Defenses That Rarely Work in Traffic Court
Drivers in South Carolina who receive a ticket for speeding, reckless driving, running a red light or any other type of traffic offense often decide that they will fight the charges in court to avoid paying a fine. Although some defenses can help drivers trying to avoid the penalties of a traffic violation, others rarely, if ever, are successful.
Statements that do not present any specifics are most likely to result in drivers being found guilty of a traffic offense. For example, drivers may not be successful if they claim that:
- They were unaware of what the law was while they were driving
- Allegedly committing the traffic violation did not harm anyone in their surroundings
- The law enforcement official unfairly singled them out and decided to pull them over for a traffic violation
- They were unable to follow traffic laws due to an emergency situation
In most cases, these types of defenses are unsuccessful even if drivers are able to identify minor inaccuracies on their ticket, such as the law enforcement official mistaking the make, model or color of their vehicle while writing up the violation.
Defenses That Offer Potential
Although certain traffic defenses are not generally viable, others can provide drivers with a solid chance of having the charges made against them dismissed. One of these defenses involves challenging the law enforcement official’s view of what happened. For example, if a law enforcement official gives a driver a ticket for unsafely making a left turn, the driver may be able to argue that his or her actions were safe and responsible given the circumstances.
Drivers who want to challenge the facts surrounding the violation, rather than the law enforcement’s subjective opinion about what happened, must be able to present evidence to support their claim. For instance, evidence that can be beneficial in a traffic case include statements from witnesses, such as bystanders or passengers, and photographs of the road conditions, intersection and stop signs. Generally speaking, any evidence that can potentially disprove a law enforcement official’s ability to observe an alleged violation can be advantageous while arguing a traffic ticket. While gathering this information, as well as preparing an effective defense, drivers in South Carolina can often immensely benefit from working with an attorney who is experienced in traffic law.