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It may be possible to find information on their website regarding when and where to appear. This may include instructions for paying tickets online, by phone, by mail or in person at the courthouse. Pictures, eyewitness accounts and diagrams can be extremely helpful in winning your case. Review the notes and any diagrams that you made after the incident occurred.
Analyze the facts and how they relate to the section of law that you were charged with violating. You may want to make a drawing of the scene to show where your vehicle was and the location of the officer. If you choose, you may testify on your own behalf; however, you cannot be compelled to do so. Defendants who are prepared to explain their version of what happened in a clear, honest and convincing manner have a good chance of winning their case.
You have the right to present witnesses who were present at the time of your violation. This may be an individual that was a passenger in your vehicle at the time, or it might be a pedestrian or the driver of another car that was present at the scene.
How to Fight Traffic Tickets, Five Strategies that Work - FindLaw
Before you ask a potential witness to testify on your behalf, you want to make sue they agree with your version of the events. If you have more than one witness, organize your case by determining what each witness will say and how their testimony will prove key facts about your case. Organize your witnesses by the logical sequence of events. Begin by acquainting your witness with the various legal elements of your case and the strategy you plan to use for your defense.
Their testimony should support one or more key aspects of your case. Every attorney rehearses a witness you should do the same if you plan to represent yourself in court. You may wish to put yourself in the role of the prosecutor and ask the witness some questions that the prosecution will use in their cross examination in order to properly prepare the witness for what to expect. During your trial, you may request that witnesses not be permitted to sit in the courtroom before they give their testimony.
This prohibits the witnesses from molding their testimony to what the other witnesses say. Sometimes a friendly witness will volunteer to stretch the truth on your behalf. This is never a good idea and a skilled prosecutor may expose even a small lie. This involves making a written request for the disclosure of all notes or documents relevant to your case. Not many defendants request to see the evidence against them. Often times, you may find that your discovery request is ignored. The purpose in cross-examining the officer is to demonstrate that there is reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
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Your goal may be to have the officer admit that you did not violate every element of the law or that he was not in a position to see your vehicle clearly. Since the he prosecution is the first to question the police officer, this is your opportunity to make note of any discrepancies in his or her testimony.
Limit yourself to short questions that are phrased to help prove your side of the case. Always remember to be respectful of the officer during questioning. When you contest a traffic violation, the first time you appear in court is called an "arraignment". This is your opportunity to either plead guilty and pay the fine or enter a plea of not guilty and request a date for trial.
It is your Constitutional right to a fair trial and you should take full opportunity of this. Show up to your court early with all of your notes and be prepared to present your case. You have the option to be represented by an attorney or you may present your own case at your hearing. The judge will ask if you or your attorney and the prosecutor are ready to proceed to trial.
The court will also determine if all witnesses are present in the courtroom and ready to give testimony in the case. At this time, you may request that the case against you be dismissed if the officer who issued the citation does not show up. If all the parties are ready to proceed to trial, the prosecutor will present their case against you.
The police officer will be sworn in and testify as to the facts as they remember them. The defendant may offer opposing evidence, argue the law, present supporting witnesses and cross-examine the law enforcement officer who issued the citation. Outline the key points that you want to present in defending your case. You may point out elements of the case that the prosecutor failed to prove and emphasize any extenuating circumstances in your favor.
Most traffic violations are heard before a judge.
They rule on the admissibility of evidence and the methods of conducting testimony. They also interpret the law to determine how the trial will proceed. In many cases, the judge will order a pretrial hearing. This is done to listen to allegations and determine whether the evidence presented merits a trial. In criminal cases, the judge may decide that individuals charged with a crime should be held in jail pending trial.
They also set the conditions for bail or if the person should be allowed release on their own recognizance. A trial is a proceeding in which the prosecutors will try to convince the court that you have committed the traffic violation with which you have been charged. Even though traffic trials are somewhat informal, the court must comply with all of the established trial procedures.
There are very specific rules regarding the types of evidence the court may consider and the manner in which the court can receive that evidence. These rules can be complicated, however, some basic parameters are:. Both the prosecution and the defendant will have the opportunity to present their case to the court.
The prosecution presents its case first. Normally, it will call at least one witness, which is usually the officer who issued the citation. After the prosecution has rested its case, the defendant is given the opportunity to present their case. This may include the defendant testifying on their own behalf in addition to witnesses that will help establish their innocence. Once you or any of your witnesses have completed their testimony, the prosecutor can cross-examine that individual. Drivers need to do everything possible to keep the ticket off the insurance, to save the points and keep their driving record clear.
The first step in fighting any traffic ticket is to take the ticket to the court and request a court date. To file for a court date, the ticket must taken to the court listed on the back of the ticket within fifteen 15 days. Many traffic courts may allow a further 15 day grace period to file the ticket but are not obligated to. Specific courts like in the City of London will convict the driver if the speeding ticket has not been filed within the fifteen 15 day period. To fight a speeding ticket, the ticket must be filed at the court listed on the back of the ticket.
This is a court form saying that you wish to dispute the charge. You complete the form by adding your address information and the ticket number to the form. The court then takes the form and either issues a court date right away or sends a notice in the mail. The clerk will add further that if you cannot come to an agreement then you can always proceed to trial. Do not do this, it is not in your best interest.
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The Prosecutors goal at these meetings is to have you plead guilty, by reducing the speed slightly. Early resolution and first attendance hearings were first used for people who forgot their documents, like insurance slips. Use caution accepting advice from clerks at the court house. The reason for fighting a speeding ticket is to keep your driving record and insurance record clear.