We’ve all heard miracle stories from the friend who was driving a thousand miles over the speed limit, but got his speeding ticket thrown out of court because his defense attorney was a “miracle worker.” But the reality is, your friend was probably exaggerating and the story isn’t as good as the one he or she told you.
While there’s a lot you can do to defend yourself in the case of an unlawful or questionable traffic ticket, there are some defenses that probably won’t work. Here’s a list of defense ideas that people accused of traffic tickets often try to use, but they rarely work, if ever:
— Trying to say you were ignorant of the law. Even if it’s true that you didn’t understand the rules, ignorance of the law is never a suitable defense.
— Trying to say that — since nobody got hurt — you shouldn’t receive a ticket. The idea of no-harm-no-foul seems like a reasonable argument, but the law is the law.
— Trying to argue that “everybody else was doing it” so you shouldn’t have been singled out. Unfortunately, even if you were the hundredth car that was traveling in a string of vehicles going 20 mph over the speed limit, you could still be pulled over and convicted of the violation.
— Trying to use a sob story. The typical judge has literally heard it all. At best, they will doubt your sincerity and probably assume that you’re giving a sob story in order to get a more lenient punishment. Although this might work to reduce your fine, you will probably still be found guilty of the violation.
— You accuse the officer of not being truthful. In nearly all cases, a judge will believe the officer over the accused driver. If you’re going to accuse an officer of lying, you’ll want to present proof of the fact.
If you think you can use one of the above defenses to try to get your traffic ticket dismissed, you might want to explore additional options. A better understanding of criminal defense strategies and traffic laws in Virginia is a good start.