When most Maryland residents receive a traffic ticket, they wrongly assume that they have to simply accept the fine — and resulting consequences for their insurance premiums. However, drivers are often surprised to discover that they have the right to defend themselves against the charges in court. But what’s the best way to defend against a traffic ticket?
Your choice of traffic ticket defense strategy will depend on the type of offense you allegedly committed, and the facts surrounding the traffic citation. Depending on your situation, though, one of the following defense tactics might work for you:
- When the officer doesn’t show up in court: Sometimes, your defense will be as simple as showing up in court to defend yourself. If the officer doesn’t appear in court, you may be able to win your case due to the constitutional right that defendants have to question their accuser. One way to increase the chances of the officer making a ‘no-show’ is to reschedule your court date. This may result in the officer’s failure to show up, especially if you try to reschedule the date close to a holiday.
- Camera ticket defenses: You’d probably assume that a camera ticket means it’s a slam-dunk case for the accusing officer. However, courts often don’t bother to bring the camera pictures of you running a red light or stop sign to court, which could cause you to get a verdict of not guilty. Also, if the officer appears to support the ticket you might be able to claim “hearsay” since the officer is accusing you of a crime but never actually witnessed you doing it.
Before selecting a traffic ticket defense, be sure to understand Maryland traffic offense law and what kinds of strategies tend to work in your area of the state.
Source: FindLaw, “Deciding if Fighting Traffic Tickets Is a Good Idea,” accessed Dec. 29, 2017