If you received a traffic ticket while driving in North Carolina, you may think paying it off is your best option. Yet, doing so is an admission of guilt. For a number of reasons, you may be better off fighting your ticket than paying it.
How did you receive the ticket?
You may have received your traffic ticket because of camera footage. In this case, it may be worth challenging. Courts rarely provide photographic or video evidence of the alleged violations during traffic hearings. If they do, you may have grounds to reject this type of evidence. Also, a photo or video of your car, SUV or truck may not show who was at the wheel. You may not have even been driving at the time the photo or video was taken.
Did the ticket contain mistakes?
Most traffic tickets will still count if they contain small errors. However, larger mistakes and inaccuracies can render a ticket invalid. Before you consider paying your fine, check that the ticket contains the following information:
- The correct vehicle make and model
- The correct location where the alleged violation took place
- Your name – misspellings are not enough
- The correct law that it says you broke
- A law enforcement officer’s signature
If any of these are missing or wrong on your ticket, it may be worth fighting instead of paying.
Will the officer show up?
You may attend your hearing and find the issuing officer is not in attendance. In this case, your ticket may be dismissed. This happens because the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution grants the accused (you) the right to confront any witness (the officer who allegedly witnessed the violation) to their action.
Not every traffic ticket is worth fighting. Yet, it’s important to understand if yours is. And it’s crucial to remember you have the right to challenge your citation if you so choose.