Test Your CA Traffic Ticket Knowledge! Truth or Fiction?

When it comes to citations and other violations, Truths are often seen as fiction.Knowing these common traffic ticket fictions and truths can help you save time and money.

Q. The Court will drop a charge if the officer does not show.
A. It really varies depending on the state. Some do not require the officer to appear in court for a hearing and a judge can still try the case, regardless of whether the officer appears. Other states require they appear or the judge will mask the violation.

Q. The accuracy of radar, or lack there-of, is a good reason to plead “not guilty."
A. Fiction. While many drivers will try to cite the possibility of the radar being off forwhy their ticket should be masked, it is largely an ineffective defense with judges. The only viable defense one could use would be if the radar equipment haden't been calibrated at the time of the citation. If you are set on this angle, ask the officer for the calibration records and/or use an attorney with this kind of experience.

Q. Driving with the flow of traffic is not a valid reason to argue a speeding citation.
A. Truth.
It doesn’t matter if the car next to you was going 90 mph in a 50 mph zone, if you were driving above the speed limit; your traffic citation still stands.

Q. Passing another vehicle is a valid reason to go faster than the speed limit.
A. Fiction. If you want to make a pass on the road, stay within the limit. If you go over the speed limit, you can receive a ticket.

Q. The officer forgot to have you sign the traffic ticket. You’re off the hook!
A. Fiction. A traffic citation is still valid, even without a signature. Your signature simply provides says that you will appear for the court date.

Q. Tickets with mistakes on them are still valid.
A. Truth. You cannot contest a ticket due to such an error. Judges consider incorrect dates on tickets to be simple and excusable mistakes and will not accept them as a defense.

Q. Out-of-state tickets don’t impact your driving record.
A. Both. Most states are involved in an interstate agreement that allows states to report traffic violations to your state. Only a small number of states do not participate in this agreement, and not receive notice of out-of-state violations.