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How Easy is it to get a Traffic Ticket Dismissed?

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In traffic courts all over America, traffic tickets get dismissed every day. It largely depends on how you react and respond to the law enforcement officer (LEO), the type of ticket, the circumstances, and whether you hire a traffic ticket attorney. 

The first thing you need to realize is that paying the fine is not a favorable resolution to your traffic ticket. Although it is easy, it could be costly. When you pay the fine, it is an admission of guilt and will lead to DMV-imposed Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points and a likely much higher auto insurance premium.

Even when you are eligible to attend traffic violators school (TVS), it does not dismiss the traffic ticket as many myth believers assume. First, you must agree to plead guilty, and you will still pay the fine. However, on top of the fine, you will pay the court clerk a fee for the privilege of attending TVS and a filing fee for the DMV to place the conviction in a confidential status. Then, you will pay the tuition, and you must complete a DMV-approved TVS course before the court-ordered completion date. 

What’s more, you can only use it for one ticket within an 18-month period. If you get a second during that timeframe, your insurance company will find out at renewal and raise your premium because you are a “higher risk.” Plus, they will take away your “good driver’s discount” of 20 percent.     

Reacting and Responding to a Traffic Ticket

It is crucial not to admit guilt during the stop. As nearly everyone is aware, “anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.” Yes, that includes traffic court. Many drivers fail to realize that or hope that by being honest, the LEO will give them a warning rather than a traffic ticket. 

Trying to get the LEO to let you go with a warning is fine, as long as you do not admit guilt. Statements like, “I know I was speeding, but my kid has to use the restroom, or I was speeding to keep up with the flow of traffic,” would be better without the guilt admission. 

Likewise, being rude to the LEO will not win you any points with the traffic court judge. These days, most LEOs wear a body cam, and everything you say and do will be  recorded and viewed in traffic court.  

Types of Traffic Tickets & the Likelihood of Getting Those Dismissed

Some traffic tickets are easier to get dismissed because the wording in the traffic law leaves room for interpretation, and the LEO misinterpreted it or misapplied it. Many times, a knowledgeable traffic attorney will point out that error in the request for dismissal. That is not to say if they spelled your name wrong on the ticket or misquoted the CA Vehicle Code number it will get automatically dismissed. 

Say, for example, the LEO writes you a ticket for going “too fast for conditions.” How they phrase the violation on the citation could leave an attorney room to raise “a reasonable doubt.” Even in traffic court, that is the standard. 

You hear it all the time on TV and in movies when there is a jury trial, but many think there is a different standard in traffic court. There is not. You are always innocent until proven guilty, and you have the right not to incriminate yourself. You should always discuss the circumstances of your ticket with a knowledgeable traffic attorney, and if they advise you to challenge it, you should.  

Self-Representation (DIY) or Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney 

The chances of getting your traffic ticket dismissed in Lamont Traffic Court significantly increases when you hire a Kern County traffic ticket attorney. Bigger & Harman, APC work out of their office in Bakersfield to represent drivers accused of traffic violations across Central Valley.  

Call (661) 349-9300 or email attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com, and let’s examine your situation together. It is not always advisable to go to court to challenge a traffic ticket. If we don’t think we can win or that it would be profitable for you, we won’t accept your case. 

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

References:

The DMV Portal