Can A Complaint Against an Officer Void Your Traffic Ticket in Louisiana?
Traffic tickets are very common. Anyone can make a mistake while driving and can end up with a traffic ticket. The officer will mention what violations you were cited for, when your court date is, and sometimes the amount of fine you need to pay for the violations.
The good thing is that our legal system allows us to fight this ticket and plead your case in court. If you feel you have the slightest chance to prove yourself not-guilty, you can plead so in court and proceed to verify your claim with help of Louisiana Speeding Ticket Lawyer.
How You Can Handle The Traffic Violation Tickets
If you got a minor violation, then you have several options to handle the ticket. If you were given a ticket for a misdemeanor, you will be expected to appear in court. If you don’t appear in court on the day of the hearing, the court can charge you with a “Failure to appear” violation, take away your driving license, and levy additional fines.
You always have the option of contesting a traffic violation. However, if you choose not to challenge it, then you are faced with the following options:
- Paying the fine
- Choose traffic school
- Correct the violation
If you decide you want to contest the violation, then you can choose one of the following options:
- Request a court trial
- Request a trial by written declaration
Whatever you choose to do, besides the above options, there is no other way to deal with a traffic violation. There are, however, multiple situations in which your traffic violation ticket may get dismissed:
The Officer Does Not Appear In Court
The officer has to prove in court that you did break the rule and did something wrong to be given the ticket. If the officer does not come to court, he/she cannot prove your fault. As a result, the violation will be dismissed
A Mistake On The Ticket
Any incorrect or missing information on the ticket can lead to its dismissal. Check your ticket thoroughly and if the officer has made any mistake on it, bring it to the court’s notice. If the error is valid, then the court will dismiss your ticket.
Another way to get your traffic violation ticket dismissed is by proving to the court that the officer’s equipment, like a RADAR gun or the camera on the red light, to give you the citation was faulty and was not working correctly. If you can prove this claim, the court will not consider your ticket and let you go.
While all of the above points may work in court and help you avoid a traffic violation ticket, you should also keep in mind what will not work in a court of law. We often try to make defenses in desperation, thinking it may help us with our traffic ticket. But this is not true for everything. Here is a list of defenses that will not work to relieve you of your traffic violation ticket.
- Not knowing the law well: Even if you prove that you did not understand the law well and misunderstood it, the court will not dismiss your ticket.
- Telling the court that you were going with the flow of the traffic: This defense will definitely not work. The fact that other drivers were not driving correctly does not give you the opportunity to do the same. As such, this defense will not work in your favor.
- The officer singled you out of the many potential violators: If you bring this defense in court, you are indirectly agreeing to the mistake. The fact that the officer picked you and no one else tells the court that you did commit the crime, but were hoping the officer catches someone else.
- No property was damaged, and no one was injured: In most minor traffic violations, the officer does not have to prove that there was property damage involved or that anyone was injured. Hence, this defense won’t work in the court of law.
- Giving the court a tragic story: Judges in the traffic court are used to hearing stories and excuses from the accused day in and day out. Giving them a tragic story won’t convince them that you are guilt-free
- Stating that the officer is lying: Any officer is under oath to tell the truth in court. So, between you and the officer, there is a higher chance that the judge will believe the officer and your defense that the officer is lying won’t hold good.
While all of the above excuses and defenses are commonly seen in court, one of the most common ones that people often ask attorneys about is whether the traffic violation will become void if there is a complaint against the reporting officer.
The simple answer to the question is no. Any complaint against the officer cannot void your traffic ticket. For example, if the complaint was filed because the officer kept your license, the court could ask you why you did not remind the officer to return your license then. As such, this reason cannot void your traffic ticket. Your best option to handle the situation would be to plead not guilty and go to trial if you think you have concrete proof that proves your innocence.
It is natural to get worried and start scrambling in desperation if you have gotten a traffic violation ticket. This is especially true if your traffic violation is a serious one. You will try and think of many defenses that you believe will help you out of the case. What you may not realize is some of these defenses may even put you in more significant trouble. In such situations, it is best to speak to a Louisiana Speeding Ticket Lawyer and get clarity on what might work and what will not. The lawyer can also listen to your case and tell you if you have a chance at getting the ticket dismissed, and advise you of your legal rights.
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