Most of us have experienced that feeling of getting pulled over by a police officer. We may fidget with ourselves, wonder what we did wrong, and start to rehearse what we should say. Even the most safe drivers may at one point or another receive a ticket for whatever reason. As humans, it’s not possible to be perfect all the time. Despite how scary it can be to be pulled over by law enforcement, remember that it’s not the end of the world.

After you get a ticket and go back home, you have a couple options. You could just pay the fine or state in the mail that you want to dispute it. Here we discuss how to handle being pulled over by an officer, and possible defenses that could get the ticket reduced or dropped entirely.

Is it worth trying to negotiate with the officer?

Many people make the mistake of trying to weasel their way out of the ticket through lying, crying, or some other kind of dramatics. But, this may only frustrate the officer more, making them much less likely to give you a warning. Your demeanor is so important. Halt your vehicle off the road as far as you can so the officer feels safe approaching your window. Remain in your car, answer the officer’s questions with clarity, and be honest. If the officer is set on giving you a ticket, then it’s only wasted energy trying to negotiate with them. 

What do I need to know about traffic laws?

If you talk with a traffic law lawyer for information about rules of the road, you can get a better understanding of what you should do next. Some people just give up and pay their ticket grudgingly, but it may be worth your time to put in extra effort. As your lawyer may tell you, you could contact the prosecutor who is presenting the case against you and negotiate. Maybe you can offer to enroll in a driver’s education course and send them your certificate upon completion, in exchange for a decreased or waived fine. Or, you could ask if your ticket cost could be donated to a charity. The prosecutor may be open to working with you. 

Can I fight the ticket myself?

You do not have to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to handle your case. However, if your ticket could add several points to your driving record, may result in prison time (such as reckless driving), and/or require you to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines, then you may want to speak with a legal professional, like a traffic ticket attorney in Middletown, NJ from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., for insight. Your attorney may suggest attending court for your ticket. Sometimes, just by showing up the court will give you a point reduction or decrease the ticket severity to the next lower level. Your lawyer can assess the potential impacts of the ticket and suggest how to go about fighting it or getting it reduced. Your lawyer will have the extensive knowledge about the court system and traffic laws, that the average person just doesn’t.