How to Write a Formal Written Request for Traffic Court

By Alex Zang

A written request for traffic court is usually used to fight charges while not appearing in court. If you received a speeding ticket, you could write a formal letter addressing and refuting the charges, backed up by whatever evidence you're able to provide. To win your case, a request must be formally written and include evidence.

Mail a "Trial by Written Declaration" request letter to the court. This letter must be received by the court at least one week before your trial date -- as listed on your ticket -- or else it is invalid. In your letter, mention vehicle code 40902 -- the code for a trial by written declaration -- and the citation number on your ticket. Ask the court to send you the forms required for you to fill out, the official appearance date, and the bail amount.

Ask for the ticketing officer's notes. In some cases, you'll find these notes on the back of your ticket. If not, mail a request to the station where the officer works. Different rules apply for different states, so check the rules for your state before sending the request.

Write down what happened at the scene of the ticket in your own words. Photos of the location of the incident, or any diagrams you draw that can help explain the situation, will strengthen your case, provided they are accurate.

Gather other evidence, such as witness accounts. Provide the name and phone number of each witness, as well as a written account from the witness. Each witness must sign and date each page of her account.

Write "Under penalty of perjury, I declare that this statement is true" onto each of page you intend to send the court. This is known as a "declaration," and your statement will not be accepted without it.

Fill out a TR-205 form and a TR-200 form, both of which should be sent to you by the court after you requested forms in step one. Attach all evidence to the form.

Mail the forms, along with a check or money order for bail money, back to the court. The court must receive the forms before the due date as written on the form for them to be valid. If the forms make it to the court on time, the court will mail you a judge's decision within 90 days.

About the Author

Alex Zang has been freelance writing since 2004, specializing in sports and technology. His work has appeared in "The Calgary Herald" and "Western Canadian Condos & Resorts," as well as online. Zang studied film production and screenwriting at Mount Royal College.

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