Going to traffic court could be the best thing for you if you plan to fight your traffic ticket, but if you say the wrong thing, it could go the opposite direction. With your lawyer, you should come up with a list of things you should and should not say so as to have the most favorable outcome in court. The following are a few to get you started.
What You Should Say
Saying the right thing is just as important as not saying the wrong thing. When you’re facing a judge in traffic court, the following are some things you should say.
- The truth about what happened. If that means you tell the judge you ran a red light, go ahead and tell the judge you went through the red light, but be prepared to explain why. Did you have a medical episode? Did your brakes go out? Did the light malfunction and not turn red in time for you to stop? There’s no need to exaggerate the truth, either. Just tell the true story and leave it at that.
- Your plea, whether guilty or not guilty. It’s possible there were mitigating circumstances, such as those mentioned above. If you plead guilty, be sure you explain what the mitigating circumstances were. If you plead not guilty, be prepared to explain why the charges are not accurate.
- Respectful arguments only. Being disrespectful to the judge or about the officer who gave you the ticket will not do you any favors. Be firm about your position, but be respectful in everything you say.
What You Should Not Say
There are probably a lot of things you should not say when in front of a judge, regardless of the outcome you think will happen. The following are some things you should keep to yourself.
- You didn’t know the law behind the traffic violation. If you don’t know the law, you have no right to be on the road. This will only look bad for you.
- A lie about why you committed the offense you’re charged with. Legal professionals have a way of knowing when you are lying. They might ask you to recount your story, and if there are discrepancies, they will catch on. A false, sympathetic story will never be better than the truth.
- You didn’t harm anyone so it’s ok. It’s not ok to break the law, even if nobody was harmed. You know that the lawyers know that and the judge knows that. No judge will have sympathy for someone who thinks it’s ok to break the law as long as nobody is injured.
Getting Legal Counsel
If you are given a traffic ticket and plan to fight it in court, you may be able to benefit from the help of an attorney. Contact your traffic ticket lawyer today to learn more about what you should do and what things you should say when in front of a judge. Contact an attorney, like Criminal Lawyer Civic Center, San Francisco, CA, today for more information.
Thank you to the Hallinan Law Firm for their insight into criminal law cases.