Your first traffic ticket may leave you emotionally distressed. It also carries an extra financial burden. It is common for most first-time traffic offenders to be distraught and unprepared for their case hearing. Therefore, your best bet is to hire a traffic lawyer to help you prepare. They are experts in traffic-related cases and will work to reduce your charges, have the ticket dismissed, or lower the fine.
These tips will also help you get ready for traffic court.
1. Show Up Early
Most courts hear cases according to the order of arrival. Showing up early to court allows you to get an early spot for your case hearing. You will also have a front-row seat or one closer to the front.
Going to court late may have dire consequences. The judge may not hear your case since you were turned away for showing up late. Thus, you will most likely pay a fine, get a guilty verdict, have your license suspended, or suffer all these consequences.
Speeding ticket laws vary from one state to another. In some states, you can avoid the hassle of going to court by hiring a traffic lawyer as a legal representative. You may even get a first-priority call for having an attorney.
2. Go to Court Prepared
If you decide to appear for your traffic ticket, go to court prepared. Researching and preparing for the case is the best way to win it or get a favorable plea bargain.
As soon as they call your name, step forward to face the traffic charges brought against you. Since there may be a lot of people waiting to appear before the judge, you must be ready to explain your case and show any evidence (for example, a dashcam video) that will help your case.
Unlike how TV shows simplify court proceedings, this process is not easy! Your best chance to win the case will be to hire a reputable traffic attorney. They understand the elements of such a case and will prepare you for cross-examination. They will also evaluate the evidence presented to the court and make legal arguments on your behalf.
3. Remain Calm and Respectful
It is crucial to be respectful and cordial throughout the court proceedings. Not just to the prosecutor and judge but to everyone you encounter at the courthouse. Remember municipal courthouses are small and the staff will likely interact. You do not want word getting around that you said or did something disrespectful. Also, people will be more inclined to help you if you are well-mannered.
During your hearing, emotions may run high when fighting costly traffic tickets. However, avoid interrupting the judge or being disrespectful to the officers. Remain calm, wait for your turn to speak, and address the judge as "your honor."
Contact a traffic lawyer for more personalized guidance.