Stevenson Smith Hood P.C.
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Is it a good idea to fight a traffic ticket?

Have you received a ticket for speeding or failing to stop and don't think you deserved one? It is possible to challenge the ticket by opting to have the charge heard in court. That will allow a judge to decide if you really violated the law and if the police officer that issued the ticket followed all required policies and procedures. But before you decide that challenging the ticket is worthwhile, you ought to take the pros and cons of doing so into consideration.

Compare Loss of Day at Work vs. Cost of Ticket and Insurance Premiums

If you have a spotless driving record and you're looking at a $50 ticket that carries no points, it's probably not worth your time and effort to challenge the ticket. You'll have to take a day off to go to court and spend time and money getting your paperwork in order.

Even if you are using paid personal time for your court date, you are sacrificing that personal time that could otherwise be used for your personal benefit. However, if you are being charged with speeding through a school zone, and the addition of points on your record is going to result in hundreds of dollars being added to your insurance premiums for years to come, it might be time to challenge it.

Know the Letter of the Law You Violated

If you are heading to court to speak in front of a judge, make sure you have researched the law cited on your ticket that you are accused of violating. The wording of laws vary considerably from state to state and even among municipalities, meaning talking on your cell phone and driving may be illegal in one town but just fine in another.

It's also possible that the officer cited the wrong law on the ticket, marking down failure to stop as the reason for the ticket but referenced a speeding regulation. Any irregularity can result in a dismissal of the charges.

Traffic School Can Be a Simple Solution

If you really ran the red light or were nabbed for going too fast downtown, it may be possible to have the ticket dismissed by attending a court approved traffic school program. While the class will take some time, it can be good for up to 50 points off your driving record. If you take a course voluntarily you can possibly receive a discount off your insurance premiums.

If you are concerned about the process of challenging a ticket, it's a good idea to reach out to an attorney experienced in handling traffic court situations to review your situation and give you an advantage when facing the judge.

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Stevenson Smith Hood P.C. | 3986 Washington Blvd. Ogden, UT 84403 | Phone: 801-399-9910 | Fax:801-399-9954 | Map & Directions