If my 17 year old son got a ticket for going through a yellow light that turned red, can I or should I fight the ticket to save future insurance expense?

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If my 17 year old son got a ticket for going through a yellow light that turned red, can I or should I fight the ticket to save future insurance expense?

He was driving my car. The cop checked off that he was the owner of the vehicle and not just an operator.

Asked on January 10, 2016 under General Practice, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Whether the officer incorrectly checked off owner or operator has no bearing on the ticket: courts will not dismiss charges or infractions because of an essentially typographic error that has nothing to do with the merits of the case (i.e. that your son went through the light).
Do not think of what you should do as "fighting" the ticket, because it is very unlikely that you and your son will win: the court will believe a sworn, trained police office, who has nothing personal at stake (e.g. just doing his job) over a 17-year old. But you can try to negotiate a more favorable outcome: if you and you son appear for the trial date and he expresses contrition and states that he would be willing to take a defensive driving course if needed, then--assuming he otherwise has a clean record--there is very good chance he will get a lesser penalty that what he was written up for. It would also be helpful to retain a local attorney who handles traffic cases and knows this court: a lawyer can often get clients a better result then they could get on their own.


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