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Should one fight a traffic ticket?

Getting a traffic ticket in New York can ruin one's day and cost a significant amount of money in fines and result in an increase in insurance premiums. One may be wondering whether fighting the ticket is a good idea. In some cases, taking time off work to go to a hearing can cost one more money than the ticket itself, making it disadvantageous to fight. However, if one's traffic ticket is costing thousands of dollars, defending oneself may be the best option.

There are many defenses to fight a traffic ticket. For example, if the accused delayed a court date or chose a date closer to a holiday, it may be less likely that the police officer who pulled the accused over shows up in court. If the officer does not show up, the ticket will most likely be eliminated.

One may also want to avoid signing a form to waive one's right to a speedy trial under the sixth amendment. If one does not waive their rights to a speedy trial, their case may be dismissed if the court system cannot fit in within a certain amount of time.

First, check the ticket for a significant error (e.g., officer puts the wrong law on the ticket), as it could result in a dismissal of a ticket. If one was ticketed for speeding, they can prove that the measurement device or radar gun used to determine the speed. It may also be beneficial for to defend against the violation itself. It is not always easy to decide whether it is worth it to fight a traffic ticket. A criminal defense attorney can help make this decision and assist one with defenses.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Deciding if Fighting Traffic Tickets Is a Good Idea," accessed on May 14, 2018

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