From the home office in, um, Bakersfield, here are your top ten excuses that people give to get out of a traffic ticket:
10. My GPS said I was right.
9. There was a medical emergency.
8. I didn't do anything dangerous.
7. I had to go to the bathroom.
6. I missed my exit.
5. There's an emergency in my car, like spilled coffee.
4. Everyone else was doing it.
3. I thought it was working (usually in reference to a taillight or other device).
2. I'm lost and I don't know the roads.
1. I didn't see the sign.
Women are more likely than men to use the top three. Men are much more likely to use the other seven excuses, especially number 10 (no comments from females, please).
Some officers do admit that they give style points, but no excuse is likely to keep them from reaching for their ticket books. The good news is that your excuse may in fact be a valid legal defense.
While ignorance of the law is usually no excuse, a mistake of law, such as an illegal sign, may be a defense in court. If you didn't see the sign because it was in the wrong place, had the wrong verbiage, was hidden behind a tree limb or other reasons, an attorney practicing in Mojave can use these facts as leverage for your case.
A valid emergency is not a defense to very many traffic tickets, because these incidents are regulatory crimes that do not require an intent element. But there are a few exceptions; for example, you can sometimes use a cell phone while driving, if it's a true emergency.