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Still Not Convinced You Should Fight Your Ticket? Read THIS!

So, you were stopped by a cop...you got your citation. You are not sure what to do. Should you fight your traffic ticket or not? Absolutely! You should always fight your traffic ticket! When you receive a traffic ticket, the court will usually suggest that you must appear twice to contest it: first to appear and plead not guilty and second to stand trial with the officer present. This is not true. You can contest your ticket by mail without making a single court appearance. Contesting your citation through the mail gives you a better chance of winning your case than at a court trial. Even if you seem to be guilty of violating the law, the procedural hassles for the prosecution will often lead to a dismissal. If the prosecution does not submit its version of events in writing to the court by the deadline date, your case will be dismissed regardless of your guilt or innocence. Dismissals due to lack of prosecution are won in approximately 30% of written defenses. You may say: "...but I think I was wrong, I think I deserve the ticket. Why should I fight my traffic ticket?" You may lose cases, despite your innocence, due to cop and judge errors, including lies and incompetence. Also, you may win cases where obviously you broke the law, due to cop and judge errors. In the end, these errors balance out, leaving you with some rough approximation of justice. This approximate justice only happens if you mechanically and habitually exercise your legal right to contest every case. There is no other way to overcome the built in prosecutorial bias of traffic enforcers and traffic courts in USA. Let's say that half of the citations you're issued are totally fair and legitimate and the other half are bogus and based on overzealous policing. Let's also approximate that you have a 50/50 chance of beating any particular ticket you contest. If you pay the tickets that you feel were deserved without a fight while only contesting the tickets that you thought were unfair you would be convicted in 100% of the cases where you surrendered and 50% of the ones you contested. By not contesting every case, you become a victim of the court's prosecutorial bias. However, if you contested every case, you'd beat 2 out of 4 tickets total. It should not matter if you beat two tickets when you were guilty, especially if you are found guilty on two tickets that were unfair. This is what I mean by the term "rough justice" or "approximate justice." This is why I recommend every citation be contested. You might need to beat a fair ticket now to balance the unfair ticket a cop may issue on a whim in the future. I recommend that you always contest every charge, whether you're technically "guilty" or not. You have to remember that guilt or innocence is a result of the process of law as interpreted subjectively by people, including the cop who stopped you and the judge deciding the case. In traffic infraction cases, you are denied a trial by jury. As such, the biases of the cop and the judge and their potential for error and unfairness become magnified. They are not perfect and the process is not perfect. You run a greater risk that they might find you guilty, even if you are not. This is why I contest every case. The law allows you to contest any traffic infraction entirely by mail. You can appear via mail through a Written Not Guilty Plea . In your plea you can request a Trial by Written Declaration. In this way you can contest your citation without appearing at all and, for reasons already discussed, will have a better chance of winning than at trial. Further, if you lose your trial by declaration, you have 20 days to request a Trial de Novo (new trial) (depending on jurisdiction). You then can appear in court for the first time for your second chance of winning. Why doesn't the court inform every defendant of their legal right to appear in court via mail (Written Not Guilty Plea), contest via mail (Trial by Written Declaration), and have a new trial (Trial de Novo) if they are not happy with the outcome of the first trial? Money. Most courtesy notices hardly mention or do not mention these rights at all. If they even mention the possibility of contesting a citation, they also mention that this generally requires two court appearances, one to plead not guilty, a second for the actual trial. If you do appear in person to plead not guilty, most courts will make you enter your plea last, inconveniencing you to the maximum. Then it will ask you to return to court for a trial. The two days' pay lost through these two separate appearances amounts to more than the traffic fine for most people. This is why less than 1% of cited motorist ever bother to contest their citation. Ignorant of their legal rights, confused and intimidated by the courts and police, 99% of Americans ticketed simply pay up! Written by Alicia Angulo Original Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alicia_Angulo
Posted in News
Oct 29th, 2010