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How to Avoid a Traffic Ticket

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Maybe you want to avoid getting a traffic ticket. Or you, like so many Americans, just want to go about your merry way, without police intrusion into your daily life. Either way, the best way to accomplish this, is to encourage police officers to ignore you. Plain and simple.

And the best way to encourage police officers to ignore you is to obey traffic laws. Easier said than done, right? Just keep in mind that whatever inconvenience it is to you, obeying traffic laws decreases your chances of being pulled over. And, added bonus, it also decreases your chances that an officer will begin to become suspicious that you're speeding, driving recklessly, operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI)-or worse, that you're carrying something on your person or in your car that the police want to search.

Here's what you should consider doing to avoid being pulled over:

  • Obey traffic signals, street signs, and lane markers-Yellow lights turn red, and quickly.
  • Come to a complete stop at stop signs: you can be pulled over for "rolling" through one.
  • Slow down, especially if you're in a construction or school zone-it's just safer. Plus, fines for speeding through roadwork areas are double the usual amount. Ouch.
  • Use turn signals-this lets other drivers know that you intend to change lanes, so that they can slow down to avoid rear-ending you.
  • Use seat belts and child safety seats-while you can't be stopped for not using one alone; you can be charged for not wearing one when an officer pulls you over for another type of traffic violation. And by the way, passengers who do not wear seat belts can also get ticketed.
  • Keep your license plates tags and car inspection up to date-out-of-date tags lead to numerous traffic stops that police officers use as opportunities to issue more serious citations and make arrests.
  • Keep your car in good repair. Make sure all your lights work-so-called "equipment violations" can create the same kinds of problems as expired tags.
  • Stay sober-or get a taxi. Whatever it takes: An OVI charge is serious, so much more so than a standard traffic ticket.

Here's what you should do if you get pulled over:

  • Make sure you have your driver's license with you. Failing to do so can cause unnecessary extensions in your stop; may cause the officer to ask you to get out of the car and sit in the cruiser while he "looks you up"; and can even result in a charge itself.
  • Have your proof of insurance with you at all times-failing to show your insurance at the time of a traffic stop can cause you to have your license suspended if you're not careful.
  • Keep your seatbelt on: Officers can ticket you for not having your seatbelt on even if you took it off just to talk to the officer. .
  • Be as polite as you can: it'll just make the transaction easier.
  • Know that you don't have to answer any of the officer's questions if you don't want to: Any statements you make, even if it seems like the officer is inquiring in a friendly manner, can be used against you by the officer in court. Just decline to answer, politely.

Understand That You Have Legal Options

Consider challenging your ticket. Especially if you hold a commercial driver's license and drive for a living. You should not pay fines, accept points against your license, have your license suspended, or risk losing your job if the officer who issued the citation cannot definitively prove you did anything wrong.

Columbus, Ohio, speeding ticket lawyer April Campbell knows that hard evidence for traffic tickets does not always exist. And often, a speeding ticket lawyer can work the ticket out in a way that benefits you penalty-wise.

Need Help Fighting a Traffic Ticket?

A skilled and experienced traffic ticket attorney in Columbus, Ohio, can explore many grounds for contesting a moving violation. If you are thinking about fighting a ticket, fill out this web form or call Campbell Law at (614) 356-8515 to request a free case consultation.

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