Skip to main content
Hero background

Decoding the Myths to Beating Traffic Violations

The other day, while enjoying a club sandwich and tasty beverage, I had the displeasure of listening to my friend describe his strategic approach to beating a recent traffic ticket.

So let me get this straight, I quizzed him. You were speeding, made an unsafe left turn, and were on your cell phone?

After agreeing he proceeded to present the most implausible defense proclaiming his innocence. Each idea was more outlandish than the previous.

There are a lot of stories about how people have beaten their tickets in court. Few are true. Ultimately the best way to avoid a violation of any kind is to abide by the rules of the road. However, just in case you think you can take the easy way out and beat a ticket on a technicality, here are some myths to debunk your plight.

1. The officer is not likely to show up in court because he has to come in on his day off

In some cases if the police officer doesn't show up in court your ticket will be dismissed but this isn't always the case. Additionally, since the court is more likely to take the side of the law as opposed to you, it would be more likely that they schedule it on a day advantageous for the officer as well. Don't count on this.

2. You were going with the flow of traffic

Perhaps if you hire Matthew McConaughey from A Time to Kill as your legal counsel you may have a chance with this far-from-airtight alibi, but for the rest of society this isn't going to work. The chances are, an officer pulled you over for a reason and not just to pick you out of a crowd of ten cars speeding on the roadway.

3. If you receive a ticket in a state other than your own it won't be reported to your state

This sounds great in theory if you consider yourself a traveling lawbreaker, however when you return to your home state, they will also know about your tomfoolery. There is something called the Interstate Driver License Compact which is an agreement between states and they share information. There is also another database that shares information on revoked or suspended licenses, so if you attempt to obtain a license in another state you'll probably show up on that as well.

4. Overpaying your ticket

The story of Oedipus killing his father and dating his mother is entertaining, however it is urban legend. So is this. The theory breaks down like this: You overpay your citation and if they try to send you a refund, you don't cash it. Then the state can't convict you since the paperwork never gets finalized. The truth is, once you are convicted, the state and your insurance company have a record of the citation.

5. If you don't sign the ticket it didn't happen

Pulling the sheets over your face when you suspect a monster is under your bed doesn't do much to protect you and neither does trying to ignore the ticket by not signing it. If you show up in court and the judge learns that you were trying to be an outlaw and not sign the ticket, this may actually hurt your chances for an innocent verdict. Signing doesn't show an admission of guilt, it merely states you will pick up the pieces at a later date in court.

6. If the officer doesn't let you see the radar gun, you can beat the ticket

By no means does the officer need to show you what he saw on the radar gun. If you try to claim the gun wasn't working correctly at the time, that will be a tough road to take. Furthermore if you are questioning the officer at the time of the ticket, he or she will probably make it a point to ensure you are convicted of the ticket in court just because you are being a problem.

7. If the officer makes a clerical error, the ticket will be thrown out

This is definitely not true. If the officer gets minor things wrong on the ticket such as a letter in your name, a number, etc. it will be overlooked in most cases. If the officer has information wrong such as the basics of the violation such as where it was, what you did, and what you looked like, that may have an impact.

8. The officer was discriminating against me because of my red car

A red car may further attract the attention of a police officer, but so does speeding. There isn't any official evidence to show that by having a red car, you will receive more tickets. The best way to avoid this theory is to not speed.

9. You have a legitimate excuse

Being late for work, having to go to the bathroom, or you were chasing a hot chick in a Ferrari might get a chuckle from an officer. And if they have a moment of compassion they may let you slide at the time of the citation, but these won't help in court. Whenever someone has excuses it shows they are essentially admitting guilt which never is a good thing in a court of law.

Again, the best way to avoid having to deal with any of these situations is to abide by the rules of the road. If you're never issued a citation it will be pretty easy to beat something that doesn't exist!