Contesting a traffic ticket in California may seem intimidating, but with the right strategy and the guidance of a skilled traffic attorney, it may be dismissed or reduced.
Rather than representing yourself in court, which can be risky and ineffective, seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable traffic attorney is the smart choice, and quite often much cheaper than paying the fine and increased auto insurance premium for a minimum of three years.
This blog post will discuss five common traffic violations in CA and the potential defense strategies a traffic attorney can employ to help you contest these tickets successfully.
#1 – Traffic Ticket: Speeding
Possible Defense Strategy: Challenging the Radar Gun’s Calibration or the Law Enforcement Officer’s (LEO) Proficiency with the Device
When contesting a speeding ticket, a traffic attorney can challenge the accuracy of the radar device used to measure your speed. They will examine the maintenance records and calibration logs to identify potential errors or issues. By showing that the device has not been calibrated or the LEO trained on the device recently, an attorney can raise the level of “reasonable doubt.” Even in traffic court, “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard of proof.
#2 - Violation: Red Light Violation
Possible Defense Strategy: Signal Malfunction or Calibration Issues
In alleged red-light violations, a traffic attorney can investigate whether the traffic signal was functioning correctly or the time from yellow to red was set properly within the CA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD). Caltrans has a time schedule for the yellow light depending on the road’s speed limit.
They may analyze maintenance records, signal timing data or even employ expert witnesses to demonstrate a malfunction or calibration error. Your attorney can argue that the violation was not your fault by presenting evidence of a faulty traffic signal.
#3 - Violation: Illegal U-Turn
Possible Defense Strategy: Insufficient Signage
When contesting an illegal U-turn ticket, a traffic attorney can examine the signage at the location where the violation occurred. They will search for inconsistencies, insufficient warnings, or obscured signs that may have misled or confused drivers. By demonstrating that the signage was inadequate, your attorney can argue that you made the U-turn unknowingly or due to the lack of proper notification.
#4 – Traffic Ticket: Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign
Possible Defense Strategy: Hidden stop sign
If you received a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign, a traffic attorney can investigate if the stop sign was obscured by tree branches or some other obstacle. Your attorney can argue that since the sign was not visible according to state standards, you should be able to get a dismissal.
#5 - Violation: Improper or Unsafe Lane Change
Possible Defense Strategy: Erratic Driver Behavior or Road Conditions
When contesting an unsafe lane change ticket, a traffic attorney can examine the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation. They may argue that your lane change was necessary due to an erratic driver or hazardous road conditions, such as debris, wild animals, or construction. By presenting evidence of external factors, your attorney can establish a valid reason for the lane change and challenge the citation.
Contesting a traffic ticket in California requires strategic planning, in-depth knowledge of traffic laws, and familiarity with the legal system. Rather than representing yourself and risking unfavorable outcomes, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced traffic attorney.
Safeguard your rights, protect your driving record, and secure the best possible outcome by consulting a trusted traffic attorney today.
Consult with Bigger & Harman about Your Traffic Ticket in Fresno Traffic Court
Bigger & Harman, APC, possesses the expertise to analyze the details of your case, identify potential defense strategies, and present a strong argument on your behalf.
By employing proven strategies and leveraging our skills, we can maximize your chances of successfully contesting your traffic ticket. Don’t go it alone.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The Bankrate.com article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.
The CA MUTCD | Caltrans.