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Tips to keep in mind before challenging a speeding ticket

Posted On Mon, August 19, 2013

Whether being late for work, or not fully appreciating how fast one is going on the highway, millions of motorists have been given a speeding ticket. In most of these instances, drivers have paid the penalty, which occasionally affects auto insurance rates. However, there are those instances wherein people may feel as though they were given a citation when they shouldn't have.

With these people in mind, legal solutions firm ARAG offers some recommendations for how to best go about contesting a traffic ticket.

Ann Cosimano, general counsel for ARAG, notes that fighting a citation is typically done in traffic court and the steps involved are multifaceted.

For example, when given a ticket, there should be an option on the document itself that lists whether the motorist wants to pay the amount or contest the charge. If they choose the latter, they will be sent a court date, listing the time and location for when they need to be to dispute the charge.

While a driver may decide that they want to be represented by a professional attorney, there are several scenarios in which they can defend themselves. For example, ARAG says that these include if the stop was made and the police officer didn't give a reason for why they performed it. If the motorist can establish that the stop was without justification, it may be dismissed by the judge who's presiding.

Witnesses may be required to contend speeding ticket
Another way in which a driver may be able to defend themselves is if they can show that the offense was never committed. In order to establish this, though, at least two witnesses will have to corroborate the contention that the officer was in the wrong.

Perhaps the most important aspect of them all is knowing one's state traffic laws, which tend to differ. These are generally available at state legislature's websites or by visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles. ARAG notes that motorists should be as well-versed with these laws as possible, as the details can often make or break a defense.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2008, approximately 85 percent of respondents polled said that they had been pulled over for a legitimate reason. The most common justification for these stops were related to traveling at a heightened rate of speed.

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