Fine or fight: Choose your route for handling a traffic ticket

At some point in their lives, most drivers end up facing a traffic ticket. If you have recently gotten a ticket for a relatively minor traffic offense, you might think that you have no options for dealing with the issue other than to accept the ticket and pay the fine or deal with any other consequences. Though many people may follow this route for simplicity’s sake, you do not have to feel like you have no other choices.

As with any other accusation of law breaking, you have the right to defend yourself against traffic-related allegations. You also have different manners in which you could choose to approach your defense. Therefore, you might want to explore your possible options for creating a meaningful defense.

First steps

Though you could consider paying the fine after an officer issues you a ticket, you do not want to carry out that action if you hope to challenge the ticket. Many authorities consider paying the fine an admission of your guilt. As a result, if you make your payment then attempt to move forward with a defense, the court may not see any validity in your argument.

Once you decide not to pay the fine, understanding the law you allegedly broke can play a significant role in your defense. In some cases, the exact wording of the law could allow you to find a loophole that proves you did not actually break the law. If you only go by what the officer states as your offense, you might cheat yourself out of the opportunity to correct an unwarranted ticketing, which could lead to a permanent mark on your record.

Defense tactics

A variety of methods could help you combat the ticket, including simply finding the most favorable time to present your argument to the court. Though your ticket indicates a court date, you can request to change the date. If you postpone to a time that results in the officer who wrote your ticket not showing up, you cannot question your accuser, which you have a constitutional right to do. In most cases, without the accusing officer present, the court rules in your favor.

The circumstances under which the officer discovered the offense could play a role in your defense also. If a traffic camera or radar gun caught the incriminating evidence, you can question the reliability of those methods and equipment.

Of course, having someone in your corner could also help you build the best case possible. You might want to discuss your situation with an experienced Illinois attorney who fully understands the laws surrounding your ticket and who can provide you with useful options and information.