Red lights are the reason for many traffic tickets in Texas.
There are many types of traffic violations, and many of those can get you a ticket. In Texas, some of these are easily dismissed or can be paid without even showing up to court. For other traffic tickets, you may have to show up to court and even get a lawyer involved. If you feel that you were ticketed in error or want to fight the ticket, there are several ways that you can go about it.
1. Do not argue with the officer when you are pulled over. Doing so may get you more tickets that you will have to show up in court for. In some extreme cases, it can also get you arrested.
2. Sign your ticket. In Texas, signing your ticket is not an admission of guilt, but rather a promise that you will show up in court on the appointed date. You will plead your innocence in court, not on the ticket. Failure to sign your ticket in Texas could land you in jail.
3. Take an approved defensive-driving course if you do not want to go to court. In Texas, not only can defensive driving get a ticket dismissed, there may be insurance discounts as well for up to three years.
4. Delay your court date as much as possible. Make sure that the court date does not interfere with work. The longer you delay, the greater the chance that the officer either will not remember the ticket or will not show up in court. In Texas, if an officer does not show up in court, the ticket is usually dismissed.
5. Decide if you want to hire a lawyer or not for your court date. In Texas, you do not need a lawyer for smaller traffic offenses such as speeding or inspection violations. For larger infractions such as driving without a license, you will want to hire a lawyer. In Texas the court will either require a lawyer or frown upon self-representation in these bigger cases.
6. Plead “not guilty” if you do choose to go to court. Make sure you studied the infraction you were ticketed for and understand what you are being accused of. If the officer shows up, a short trial will follow. If you choose not to get a lawyer, you will be able to question the officer.
7. Ask the officer if they remember your specific case. Ask things like the color, make and model of your car. In Texas, if the officer can’t remember these details, a judge may dismiss the ticket.