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Even when you do your best to follow the rules of the road, you could still make a mistake that results in a traffic violation. Too many traffic tickets can turn your life upside down, as they often result in fines, points on your license, insurance premium increases and even a license suspension.

Just because an officer issues a traffic citation doesn’t mean you should pay it and move on with your life. It’s often best to review the details that resulted in the citation, as doing so may allow you to prevent any consequences.

Here are some of the most commonly employed traffic ticket defense strategies:

  • Dispute the officer’s opinion of the events: If the officer has come to a subjective conclusion about what happened, you may be able to dispute their opinion in court. For example, if the officer ticketed you for making an illegal lane change, you can provide your side of the story in court with the idea of proving your maneuver was within the legal limits of the law.
  • Dispute the evidence: If an officer has evidence to back up their claim that you violated the law, you’ll need to take a different approach in court. It’s typically best to dispute the officer’s evidence, such as by sharing photographs of the scene, creating diagrams and presenting eyewitness statements.
  • Prove that your driving was justified: With this, your primary goal is to prove to the judge that you had no choice but to violate the law. For example, if you were ticketed for speeding on the interstate, you could argue that you had to do so in order to create space between your vehicle and a reckless trucker.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fighting a traffic ticket. The strategy you use depends on the circumstances of your citation, the information available to you and the steps you can take to argue your innocence.

Even if the judge doesn’t throw out your case entirely, you may be able to reduce the charges against you. This can protect you against a fine you can’t afford or a license suspension that will make it difficult to live your life.

You have legal rights, but you can only protect them with the right defense strategy.