Disputing a Traffic Ticket!!

Updated on February 21, 2011
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
15 answers

Okay, it was my fault the inspection expired on my jeep. I actually had an appointment to have it inspected, but then it was in a very minor wreck and I needed to repair it before it would pass inspection. I have documentation stating that the original appointment for inspection was for last Friday (a week after it would have expired) and I have documentation showing that it's scheduled for the rest of the repairs and inspection for tmrw (being Friday)... I'm just irritated that the officer marked the ticket as having occured within the highway safety corridor... IT MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT!! I pulled over about 4 bus lengths before the sign/line marking the beginning of the highway safety corridor!! I NEVER physically crossed that barrier. Granted, this is again my dumb fault for not actually reading the ticket in it's entirety before signing it... but... think if I go to court with a picture of where I pulled over, that would take off the additional $200 fine?! ALSO, is an expired inspection considered a moving violation? I thought a moving violation would be something like speeding, running a red light, not completely stopping at a stop sign, etc.


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answers from Austin on

You have nothing to lose. Go and fight it, but in case you lose, be prepared to pay the fine right then and there..

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dover on

No, anything to do with your paperwork, license, insurance, inspection, etc. is not a moving violation. Also, a very common misconception is that signing the ticket means you agree with it. That is not the case at all. All that means is that the ticket has been explained to you & you are in receipt of it, it doesn't in any way remove your right to dispute it later on.

My husband is a cop so while I've never done the job myself, I hear a whole heaping lot of stories on a daily basis, not to mention all of the questions my friends, family & co-workers throw at me to pass along. (Just an FYI, cops don't appreciate that terribly, lol!)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I would go to court armed and ready. Have pictures, pace off the distance from where you stopped to the line of the corridor. Have all of your back up from the accident report, repairs etc.

i know I have been released from fines on a few tickets because the officer was not available to be at court for that date/time. if they don't show up the judge has to dismiss the charges as there is no proof in the courtroom that you were in violation. i am not sure how your town/state handles it but some supenoa the officer so they have to be there. And no it's not a moving violation.

I recently got one for expired registration ( I knew it but hubby is not working so it had to be late) I jsut went in and showed proof that I have it current by the court date and they reduced the fine from $800 to $100.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Just because you signed the ticket doesn't mean you pled guilty it just means that you acknowledge that you received the ticket and understood it. First you would have to go in a pled not guilty, then you should be assigned another court date to present you evidence. Do you have a friend who you could get some free legal advice from? Just as how the process works in your state. If not I would go prepared everything to present your facts.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I went to court over a ticket last year, improper lane change and failure to carry an insurance card. (I had insurance, I left the card in my other purse). I plead not guilty and I went to court showed them my current insurance card, they did even ask about the improper lane change. They charged me $50 for court costs.

There's a good chance you can have your fine reduced. The way I look at it if you go prepared with documentation, you've got nothing to loose, but a lot of time sitting around a court room.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Hi R.,
I don't know -- but besides your time, it can't hurt to go to court and plead your case as long as you don't lose your temper in court. The judge might drop the fine -- or might not -- but usually they do drop some of the fine just because you showed up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You must have had a really gung ho officer to pull you over just for the inspection issue. I have been pulled over for expired tags and given warnings, but not a ticket for just that. In MD, if you go to a hearing and the officer fails to show up (about 80% of the time) your automatically found not guilty. A lot of times the judge will reduce the fines also. so go to court and try to fight it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You possibly have two separate tickets. One for the inspection, regardless of whether you have an appointment or not, you can't fight that. But if its done by the court date, they could reduce the fine. Also, it is technically not a moving violation. A photo of the where the accident happened would be proof of the location, but I don't think location would matter.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Go to court-modestly dressed-no make up-no jewelry-if you think judges are impartil-you are wrong -they judge everything. Tell them what happened-evidence everything you can and tell them you are indigent and a single mother of three children and don't have the ability to pay. Good luck-hopefully the judge will be in a good mood, the police officer won't show-up and you'll look very sweet and innocent next to the vehicular homicide guys.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

i was thinking it was not keeping tags up to date fine. heres the thing though even if you have to get your car inspected and it wont pass you should take it in to get inspected anyway and get a rejection sticker to give you another 15 days to get it fixed. then pay $1 to have them reinspect. but anyways sense you were moving when he noticed that you were in violation of your tags being up to date this may be why it's a moving violation. i would take it to court though with a picture of where you pulled over in the hopes that the judge sees that you werent trying to avoid your responsibilities. you'll still have to pay the court fees but at least you wont have the tickets on your record/insurance.


