3 Ways to Challenge an Officer's Observations in Traffic Court

Law Blog

The average American spends 46 minutes in his or her car each day. Logging this much time behind the wheel puts you at risk of being pulled over and issued a traffic violation. If you want to fight your violation in court because you feel that it was issued erroneously, one strategy you can use is to challenge the officer's observations that led to the issuing of your ticket.

Here are three simple ways that you can challenge an officer's observations successfully in traffic court.

1. Gather witnesses to testify on your behalf.

If you version of the events that occurred differ from the version provided by the officer, it can be beneficial to have witnesses who will back up your claims.

Asking anyone who was in the area when your ticket was issued (perhaps a neighbor out watering the lawn, a passenger in your vehicle, or a sidewalk vendor) to testify in court gives the traffic judge several different accounts to evaluate. Witnesses who can testify to the fact that the officer's observations may have been wrong will help you win your traffic-court case.

2. Create a diagram portraying the situation.

Creating a three-dimensional diagram of the area in which your ticket was issued can be a valuable way to help prove that the officer issuing your ticket might not have been able to observe your actions clearly.

Including vegetation, other vehicles, and the placement of your vehicle and the officer's car within the diagram will help you show a judge that the officer's vision might have been obscured when viewing your actions. Casting doubt on the officer's ability to see clearly could help you win your case in court.

3. Obtain footage from a traffic camera.

Many municipal governments have traffic cameras mounted to traffic-light posts and traffic signs to help them catch violators in the act of breaking traffic laws. You can use the footage from these cameras to help you prove that the officer who issued your violation is in the wrong.

An attorney can help you subpoena footage from the traffic camera which recorded your violation, and the judge will be able to see for himself or herself that your version of the events is correct.

Casting doubt on the accuracy of the observations made by the officer issuing your traffic violation can be a simple and effective way to help you overturn your violation in traffic court.

Talk to a traffic-violation attorney for more tips and information.


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