Q: Traffic ticket? How should we fight a ticket my daughter received?
My daughter was in her way to visit a friend in Raleigh. She wasn’t speeding and saw an officer in the side of the road turning his light off after stopping someone else. He pulled her over and am gave her a ticket stating she COULD’VE hit him if he was outside if his car. The ticket is over $400 for what she could’ve done. How should we proceed
A: Everyone is required to preferably move to the left if possible or at least slow down considerably when passing a stopped officer or other emergency vehicle. It is a complete shame there actually has to be a law to tell people to do that. As to the ticket, there is no fighting a ticket. From the moment the ticket was issued - you lost. From there out it is simply degrees of losing. If you want to keep the losing to a minimum - hire a local traffic attorney in the area where she got the ticket. If her address is correct on her ticket, she will likely be getting a crap ton of letters from traffic attorneys. There are times when paying more for legal services is a good idea and times where paying more is just - paying more. A traffic ticket is one of those times where paying more is just paying more. You don't need F. Lee Bailey for a traffic ticket so just pick the cheapest attorney and roll with that. Best of luck.
A: With all respect to Ms. Houser, I must disagree when she says "From the moment the ticket was issued- you lost." You have heard of the Constitution I presume? "innocent until proven guilty?" I have sat as a traffic court judge and can tell you there are a number of circumstances where the defendant can prevail on a traffic ticket. Insufficient evidence, dismissal requested by the state- in the interest of justice. I can ever recall an instance where the officer's testimony failed to constitute a violation. The mere fact that he issued the ticket because she "could have hit him IF he was standing outside the car" says to me that there is a good chance he cannot meet the burden of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt." "IF" is not the standard, the standard is what actually happened. She could have shot him "IF" she had an illegal firearm- is she guilty of that too? She could have killed him "IF" she rear ended his parked car- is she guilty of vehicular manslaughter also? No, of course not. So the issue is where do you spend your money? Pay the fine? Is there a traffic school diversionary program that takes the ticket off her record? Or do you hire an attorney that specializes in handling traffic tickets in your local area? You should, at the very least, consult with such an attorney.
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