Fighting Traffic Tickets
Several months ago, the cop pulled me over for doing 50 in the 35-mile zone. I had enough of these crap; therefore, I decided to fight back. Since I will be on the road for many years to come, I need to deal with this because it is inevitable. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I had my share of tickets and I always paid up immediately because I just wanted to get them out of the way and moved on. I was young and stupid. I was lacking of confidence and scared. I am now a grown man and I know how the system works. The judges and the cops aren’t as intimidating as I thought. Besides, I was not breaking any law until the judge decide.
So when I got pulled over, I remained calmed and talked nicely to the officer. Once he handed me the ticket, I even thanked him and wished him a good day. The next day, I went back to the scene to see if I could make my case. The road was under construction so I pulled out my iPhone and took a few photos of the scene. Because of the construction, the road was bumpy; therefore, I couldn’t drive fast. I had my reason one. Then there is a park near the scene that held a farmer market every Thursday in the summer. People parked their cars nearby and took their kids to the market. As a father of two toddlers, I have always been extremely careful whenever kids around; therefore, I couldn’t be speeding. I had my reason two. There was a speed limit sign, but it was obscured by the bus stop sign and the electric pole. I took a picture of that too and had my reason three.
In the ticket, the officer clocked me in at 50 miles. I questioned the accuracy of his speed gun. Why I wasn’t doing 48, 48 or 15, but perfectly on 50? I had my reason four. For reason five, I was not sure if I wanted to bring up in court—the officer marked me as “W” for ethnicity—but I brought it up anyway.
For my court schedule, I dragged it out further by requesting a continuance. I wanted to buy more time so that the officer could forget about me or in case he wouldn’t show up. He did showed up after the reschedule. In court there about 120 people. The ones with the lawyer got done the quickest. Most people pleaded guilty and the judged reduced their fine to $50 or $100 with no points. The ones that pleaded not guilty had to wait to the end. The good thing was I brought the book along. I was in the court from 9:30 am to noon.
Lucky for me, the judge was very nice and he was on the people side. He was interested in what we have to say and not just the cops. In addition to all the reasons I listed above, I also pointed out to him that I haven’t have an accident for twenty years and I have four plus points in my driving record. Virginia rewards you a point each year for no violation and you can earn up to five points. After looking at my photos, the error on the ticket and the calibration date on the officer’s speed gun. He found me not guilty.
What have I learned from all this is that you always have to go to court. Don’t just paid up. Stay calm and be nice to the officer. Rather your evidences and ready to make your case. If you’re not fluent in English, request an interpreter. Most important of all, be confidence.