Drivers of red cars get more tickets. Don't sign a
ticket and the case will be dropped.
If the officer gets your hair color wrong on the ticket, you'll win.
Urban myths relating to traffic tickets abound, but
drivers and defendants will find that few of them are true.
The best advice is to simply obey
the law, know that rules and procedures vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
and don't count on these myths when you're hoping to escape a ticket -- or the
1: If the officer makes a single mistake on your ticket,
the case will be dropped.
A ticket should be seen as an accusatory
instrument and a basis for prosecution that must be factually valid, says Matisyahu
Wolfberg, an attorney from Spring Valley, N.Y., who represents defendants in traffic
cases and lists tips on his Web site www.notspeeding.com.
Clerical mistakes, such as a wrong number or wrong order of a person's name, are
usually overlooked. Material mistakes, like the identity of the driver, the direction
of travel, the street where the citation occurred or the description of the vehicle,
can usually help a driver win the case.
|8 common ticket myths |
"Any mistakes that involve who, where and how, usually
can be used to beat the case in a trial. If the description of the vehicle is
inaccurate, the officer will usually lose," says Wolfberg. He recalls one
recent case in which the officer cited a white Mercedes when the defendant was
actually driving a black Porsche.
No. 2: If the officer doesn't show up in court, you
While this may happen in many cases, there's nothing
"automatic" about it. Most judges will drop a case if the officer does
not appear in court because defendants have the constitutional right to question
their accusers. However, in some jurisdictions, a case is scheduled at a time
to help ensure the officer is present, or a judge will reschedule the case altogether.
Wolfberg says that in most cases an officer not showing up will result in a dismissal,
but there is no guarantee.
"It all depends on the jurisdiction,
the court, the judge, the law," says Wolfberg. "Most judges feel the
pain of people taking time off work and out of their lives to come to court and
will dismiss if the officer doesn't show."