Getting pulled over is no fun, but if you drive it is almost inevitable that it will eventually happen to you. There are some things to know that may save you time, money and points off your license. The first thing to know about being pulled over is that it is up to the police officer to use their own judgement about whether to write you a ticket in the first place or to let you go. The officer may ask if you know why you were pulled over. You do not have to assume your own guilt, and you don’t have to admit any wrongdoing. If you say too much it could come back on you later in court.
Notify the Court
Paying the traffic ticket means pleading guilty by default. That means all the associated penalties - including points - accrue on your record. Many counties will allow you to take a traffic school course to avoid losing those points, but you are required to notify the court that you'd like to exercise that option. You may be ordered to take this sort of course by the court but being proactive is always a good idea. You'll also want to be sure you can appear on the date specified on the ticket. If you're contesting the ticket, you'll have to schedule that too.
Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney
If you're pleading not guilty, the first thing you'll want to do is hire a traffic ticket attorney. Their fees are proportional to the case, and at the very least they can advise you on the proper course of action. The ins and outs of criminal law can be complex, even on the level of traffic violations, and the best way to know your rights is to make sure you employ a professional who knows them better than you do.
Prepare Your Case
Judges appreciate a well-prepared concise case, so be sure you’re ready to present your side of the story in court. Be ready with all the documentation you need including photos, maps, weather conditions and other documentation the court may need such as your driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
Witnesses are likely the most important element of your defense, so reach out to anyone on the scene who can support your case. The judge will consider their testimony and weigh it against the testimony of the officer who issued the citation.
Make a clear and honest argument for why you believe you are innocent, or for any extenuating circumstances you feel should be taken into consideration. Judges are often sympathetic to those who commit minor infractions and work hard to prove their innocence.
If you can't afford the ticket, or if you feel it was unjust, the judge will take these factors into account. If you're lucky, your ticket will be dismissed, but if not, don’t forget there is the possibility of being assigned a traffic school diversion. A diversion is alternative sentencing that can allow you to avoid financial penalties, points off your license, or even jail time. If you are ordered to complete a traffic course, Advent eLearning has the solution you are looking for. Our online courses can be taken anywhere at any time and on any device. The successful completion of our traffic course results in a certification you can share with the court fulfilling your obligation.
In addition to traffic school, Advent offers a wide variety of courses with content addressing a variety of issues including:
Alcohol & Substance Abuse
Boating & Outdoors
Victim Impact Panel
For more information on Advent eLearning programs or to get started on one of our classes. Go to adventelearing.com
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