How to Fight a Traffic Ticket
Traffic citations come in a wide variety of forms. While most people identify a traffic ticket with a speeding ticket, the truth is that in a city the size of Las Vegas moving violations are probably more common than a speeding ticket. This is especially true in areas of very congested traffic, which is very common in the urban areas of Nevada. Of course, most of Nevada is wide open spaces that are often very tempting areas to drive well beyond the speed limit. Most individuals who have been cited for various driving infractions view the ticket as no big deal, and often the ticket is a set fine that can be paid before the court date, which means there is no court cost associated with the ticket. However, this is not always a good idea, and a hearing could result in a reduction of the charge or possible outright dismissal. And, the odds of this occurring can be greatly enhanced with legal representation.
When You Should Fight a Ticket
Many driving infraction citations are issued with the only evidence being the officer’s testimony. In addition, tickets are often issued for borderline reasons, such as driving five miles per hour above the speed limit. It is a fallacy that police officers allow a driver an extra five miles per hour when assessing speed. Above the limit is exactly that. It is above the speed limit. But, even obvious valid citations can still be reduced in certain situations when a sound legal argument can be presented to a judge or magistrate who will finalize the penalty. Regardless of the level of the charge, all convictions for excessive speed or multiple moving violations can take a toll on your driving record as well as drive the cost of automobile insurance upward, so fighting a traffic ticket can be important in almost any situation.
Fighting Serious Traffic Charges
Traffic citations can be serious business in Nevada, especially when the recipient is involved in an accident as well. While the typical traffic ticket is not necessarily classified as a criminal act, criminal charges can result easily in a collision scenario where it is obvious one of the drivers was operating in a negligent or reckless manner. Even driving in a reckless manner while not in traffic can be a chargeable offense, and can result in a loss of driving privileges if there are demerit points already assigned to the defendant’s driving record. Accidents in Nevada can also be very problematic when an accident is involved because Nevada uses pure comparative negligence when reconstructing an accident scenario. Anyone who is over 50% at fault for an accident cannot recover any damages and is liable for damages to the other party or parties based on the actual percentage of comparative negligence assignment by the court.
How Your Attorney Can Defend Your Case
When a traffic ticket charge is questionable, your attorney can take a few steps to provide a defense. Moving violations that also include an element of accident avoidance can be defended by reconstructing the driving scenario in a manner that produces some level of reasonable doubt. While traffic citations are not always criminal, reasonable doubt is still the standard for proof. In cases that are considered reckless, your attorney can also address lessening the reckless nature of the driving action. Many times the flow of traffic can be very problematic and can also be included as a material case fact, especially when the flow of traffic includes a congested group of drivers exceeding the speed limit or darting in and out of traffic. In addition, when radar is used to determine speed, your attorney can also investigate the inspection record of the particular radar equipment and potentially find mechanical problems to use in defense. Many traffic ticket cases actually never reach an official hearing when your attorney can craft a solid defense to the prosecutor before the court date.
Criminal Traffic Citations
While reckless driving is not necessarily a criminal act in some states, Nevada is not one of those states. As a matter of fact, because of the Nevada terrain, drag racing contests are common. They are also very illegal on public highways. Reckless driving of this magnitude can often result in up to eight demerit points added to the defendant’s driving record if convicted of the more serious charge. It is never a good idea to represent yourself personally in any reckless driving cases, including those that will not result in significant fine and potential incarceration. In addition, successfully completing a safe driving course may also be a requirement of the court.
Online Safe Driver Courses
Nevada is also one of the states that allow drivers to complete a safe driving course to be applied to their driving record even when they have not received a a ticket. The credit for completing a safe driving course is three points and can be applied as a credit in the event of a subsequent traffic ticket. Many drivers are using this option, and completion of a course can also impact your auto insurance rates with certain insurance companies. Be sure to research your insurance company and see if the credit will translate to a better auto insurance rate. And remember, this can also be a negotiation offer to dismiss a case. While a driver is not eligible for a safe driving course when they have a pending traffic ticket, it is also possible to plea bargain for a deferred judgement to be dismissed upon course completion. This can be a very effective addition to fighting a traffic ticket in certain situations.
Regardless of the nature of a traffic ticket, citations are dealt with by the state of Nevada in much the same manner as driving under the influence with respect to enhanced punishment for multiple convictions for traffic violations. What may appear as a simple payable ticket that is not cost-effective to defend could also be troublesome later in a more serious situation. Many times retaining a Las Vegas traffic ticket attorney can be an investment in your future if the potential exists for complete dismissal of the ticket. When it is apparent that an expense will be incurred, the cost of retaining an attorney can be money better spent because the traffic ticket will be reduced or wiped completely from your driving record, reducing driving record problems associated with any other subsequent tickets. The record of retaining an attorney is a private matter.