No one wants to get pulled over and receive a traffic ticket from an officer. However, these things happen sometimes. While the easy thing would be to simply go to the courthouse or city hall and pay the ticket, who wants their auto insurance to skyrocket? It is possible to have your ticket dismissed. The problem is that most people don't have the slightest clue as to how to do it. Here is more info on what you need to do after a court date has been set.
1. Get Your Facts Straight
Aside from remaining calm, you first need to get organized. You need to begin gathering all the information that you can related to your case and organize it in an easy-to-reference format. This will not only make you look professional in the courtroom, but it will make it easy to access when needed.
Some helpful information that you should gather include the date and time of the alleged traffic violation, radar readings, weather conditions when you were issued the ticket, current registration and insurance information, etc. Depending on how you are fighting the violation, you may also need pictures of the posted speed light sign.
Make sure to study all of your facts leading up to the trial so that you are fully prepared.
2. Talk to the Court Clerk
Prior to the court date, take the time to talk to the court clerk. You can get a lot of information from him or her. You want to find out if the officer who issued the violation has checked in or not. In many cases, officers will be unable to attend the court date for one reason or another. If the ticket-issuing officer cannot attend the court date, then the ticket is often dismissed.
3. Be Respectful and Calm
Once you step foot in the courtroom, and probably beforehand, you will be a nervous wreck. However, it is important that you remain calm and courteous of the judge, prosecutors, etc. Keep in mind that everyone is watching how you react, including your body language, and the prosecutors will use it against you.
Make sure to also dress professionally. Ideally, you should dress as if you were attending a job interview. No jeans, shorts or flip-flops.
4. Take Notes During Trial
Make sure that you have a small notebook with you to take notes during the trial. The prosecution may something that sticks with you that you want to bring up in your cross-examination. Alternatively, if there is something that you do not understand, make note of it so that you question the officer about it. Taking notes will help you remain calm during the process, while also ensuring that you don't miss anything important.
5. Get the Help of a Lawyer
Sometimes, dealing with your own traffic violation is not something that you want to do. Instead, you want to talk to a traffic violation lawyer and get some professional help in having your ticket dismissed.