facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

Facing a driving charge can be a daunting experience, with potential consequences affecting your driving record, finances, and even freedom. Whether it's a speeding ticket, DUI, or other traffic violation, understanding how to effectively challenge these charges is crucial to your success.


You Are Your Greatest Advocate


When you face a driving charge, it’s easy to assume that you’re destined to be found guilty. However, that’s not always a given. Sometimes, charges get dropped or overturned because of different circumstances, which could include oversight by the officer who charged you.


“In my years of practicing law, I've seen numerous instances where an officer's judgment or interpretation of an event, particularly in traffic violations, has been called into question,” attorney Rowdy G. Williams mentions. “It's important to remember that 'seeing' isn't always 'believing.' Evidence can be misinterpreted, and procedures can be mishandled.”


If you don’t take a stand for yourself, it’s possible that nobody else will. In other words, make the smart choice and don’t be afraid to contest your driving charge. At the very least, this gives you a chance at a more favorable outcome. What follows are five helpful steps for doing so. 


Step 1: Understand the Charge


The first thing you need to do is understand exactly what you're being accused of. Every detail matters – from the specific law you allegedly broke to the circumstances under which the charge was made. 


  • Was it a speeding ticket? If so, how far over the limit were you supposedly going? 
  • Or is it a DUI charge? What evidence do they claim to have? 


Knowing the ins and outs of your charge will be crucial in contesting it. A lack of familiarity puts you behind the proverbial eight-ball and gives the other side all the leverage.


Step 2: Gather Your Evidence


Once you know what you're up against, it's time to build your case. This means gathering all relevant evidence. If there were any witnesses, get their contact information and statements. 


If your charge involves a traffic stop, note the time, location, and any conditions that might affect the situation, like bad weather or faulty street signs. Photos can be incredibly powerful here. For example, a picture showing a hidden speed limit sign can turn a case on its head.


Step 3: Seek Legal Help


This step is where the battle really begins. You might be tempted to represent yourself, especially in what seems like a straightforward case. However, the legal system is complex, and what appears simple can quickly become complicated. 


An experienced traffic attorney knows the ins and outs of traffic law and can navigate the court system in ways you might not have even considered. They can advise you on whether it's best to fight the charge or seek a plea deal, and they'll represent you in court, giving you the best chance at a favorable outcome.


Step 4: Work With Your Attorney


Hiring an attorney isn't about handing over the reins and hoping for the best. It's a partnership. Be honest with them about every detail of the incident and your driving history. Provide them with all the evidence you've gathered, and follow their advice, even if it's not what you want to hear. Remember, they're on your side, and their experience is invaluable in these situations.


Step 5: Know Your Defenses


Understanding common defenses in traffic cases can also give you an edge. One approach is to question the accuracy of the evidence against you. If you were charged with speeding, for example, how recently was the radar gun used by the officer calibrated? In DUI cases, breathalyzers can be notoriously unreliable if not properly maintained. There's also the possibility of citing mitigating circumstances. Maybe you were speeding because of an emergency. While not a get-out-of-jail-free card, it can influence the severity of the penalty.


Adding it All Up


Contesting a driving charge isn't about finding a sneaky way out of a mistake. It's about ensuring the process is fair and that you're only held accountable for what you've actually done. The legal system can be intimidating, but it's also there to protect your rights. With the right approach and professional guidance, you can navigate through this challenging experience with your head held high and your driving record intact.


Remember, each case is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. But by understanding the charge, gathering evidence, seeking legal help, working closely with your attorney, and knowing your defenses, you're taking the right steps toward contesting the charge effectively.