The 8 Things You Must Do To Fight Your Ticket.
So you've decided to fight that traffic ticket. Well good for you. After having spent nearly a decade helping our clients fight their tickets, we're here to tell you it's possible to win. You just need to know what you're doing.
The 8 steps below explain how to go about fighting those tickets. It may seem complicated, but when you've filed over 100,000 Trial by Written Declaration forms, you get a pretty good idea of how to do it effectively and successfully. That's one reason our clients keep coming back. So let's get started:
Step 1.Determine what type of ticket you received
You first need to ensure you were cited for a type of ticket that Ticketbust.com can help you contest. You determine this by identifying the type of ticket you were cited for, which court your ticket is filed with, and when your ticket is due. Once you have identified the type of ticket you have involves a non-parking moving violation (i.e. red light, stop sign, speeding, cell phone tickets), that is filed with a Superior Court of California (tickets filed with the U.S. District Federal Court cannot be contested in writing using the California Trial by Written Declaration), that is current and not past due (tickets that are past due or have gone to collections are no longer eligible to be contested using the Trial by Written Declaration), you can get to work narrowing down exactly what law the officer states you violated.
Step 2. Research Violation Code listed on ticket
Next review your traffic ticket and identify the violation code. This is not always easy for the layman to identify. Most do not know what the term violation code refers to. Even more aren't aware of where to look. The violation code on most tickets is found smack dab in the middle of the ticket (below all your personal information like your name, address, vehicle information, and insurance company). The violation code is usually accompanied by a subsection and possibly a subdivision and it is equally important to obtain this information to ensure you are referring to the correct law. However identifying the correct violation code is not always cut and dry as some may have lost the ticket or maybe cannot read the officer's writing. Ticketbust.com ticket experts are well trained in helping you decipher an officer's markings on a ticket and if the violation code is not available can even determine most violation codes by simply looking at the facts of your case. As an example an unknown violation code for a speeding ticket can be determined by factoring in the speed limit, the cited speed, the type of vehicle being driven at the time, the class of driver's license you have, the number of lanes on the highway you were driving on, and the location (whether the violation occurred on a city street or a freeway).
Step 3. Identify whether the violation is a traffic infraction or a misdemeanor
In researching the violation code you must also determine whether you have been cited for a traffic infraction or a misdemeanor. Most are not aware of the difference or what either means. It is important to identify which you were cited for so that you know your rights under the law and what potential penalties you might face if convicted. A traffic infraction is a less serious offense (like speeding, red light, stop sign, cell phone tickets). You need to know for a traffic infraction you are allowed a traffic trial, either in person before a judge with your accuser (the officer) present or a trial in writing (Trial by Written Declaration) and that if you are found guilty after a Trial by Written Declaration you are allowed a new trial (Trial De Novo) in person before a judge with your accuser (the officer) present. The penalties for a traffic infraction include fines but not jail time. A Misdemeanor on the other hand is a more serious offense (driving while unlicensed, drunk driving, driving a grossly overweight truck, driving a commercial truck at 15 mph or more above the legal limit) and you could face jail time in addition to a fine. Since you could potentially face jail time you may even be allowed a trial by jury and to choose to have a court appointed public defender to help you. You can look to the same area where the violation code is found and following the violation code there should be an 'I' or an 'M' circled. This tells you if you were cited for an infraction or misdemeanor and only traffic infractions can be fought using a Trial by Written Declaration.
Step 4. Search for any exceptions to the law
Once you have identified the violation code for the traffic infraction you were cited for it’s time to get to work researching that law. There are often exceptions to each law that can be applied to an individual case. An example, the law states you cannot drive over double yellow lines. However the law is not an absolute law. There are exceptions like if you are turning into or out of a driveway, turning left at an intersection, or making a U-turn. Always check for exceptions to the law because many times officers tend to overlook these exceptions and issue a ticket when one was not justified in the first place.
Step 5. Contact client for facts surrounding incident
In order to properly complete your Trial by Written Declaration documents, we take the opportunity to contact you to review the facts of your case. Each violation is different and depending on the violation you were cited for there are certain details that will be more relevant than others. Plus judges have a limited amount of time to spend reviewing your case and do not have the time or patience to thumb through pages of irrelevant details in order to get to the meat of the issue. Your “statement of facts” is carefully documented by one of our ticket experts, to be used in completing the paperwork you will use to fight your ticket so it can be dismissed.
Step 6. Apply facts to exceptions to law to determine if any are applicable
Take the facts you remember based on your best recollection of the day you received the ticket and compare the facts to any exceptions laid out in the law you were cited for. Any exceptions that are applicable are recorded to be later used and combined with other possible defenses.
Step 7. Research possible defenses & review past cases that have been dismissed for use of similar defense
Having the ability to review past traffic cases that have been dismissed gives you better knowledge as to what defenses tend to be successful with the court. Also determine if there are any other defenses that can be applied based on the facts of your case, such as if there was an emergency situation or other mitigating circumstance. In every case work to create doubt in the eyes of the court that the officer actually saw you breaking the law and work to create doubt as to whether the officer's determination was accurate. For example details that it was dark at the time and the officer was preoccupied issuing a ticket to another motorist at the time can create reasonable doubt to show the officer could not have correctly identified your speed.
Step 8. Prepare Trial by Written Declaration statement using all applicable defenses
This is the final step in fighting your ticket. Based on research of the violation you were cited with, together with the facts of your case, and using all defenses and exceptions to the law you have one solid request for dismissal. It is then documented onto Trial by Written Declaration forms and all documentation, together with any supporting evidence such as photographs or witness statements you have provided, are submitted to the court.
So there you have it. It may seem complicated, but when you've helped over 50,000 drivers contest their traffic tickets and completed over 100,000 Trial by Written Declarations, you learn how to do it the best possible way! So, are you ready to put all that experience to work helping you fight your ticket?
Although many of our customers have their ticket dismissed or reduced using our service, some do not. In those cases we offer a refund of our Service Fee if you traffic ticket doesn't get dismissed. Please make sure and read out terms and conditions regarding our Service Fee Refund.
ABC News Channel 7 Feature Ticketbust.com
Interviewed by Ric Romero, CA
Ric Romero, consumer specialist for Channel 7 ABC News, features TicketBust.com. Mr. Romero states "TicketBust.com says it's helping California traffic violators beat tickets without them ever having to show up in court." TicketBust fights tickets by helping drivers file what's known as a Trial by Written Declaration, which allows drivers to contest the ticket in writing.
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