If you’ve gotten a traffic citation in California, you will most likely be required to show up in court - whether you choose to fight the ticket or not.
Even if you believe you are partly guilty for the offense, choosing to fight the ticket might get the fine reduce or eliminated altogether. Here are a handful of “best practices” when preparing for traffic court in California.
Look the Part
Humans in general tend to make snap decisions about other people, often based on their appearance. It’s important to look clean, responsible, and well-groomed when you appear in court. Business or business-casual attire will work just fine. The halo effect is real and it can hurt or help you in court, depending on how you present yourself.
There are a few things that can help your case in court, such as your driving history. If you can print out your driving record and show a history of safe driving, this will often be a big help. Also, you might want to bring photo and video evidence from the scene - if it applies to your citation. For instance, if you are ticketed for running a stop sign, but you claim that your line of sight was impaired by a tree or a mound of snow, make sure to take pictures of the location to prove your point.
When you act irritated, defensive, frustrated, or annoyed, it encourages the people around you (including the judge) to act the same way. Human beings (and monkeys) have special brain cells known as “mirror neurons” that cause us to unconsciously model the people around us. So the more you can be kind, light-hearted, and respectful, the more you will encourage other people to act similarly.
Show Up Early
Always arrive early. You can bring a book or enjoy a few moments of silence in your car. But being late can hurt your case, and you can never predict exactly how the roads will be. When in doubt, plan to arrive earlier than you need to.
Get Help from the Experts
Of course, one of the best ways to prepare to fight a traffic ticket is to partner with experts who help people win on a daily basis. At Ticket Snipers, we’re here to do just that. We’ve got a team of experts to help you beat your traffic ticket. Fill out this quick form or give us a call at 800-985-8978.