Many South Carolina motorists sometimes fail to realize that speeding tickets and other traffic citations do not necessarily mean a motorist did something wrong. Like any other legal charges, a man or woman has the chance to defend themselves against the accusations. Many times, this can result in police expunging the ticket from a driver's record and saving them from paying the fine.
Traffic tickets can usher in a host of negative side effects, like higher insurance rates, potential court expenses and maybe even time dedicated to taking driving safety classes. While law enforcement claims its efforts are to keep the roads safe and make drivers conscious of their destructive driving habits, it is sometimes hard to see, especially when a driver is cited for a seemingly harmless infraction.
Motorists do not have to take the ticket lying down, though. They can fight in court. When fighting the validity of a traffic citation, it is wise to question the officer that levied out the citation. Asking the officer questions about small details like what they were wearing at the time of the traffic stop or the description of their vehicle will force the officer to recall these details in order to build his or her credibility. If they are unable to recall such information, and they did not document it, it pokes a hole in their credibility. Officers are supposed to detail each stop for such purposes, but they do not always do that.
The big legal wrinkle that most drivers know about is that if the officer does not show up in court, the ticket is dismissed. For that reason, it is in a driver's best interest to push back the court date as long as possible. This will increase the chance that the particular officer could be on vacation, has left the job or was even transferred. This would hold them back from appearing in court. Driver's can't simply push back the date as a blatant tactic to get out of a ticket, though. They need to have valid reasons for doing so.
Calling into question the radar gun used to clock a driver's speed or whether the officer is up to date on their training with the gun are also valid arguments to bring up in court.
Source: CBS42.com, "Fighting speeding tickets," Chris Womack, May 1, 2012