Traffic court is not the kind of place you want to walk in not knowing what to expect. It can be intimidating and confusing and if you're like most people, if you're not comfortable, you won't be at your best. And make no mistake about it, not being at your best in traffic court can cost you a lot of money.
Because I'm here to help, I've put together three traffic court tips you must know and should use every time you walk in. And when I say "every time," I don't mean to insinuate that you get a lot of tickets, but for even one ticket in South Florida, you will have to go to court a minimum of 2 times if you want to go to trial.
So here are my 3 traffic court tips
Know what type of hearing you are attending
Research and know exactly what you were charged with
Get there early and listen, listen, listen to everything being said
The first tip might seem a little confusing, but not every court hearing is for the same purpose. Usually, court hearings have a name that gives some type of description as to what they are. For traffic court in south Florida, there is a Pre-trial conference and a trial.
Every Pre-trial conference always has people excited because they don't see the officer that wrote their ticket, and because of that, they are assuming it will get dismissed. What they don't realize is that there are NO police officers in the courtroom because police officers are not required to attend a pre-trial conference. It is not your trial where evidence is going to be presented, so there is no point to the officer being there. It is a time for legal motions or changes of plea.
The next tip may also seem obvious, but many people don't realize what they are in court for. They think they were charged with speeding, but never really took the time to look at the ticket and research it online to see that not all speeding tickets are alike. Many times, an officer will be nice and charge someone with a ticket for failing to obey a traffic control device (a lesser charge) and the defendant is talking in court about how they weren't speeding. You have to look at the statute and do a little research to see what the state must prove.
Lastly, by showing up a little early, you will have an opportunity to get a good seat up front. No, this isn't a Broadway show, but by sitting close, you will be able to hear what is being said by the attorneys who are representing other people. There aren't that many different types of traffic laws, so there is a good chance, you might hear an attorney saying something about a case that is similar if not identical to yours. Only by listening will you be able to pick up something that might help you with your case.
If all of this seems overwhelming, or if you just prefer to let the pros handle it, you can always call an experienced traffic attorney. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.