Traffic ticket errors get made by both the law enforcement officer (LEO) and the driver. Mistakes made by the LEO often lead to a dismissal, while those produced by the driver usually lead to a conviction. When stopped by LEO, try not to make the errors listed below. If the LEO makes any of the blunders here, contact a traffic ticket attorney to discuss what to do.
Not every misstep by the driver is an automatic conviction, no more than any inaccuracy on the ticket is an automatic dismissal. LEO, like the driver and traffic court judge, are human and prone to omissions and oversights, especially when writing a ticket on the hood of a car at 2 a.m., and the judge is liable to understand that. However, few will allow a misrepresentation of the facts.
Traffic Ticket Errors Cops Make
The following are traffic ticket errors LEO might make that could lead to a dismissal:
- Wrong CA Vehicle Code (CVC) – if the officer writes down CVC 22107, Unsafe Lane Change, but described the incident as a CVC 21658, Driving on the Right Side, a judge might be understanding of such a snafu, as the violations are similar. However, if an LEO writes down a nonexistent CVC or one that is completely different than the description, the judge might dismiss. Traffic lawyers spend so much time in traffic court, they usually know how each judge handles these misstatements.
- Not completing the ticket – surely, if an officer left one insignificant portion of the ticket blank, the judge will allow it. However, if it is missing the driver’s license number, name of the driver, or violation details, a judge may dismiss it.
- Incorrect driver’s license (DL) number, name, or both – the same is true here, if the LEO misses a letter or number, it could get a dismissal.
- Incorrect vehicle identification – although calling your orange car red is inaccurate if the rest of the information is correct, most judges will overlook it. However, if the registration number and other information are incorrect, the gaffe could lead to a dismissal.
- Participating in a speed trap – since most drivers do not know what constitutes a speed trap, you should always consult a traffic attorney about these traffic ticket errors.
Traffic Ticket Errors Drivers Make
- Admitting guilt – despite wanting to explain why you were going too fast or whatever, sometimes it is better to utilize your “right to remain silent.” Unless you are rushing to get someone to the hospital or escaping from someone chasing you, then by all means explain, immediately.
- Refusing to sign the ticket – this could lead to you “going to the station” and posting bail. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt but a promise to appear in court or otherwise resolve the ticket.
- Not finishing Traffic Violators School (TVS) before the court-ordered completion date – if you are eligible to attend TVS, you must get it done before the completion date and it must be a DMV approved course, check here. Completing on time will lead to your ticket getting held as confidential or masked from public view. You will still need to pay the fine, pay the court clerk for the privilege of attending, and the tuition fee, but your auto insurance will not be affected by your conviction.
- Quarreling with the LEO – there is no point arguing with a police officer. That is one argument you will almost never win. Just sign your ticket and challenge it in court.
- Not consulting a traffic attorney – this is the worst traffic ticket error a driver can make. Regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent, the state must prove you did what the LEO has accused you of doing. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 30 and 50 percent of law enforcement officers do not show up for court. Most people will take those odds for a chance to save close to $2000. That’s what is at stake, in most cases, around $500 for the fine and $1500 in increased insurance over three years.
Consult a Traffic Lawyer about Traffic Ticket Errors
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, when you receive a traffic ticket. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755. Whether traffic ticket errors were made or not, a technicality breached, or you need clarification, we can help. Remember, it is on the state to prove your guilt, not vice versa. Make them do their job. You could possibly get the ticket dismissed or a reduced no-point violation.
The 2020 CA Driver Handbook .pdfwebsite