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4 Ways to Get That Traffic Ticket Dismissed

4 Ways to Get that Traffic Ticket Dismissed

No one wants to see this sight near their car. But if you do receive a traffic or parking ticket, you may be able to get it dismissed in court. Image credit: Ticketed by °Florian on Flickr

Nobody wants to pay a traffic ticket, but most of us don’t know how to get one dismissed. Guest contributor Scott Desind shares his tips.

If you receive a traffic ticket, you might assume that there’s nothing you can do—so you just pay it. What you don’t know can hurt your pocket book: It is possible to get some tickets dismissed. Still, going to court isn’t always an easy or stress free experience.

Here are a few tips that will help you get your traffic ticket dismissed once you have a court date:

1. Organize All the Facts

Getting organized, and staying that way, is important for getting your ticket dismissed. Gather all of
the facts in an easy to reference format. The more information you’re armed with, the better you can
present your case. Having everything at your fingertips will make things easier when the defense is
presented as well as when the prosecutor is presenting questions. You’ll look more professional and you
won’t forget anything important.

Helpful facts include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Radar readings
  • Time of the day/ date
  • Weather conditions when ticket was issued
  • Current insurance and registration information

In addition to the above, try to remember even seemingly inconsequential facts from that day, such as
the clothes that were worn. While these facts may not seem important at first, it is impossible to tell
what details the prosecution will request. Being armed with all possible information can make the entire
process go much smoother and keep you from getting flustered when defending your case.

One final tip: On the morning of the trial, as well as in the minutes before the trial, go through the
details of the case and refresh them in your mind. A prepared defendant is a successful defendant.

2. Remain Calm and Respectful

During the entire trial, remain calm, rational and respectful at all times. This includes what you say,
but also how you dress and your body language as well. Judges and prosecutors pay attention to every
detail, including how respectful the defendant’s body language is.

Although the situation can be very stressful and some of the questions asked by the prosecutor may well
be inflammatory or aggravating, it is important to keep a calm exterior and answer all questions with a
respectful tone. Defendants should go into the situation expecting the prosecution to put pressure on
them and to try to find flaws in their case. An angry, sarcastic or disrespectful response or attitude will
not help get a ruling in your favor.

Dressing properly is just as important—look as nice as you can. Just as if you were going to a job
interview, you’ll be in the spotlight and your mode of dress should reflect it.

3. Check in With the Clerk

Before the trial, remember to check in with the court clerk. While you’re there, also consider asking if
the officer who issued the ticket has checked in.

Often, police officers are unable to show up for court dates for a variety of reasons. If the officer is not
present during the trial, he or she cannot offer his or her side of the case and this will often lead to a
dismissal of the ticket. Even if the officer arrives and gives his or her testimony, you’ll still have a chance
to present your case.

4. Make Notes

While listening to the officer or prosecution, a small notebook can be your best friend. If there is
anything you don’t understand about the prosecution’s case, make a note so that you can ask about
it when you get to cross-examine the officer and prosecution’s witnesses. This will help you be less
flustered and more professional during the trial and will help to ensure that you ask all of the right

In the end, it’s worth remembering that even if you’ve been issued a traffic ticket, it is not going to be
the end of the world. Just by being courteous, respectful and organized, and you may be able to get that
ticket dismissed.

About the Author

Desind_ScottScott Desind, traffic attorney, successfully fights traffic tickets for drivers in the Los Angeles area. He shares his experiences on his traffic ticket blog and at various events.

Posted in: Automotive, Home & Family
  1. Michael Aden says:
    September 19, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Thanks for sharing these tips to help drivers in getting a traffic ticket dismissed. Organizing information and staying calm can help drivers retrieve any information with ease and defend themselves in a court proceeding.

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