Will fighting my ticket actually accomplish anything?

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Will fighting my ticket actually accomplish anything?

I was driving at night getting home from work. The street that I decided to commute in this time is right outside a court building and a county jail, so there are many stops signs. The area that I was driving in had 2 stop signs, 1 behind the other. I am fairly sure that I stopped but I was cited for failing to stop by an officer who saw me, using a Lidar, disregard the stop sign in the other side of the road. I want to plead not guilty and go to trial but I’m wondering if doing so would achieve anything?

Asked on October 6, 2016 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You will be asking the court to believe you--if you claim to have stopped for the sign--instead of the officer; that means you are asking the judge to believe a person who has something at stake (points and/or a fine) vs. believing a sworn, trained, and objective police officer, who has nothing personal at stake. In my experience in traffic court, there is essentially no chance the judge will believe you; if you fight, you are *very* likely to lose.
What you should do is show up to court a little early and speak with the prosecutor. If you otherwise have a clean driving record, there is a good chance he will offer you a plea to a lesser offense: no or fewer points, and/or a smaller fine.


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