Popular myths around traffic tickets

Most drivers have a strategy when it comes to traffic tickets. They hope to never need these strategies, but that they can use them to get out of most tickets.

Unfortunately, most of these are based on faulty information. Here are five persistent myths about traffic tickets:

1) Your ticket will be dropped if the officer doesn’t show in court

This has been the enduring opinion for decades. The thought is that you have the right to question any witnesses, and the officer who pulled you over is the main witness. Thus, if they do not show at court, your ticket is gone. Easy!

Unfortunately, it’s never that simple. Many courts in California will simply reschedule your hearing at a time that is more convenient for the officer (and probably less convenient for you).

2) Passing is an excuse to speed

In order to safely pass someone, you may need to push past the speed limit. If you’re pulled over while passing, you may feel safe in saying that your speed was justified to pass.

This will not fly. Any speeding violation is against the law, and your admission of speeding to pass is simply a convenient admission of guilt.

3) Officers have ticket quotas

Some drivers change their behavior at the beginning or end of each month in order to avoid a police district’s ticketing quota. The thought is that law enforcement requires each officer to produce a certain number of traffic tickets to ensure they are doing their job.

Most districts do not use a quota system to judge policing. If officers do have a quota, it’s likely so small that they don’t need to overcompensate in the last few days of a month.

4) Traffic tickets remain in-state

Some drivers mistakenly believe their infractions cannot follow them across state lines. In fact, 45 states (including California) are part of the Driver’s License Compact and share traffic information. This means points you earn in our state will follow you to almost any other.

5) You can pay more to keep a ticket off your record

It seems like everyone has that one friend who swears they slipped an extra twenty into the envelope and a point was never added to their license. This is, of course, completely false.

Your points will be coming unless you talk to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. It’s worth your time to fight these tickets. As small as they seem, the points can add up to massive penalties. Mr. Ticket can help.

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