If you have been stopped by an officer in Springfield and given a traffic citation, it was likely based on the officer’s observations of your driving. The officer typically will put their observations into writing as part of the citation, generally claiming that you were driving recklessly or unsafely or violating a traffic law.
However, you have the legal right to challenge the citation. One way to do this is to call the officer’s observations into question. You may be able to do this through:
Arguments disputing the officer’s opinion: You may formulate arguments to defend yourself against the officer’s claims. For example, if the officer claims you were driving too fast for conditions, even though you were driving at the same speed as other vehicles around you, you may argue that your speed was appropriate for the conditions and that driving any slower would have put you at risk.
Eyewitness statements: Use eyewitness testimony to dispute the officer’s claims. For example, if an officer said you ran a stop sign, you may call on other drivers and people in the area who saw you stop at the stop sign to confirm that you stopped.
Diagrams: You may use a diagram to show that the officer could not have seen you violate the law based on the officer’s positioning. For example, a diagram may show that the officer was too far away from you to be able to see you switching lanes erratically.
Photos/videos: Photos and videos of the scene of the alleged violation can be helpful to dispute officer observations. For example, photos and videos can show that you could not have run a red light, as the signal was out of power.
If you are facing a traffic offense, challenging a police officer’s observations may be the best way to contest the citation. An attorney specializing in criminal law can help you determine whether to fight your ticket.
The post Can I challenge an officer’s statements in a traffic citation? first appeared on W. Scott Hanken, Attorney at Law.