There is no doubt that driving on the roadways in Union County can, at times, be very stressful, and this stress can cause drivers to unintentionally disobey the local traffic laws which can create problems with the legal system. However, there are also times where Union County drivers are cited with traffic tickets for violations that they did not commit, regardless of the perception of the police officer issuing the ticket. Whether you have been cited for an erroneous ticket or you are hoping to have the charges reduced, here are the steps to beating a traffic ticket in Union County New Jersey.
There are quite a few steps that will need to be taken to fight a traffic ticket in Union County NJ, but before you call the local municipality to schedule a court date there are some questions to consider. Perhaps the most important question to ask yourself is “do I have enough evidence to support my case?” If you are unsure as to what the term “evidence” means in this situation, you will want to contact a professional and experienced Union County traffic court attorney .
Lastly, it is vital that you ask yourself if there is a chance that you could receive a jail sentence due to the violation. While it is uncommon for traffic tickets to carry with them jail time, there are certain violations such as a DUI or OWI that could cost you your freedom. If you have been cited for a major traffic violation such as drunk driving, then it is imperative that you contact an attorney at once.
The state of New Jersey has its own set of rules that must be followed in order to fight a traffic ticket. Whether the ticket was given for excessive speeds or a rolling stop the steps to argue your case in court are the same. If you believe that you have sufficient evidence to properly fight your ticket then there are several options worth consideration. Here are some different ways to fight a traffic ticket in New Jersey:
One of the foremost ways to let the judge know that you feel you were incorrectly cited with a ticket is by pleading “not guilty.” As the phrase suggests, pleading not guilty means that you are telling the court that you do not feel that you should be held liable for any fees or points due to your innocence. By taking a stance of not guilty, you are formally informing the court that you accept you right to argue your case. To get the process of pleading not guilty started, you must show up to court on the initial date stated on the ticket and pitch your case to the judge.
While the process for fighting a ticket is the same in all of New Jersey, there are municipalities that ask for an advanced notification of your intentions no less than 3 days prior to appearing in court for the first time. And although a few days warning is all that is typically requested, it is best to contact the court immediately after receiving the ticket to make sure that you are scheduled in the system. Failure to check in with the court could result in unwanted delays and it may end up hurting the case in the end. As mentioned, if you cannot make it to the initial hearing date, then you must call the municipality to reschedule.
After you have scheduled a court date, then it is recommended that you get ahold of an NJ lawyer to discuss your options moving forward. Of course, you do not have to contact an attorney, and in fact, you can discuss your case with a court-appointed lawyer for no charge, if at all possible you will want to hire an independent attorney. By hiring a traffic ticket lawyer your chances of winning the case will be significantly greater.
Once you speak with a lawyer, they will assess your case and determine the steps that should be taken to move forward with the case. If your lawyer feels that there is not sufficient evidence to support your case, then you may be instructed to opt for a plea agreement. By accepting a plea agreement you are telling the court that you were at fault in the hopes that this admission will prompt them to reduce the charges. In this case, the judge will make a decision on whether you should be held responsible for all related fees and points. If you feel strongly about your case, then you should not consider a plea and instead prepare to argue your case in court.
If you have forgone a plea agreement and you are intent on fighting the charges, then you will need to contact a traffic ticket attorney and inform them of your decision. A traffic ticket lawyer is someone who specializes in the defense of those who have received traffic violations. The lawyer’s knowledge can be a great asset, as they will know exactly what type of charges you are facing, as well as the fines and points associated with the ticket. In addition, the attorney will be able to let you know what the possible consequences of the case will be if you are found guilty versus a not guilty ruling. There are certain cases, such as those that involve DUI charges, where hiring a lawyer is the only way to properly fight against the court. These are the times when you must rely on the experience of the attorney to guide you through the process and hope for a positive outcome.
An experienced attorney can also determine what they feel will be the most convincing pieces of evidence that should be presented to the judge in order to substantiate your case. And while the amount and type of evidence that can be used will be dependent on each individual case, the primary goal is to come up with tangible facts that will help prove you were not at fault for the violation.
If there is no outright evidence to prove your innocence then your lawyer may bring into question the conclusion of the officer that led to the citation. This is essentially playing on the idea that the officer made a mistake during the traffic stop by citing you for an erroneous ticket. There are specific cases where this type of defense is especially effective, such as those where it is the officer’s word against yours. One example of such a scenario is if you received a ticket for taking a turn that was deemed unsafe by the officer. In this case, you can always argue that you did not feel that there was anything unsafe about the turn and that you were acting within the local traffic laws. And while there is no guaranteeing that the judge will drop the charges, it will give your case a chance.
Another way to fight your citation is by arguing that you acted the way you did to prevent harm. For example, if you happened to notice an unleashed dog that looked as though it may run into the roadway and you decided to veer off course to avoid an accident, then the judge may view this as a legal act and thus toss the case out of court. This type of defense can be particularly difficult to prove, but it is certainly worth considering if there is a chance that the outcome could be positive. An experienced lawyer will know how to present such an argument to the court and this will help in your defense.
Lastly, you may want to try and prove to the court that your actions were justified as according to the laws. This particular type of defense is another way of putting your word against the officers, but nonetheless, it is worth considering in certain cases. For instance, if your car was experiencing mechanical issues so you decided to drive below the speed limit to avoid further complications with the vehicle and you were cited for driving too slow, then you may have a substantial case. After all, the officer may not have recognized the mechanical problems when the ticket was issued or may not have believed your argument, but the judge may see it differently.
No matter the circumstances that surround the issuing of the ticket, by speaking with a seasoned attorney you will increase the likelihood of winning the case. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and they can use their experience to search for loopholes within the system that may help you to win a favorable judgment.