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Infographic: 5 ways to get that traffic ticket dismissed

Nobody wants to pay a traffic ticket, but most of us don’t know how to get one dismissed. Guest contributor, Scott Desind, shares his tips.

If you receive a traffic ticket, you might assume that there’s nothing you can do—so you just pay it. What you don’t know can hurt your pocket book: It is possible to get some tickets dismissed. Still, going to court isn’t always an easy or stress free experience.



Here are a few tips that will help you get your traffic ticket dismissed once you have a court date:

1. Stay cool

Remain calm and respectful, both during the traffic stop and during the trial. Good manners can go a long way.

2. Organize all the facts

Getting organized, and staying that way, is important for getting your ticket dismissed. Gather all of the facts in an easy to reference format. The more information you’re armed with, the better you can present your case. Having everything at your fingertips will make things easier when the defense is presented as well as when the prosecutor is presenting questions. You’ll look more professional and you won’t forget anything important.

Helpful facts include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Radar readings
  • Time of the day/ date
  • Weather conditions when ticket was issued
  • Current insurance and registration information

In addition to the above, try to remember even seemingly inconsequential facts from that day, such as the clothes that were worn. While these facts may not seem important at first, it is impossible to tell what details the prosecution will request. Being armed with all possible information can make the entire process go much smoother and keep you from getting flustered when defending your case.

One final tip: On the morning of the trial, as well as in the minutes before the trial, go through the details of the case and refresh them in your mind. A prepared defendant is a successful defendant.

3. Make a good impression: remain calm and respectful

During the entire trial, remain calm, rational and respectful at all times. This includes what you say, but also how you dress and your body language as well. Judges and prosecutors pay attention to every detail, including how respectful the defendant’s body language is.

Although the situation can be very stressful and some of the questions asked by the prosecutor may well be inflammatory or aggravating, it is important to keep a calm exterior and answer all questions with a respectful tone. Defendants should go into the situation expecting the prosecution to put pressure on them and to try to find flaws in their case. An angry, sarcastic or disrespectful response or attitude will not help get a ruling in your favor.

Dressing properly is just as important—look as nice as you can. Just as if you were going to a job interview, you’ll be in the spotlight and your mode of dress should reflect it.

4. Stay focused: Check in with the clerk and make notes

Before the trial, remember to check in with the court clerk. While you’re there, also consider asking if the officer who issued the ticket has checked in.

Often, police officers are unable to show up for court dates for a variety of reasons. If the officer is not present during the trial, he or she cannot offer his or her side of the case and this will often lead to a dismissal of the ticket. Even if the officer arrives and gives his or her testimony, you’ll still have a chance to present your case.

While listening to the officer or prosecution, a small notebook can be your best friend. If there is anything you don’t understand about the prosecution’s case, make a note so that you can ask about it when you get to cross-examine the officer and prosecution’s witnesses. This will help you be less flustered and more professional during the trial and will help to ensure that you ask all of the right questions.

5. If in doubt, ask a lawyer

Sometimes you need a professional second opinion. As a Rocket Lawyer member, you can create a legal document and ask a lawyer with any questions you may have.

In the end, it’s worth remembering that even if you’ve been issued a traffic ticket, it is not going to be the end of the world. Just by being courteous, respectful and organized, and you may be able to get that ticket dismissed.

About the author

Desind_ScottScott Desind, traffic attorney, successfully fights traffic tickets for drivers in the Los Angeles area. He shares his experiences on his traffic ticket blog and at various events.


  1. Michael Aden says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips to help drivers in getting a traffic ticket dismissed. Organizing information and staying calm can help drivers retrieve any information with ease and defend themselves in a court proceeding.

  2. Ann Schwartz says:

    Can a police officer issue a speeding ticket simply because you were behind another vehicle that was speeding? The police officer stated that he was able to clock the truck in front as doing 65 in a 45 and wrote on my ticket that I was” following the truck”. There is no way I was driving that fast. Is it worth going to traffic court over this?

  3. Glenn Nihart says:

    I received a ticket for getting into a U turn lane because I passed a school bus, I was unaware it was a bus because of the incline and traffic, I am under 21 and cannot lose my license, is there anyway for me to have this reduced or even dismissed completely?

  4. The content on tackling the situation on traffic ticket charges on your way is well defined. Thanks for sharing your views, keep posting.

  5. David M says:

    I got a ticket for running a red light when it was green. The LE was parked illegally in a fire zone. Can a LE do that? Also, after doing an open record request. There is no evidence that I ran the red light even though he started recording about 23 seconds before I come into view. I am wondering if I can use that for dismissal when he could have easily recorded the intersection.

    And the last thing. As he is walking to his vehicle. He clearly calls me a Jack Ass when all that is recorded shows that while I disagreed with him. I was in no way rude or vulgar.

    Can I use police misconduct as grounds for dismissal? Can I say that I am sure the Jury will love seeing this LE breaking a law and then calling a person he just ticketed a Jack Ass?

  6. Khristy says:

    Is there a way to fight a speeding ticket without going to court. I received a ticket in Louisiana while traveling back to Georgia after a funeral. It will cost more for me to drive back to the Parish of Jefferson Davis in the Town of Welsh than to pay the fine.

  7. Eng Muqtar Hassan says:

    Thanks for sharing this tip had helped me to get my ticket dismissed.

  8. Dixie Sparks says:

    thanks for sharing these useful tips with the world. I find it very useful. Most of the drivers are completely unaware and has no idea about how to get the traffic ticket dismissed.

  9. lou b says:

    Disagree with you about ‘remain respectful’. youi say ‘Although the situation can be very stressful and some of the questions asked by the prosecutor may well be inflammatory or aggravating’ you might also add disrepectful and gratutious snide remarks by the prosecutor. To get respect you have to give it. otherwise it is quite proper to return the ‘disrespect’.

  10. Tyrone Hill says:

    I love what you said about asking a lawyer for a second opinion. Usually if you recognize that you made a mistake then there isn’t a problem. However, sometimes you may strongly feel that you didn’t deserve a ticket. Even police officers make mistakes sometimes. It’s always a good idea to have a traffic lawyer in mind, just in case. Thanks for the post, Scott!

  11. Casey Jones says:

    Thanks Scott for sharing this infograph on how to get out of a traffic ticket. I am very curious as to how making record of what you are wearing when pulled over could be used to aid your case. Your opinion on getting a traffic lawyers advice is good though.

  12. Jeff Bridges says:

    These are some excellent tips to help get a traffic ticket dismissed. I definitely agree that you should ask a traffic attorney questions if you aren’t sure. That could be included in tip 2 where you organize your facts.

  13. April Williams says:

    Scott, these are some really good tips about how to dismiss a traffic ticket. I like that you talked about getting all the facts before you try to get a ticket dismissed. It would also be smart to speak with a traffic lawyer as well.

  14. Natalie Darcy says:

    I agree that it is important to remain calm and respectful in this kind of situation. Most of the time, a cop doesn’t really want to give you a ticket. If you think about it, it would not be fun to have to pull people over all day. Remaining calm will help him feel like you are not a threat and could get you out of a ticket. However, it is interesting that you can still get out of a ticket after the fact with the right lawyer.

  15. Deanna R. Jones says:

    Your tips for the facts that I need to have with me for dismissing a traffic ticket will really help me out. I’m surprised that the clothes that I wore when I was pulled over is something that the court needs to know. I can understand why it would be important for them to know the radar readings, weather condition, insurance and registration information for dismissing a traffic ticket. Why is it that the clothes that I was wearing relevant to my case? Knowing why I need to include that will help me know how detailed I need to describe my outfit. Thanks for the tips!