answers from Norfolk on

Years ago, I once successfully argued a speeding ticket down to a loud muffler.
I was ticketed for doing 55 in a 35 MPH zone. I was doing 55 on the divided highway (where 55 was the speed limit) but not on the road where the cop stopped me.
I went to court and pleaded not guilty, then spoke to a court defender. I asked him if he knew the road I was stopped on. He said yes. I told him that road was so badly full of pot holes it looked like it had been bombed. He agreed. I told him it was physically impossible for my little Chevette to do 55 mph on that road. If he wanted to he could get in my car and try, but it can't be done. He agreed with my logic. He asked if I was doing over 35 and I said yes, but it was nowhere near 55 mph. So he reduced the ticket to a loud muffler, there was a small fine and I went to driver improvement classes, but there were no points on my license. If there's a willingness to compromise on both sides, sometimes a deal can be worked out. Sometimes not. Good luck.



answers from Richmond on

before you pay for the ticket, read it over very carefully, take pictures of where you got the traffic ticket, making notes of the weather, how heavy was the traffic, make special note of where you were in relation to the traffic signsmarking the beginning of the traffic safety signs, if you truly feel like the officer was perhaps mistaken, go to court and plead your case, dress very conservatively( very long, dark skirt, long sleeve blouse, with no cleveage or tattoos or piercings showing), have all your paperwork in hand, get your car inspected before you go to court.
K. h.


answers from St. Louis on

First, your questions/statements don't really make clear what you were issued tickets for exactly.

These are all questions you should be asking a traffic attorney. I could speculate as to whether your ticket was a moving violation, but without looking at the statute under which the ticket was written, I would have no idea. This is something a lawyer should do for you.

Additionally, if you choose to "fight" the ticket, oftentimes the monetary penalty is much higer (court costs and such) if you lose than if you would have just paid intially. This may or may not be the case where you are. But again, something you should be aware of, and another reason you should talk to an attorney.

As a former traffic attorney, most people laughed when I told them they should always talk with an attorney about even something as minor as a speeding ticket. They weren't laughing so much 6 months later when they lost their driver's license because they weren't aware of something or did something incorrectly when they refused to hire or otherwise consult with legal counsel. There are so many rules, laws and statues and there is a reason so many attorneys include traffic in their practice!

Good luck whatever you choose!!


answers from Jacksonville on

What was the moving violation cited on the ticket? You didn't say what the situation with the "minor wreck" was... could THAT be what the "moving violation" was related to, and not the location where you pulled off or the expired inspection sticker?

Get your ducks in a row and go appear and plead not guilty to what you don't feel guilty of. No need to be disgruntled. Just explain that you didn't really read the details of the citation at the time, because it is your understanding that you were just acknowledging receipt of it, but that you disagree with items x, y and z.
NEVER go into a court with an attitude. Always go in calm, collected and respectful. Otherwise you come off as a tantrumming child instead of a collected mature adult with a legitimate issue.


answers from Denver on

I have contested a speeding ticket. I had to go to court twice. The police officer was pretty annoyed with me, but the judge dismissed the ticket. All I really had to do was show up both times.

The police officer had stepped out in front of me, I stopped, and he ticketed me. I went back & measured the distance, then did the calculations - which showed that I couldn't possibly have stopped for him if I'd been traveling over (or even AT) the speed limit. I offered to show the calculations to the police officer. I never got that far with the judge.

It may be different when there is an accident, but if you are sure you are right, you should try. Police officers are human & make mistakes too. : )

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