How to Beat a Red Light Ticket in Traffic Court

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Running a red light is a common traffic infraction that many have committed on more than a few occasions. If you feel that you were wrongly accused, you can fight the red light ticket in court. There are steps you can take in order to attempt to beat the ticket.

Things You'll Need

  • Traffic citation
  • Appear at the initial date scheduled for you to be in court. In most jurisdictions, this is known as a "docket setting."

  • Attempt to visit with the prosecuting attorney at this court appearance. If you have no prior or recent traffic infractions on your records, she may be willing to consider dismissing the red light ticket. Alternatively, she may be able to defer further action on the ticket for a period of time (normally six months). If you have no further infractions, she will dismiss the ticket.

  • Discuss with the prosecuting attorney whether she might entertain a dismissal at that time. If you have no significant history of driving infractions, a dismissal is possible.

  • Alternatively, request that the prosecuting attorney defer further action on the case and ticket for a period of time (commonly six months).

  • Reach an agreement that if you have no further traffic infractions in that time period, the prosecuting attorney will dismiss the case.

  • Request that the case be set for trial if the prosecuting attorney is not present or if you do not reach an agreement.

  • Appear at the scheduled trial, and determine if the law enforcement officer who wrote the ticket is present. If you received the red light ticket from a police officer or sheriff's deputy, that individual must be present at the trial. If you received the ticket as the result of an intersection photo, that image is sufficient evidence to prosecute.

  • Request a dismissal of the case if the officer is not present. Use the language that you want the case dismissed "with prejudice." This means the case cannot be refiled against you.

  • Attempt to negotiate a dismissal or deferral and dismissal of the case with the prosecuting attorney if the officer who issued the citation is present. If you have a clean record, it's 's highly likely.

References

  • Beat Your Ticket: Go to Court & Win, David Brown, 2007
  • How to Fight Your Traffic Ticket and Win!: 206 Tips Tricks and Techniques, Mel Leiding, 1998
  • Photo Credit Rivertay, Everystockphoto.com
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