Technicalities That Make a Traffic Ticket Invalid

By Hannington Dia
While difficult to defeat, traffic tickets can be overthrown thanks to certain technicalities in court.

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Receiving a traffic ticket is something most drivers dread during their time behind the wheel. Tickets take money from the driver's wallet, raise insurance rates and act as permanent marks on driving records. Fighting a driving violation can end either way for the defendant; however, there are a few technicalities under which a ticket can be thrown out.

Obstruction of Traffic Signs

Was the sign obstructed when you received your ticket? Document it.

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Speeding tickets can be invalidated if the speed limit signs in the area where the ticket was received were obstructed at the time — e.g., a fallen tree branch blocking a speed sign after a storm. In this case, the tree branch's presence is defined as a technical issue, one that can be brought up in court. Make sure to provide a report of when the obstructing object fell, including the work order for its removal and the time it was removed.

Officer Absence

If the officer doesn't show up for your court date, the judge will throw the case out.

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If the issuing officer or state trooper doesn't show up in court on the date of the trial, the case is automatically thrown out. Increase the chances of an absentee officer by postponing the court date for as long as possible. In many instances, the officer forgets about issuing the ticket in the first place and misses the date.

Conditions

Pay careful attention to everything at the time of the ticket, it might be useful later.

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While the issuing officer is writing a citation, making note of the conditions of your traffic stop is imperative. Small things such as your shirt color, exact location, weather and distance between where you stopped and where the ticket was issued can later play to your advantage in court. Ask the officer questions about these conditions on the day of the trial. Because he will be under oath, any false claims he makes can be used against him and invalidate your ticket.

Necessity of Speed Defense

Was it necessary to violate the speed limit to avoid an accident?

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Using the "necessity of speed" defense argues that while you were guilty of speeding, certain circumstances necessitated it. One instance would be going 55 mph in a zone where surrounding traffic is going at 70 mph and being forced to increase speed to avoid an accident. This defense can result in a dismissal; however, it's seldom known to work and should only be used as a last resort.

About the Author

Hannington Dia began writing and editing articles for a youth-oriented blog at his downtown youth center in 2007. He is a freelance writer and has worked for various websites since 2009. He runs his own blog, HD in Effect, and attends the City College of New York, pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in English.