket. Some people think it is easier to pay the ticket. That’s probably true. But, there are other considerations. Maybe the ticket will make your insurance go up because you already did traffic school.
Or, here’s a shocker, maybe you really were innocent!
Keeping with the example above, let’s say a person received a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. The cop claims that the individual rolled through the stop sign and did not come to a complete stop. The individual claims that they did stop. Out of principle, the individual wants to fight the ticket. They could easily pay the fine and do the 8 hours in traffic school. But, they didn’t violate the law.
The individual goes back to the scene of the “crime” with a camera and takes pictures of the stop sign. The individual shows that the stop sign and the line are at a weird place on the street that was obscured by a tree between the stop sign and where the cop admits he was placed. The individual is able to show that it was possible and reasonable that cars could have further obstructed his view of the stop sign.
The individual then goes to court with all of the pictures and diagrams ready for the trial. And the cop doesn’t show up, because cops would rather be on the street finding worse criminals than the traffic violator.
You can’t always count on cops not showing up, cause many times they do. It’s an urban legend that they never show up. But, that is why the individual was prepared with diagrams and pictures. He or she would have won either way.
The point is: you should never just accept a violation of a crime. If you were in the wrong, then sure, pay the fine. But if you are innocent, then fight the charge! It’s your constitutional right to do so. And, sometimes, cops are actually wrong. Gasp.
Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you want to discuss fighting your traffic ticket.
Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
A Criminal Defense Firm
PO Box 3297
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Office: (760) 237-8295
Cell: (760) 668-8295