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If you're going to come into contact with law enforcement, it's likely to be over a traffic offense. Anyone who's been pulled over for speeding, rolling a stop sign, or texting while driving can tell you it's not a fun experience, mostly because we don't know what will happen next.
But because traffic tickets are fairly common, they tend to follow the same pattern, and there are some general legal principles typical of most traffic offenses. Here are five of the most frequently asked traffic ticket questions:
First things first: you need a valid driver's license just to get behind the wheel. And driving without one can land you in serious trouble, especially if your license has been suspended or you have multiple driving without a license offenses.
Generally speaking, you're not going to jail for speeding. However, there are exceptions to this rule: going so fast it is deemed reckless driving, speeding in a school zone, or multiple speeding convictions could get you arrested and booked.
There's no way you were going that fast. The highway patrol probably clocked the guy speeding next to you. When's the last time they calibrated that radar gun anyway? You may have a great excuse or heard about people getting their tickets dismissed on a technicality; either way, whether you fight or pay your speeding ticket will depend on your particular facts and circumstances.
If you do decide to fight your ticket, make sure you know what the experience will be like, and act accordingly. From what to say (and not say) to officers to what to wear in court, this guide can help.
Sometimes you get a ticket not for moving too fast, but while you weren't even moving at all. Expired tags or registration, broken taillights, and overly tinted windows can all earn you a ticket even if you weren't driving at the time -- could they also earn you a higher insurance payment?
Many jurisdictions treat traffic tickets differently and the circumstances in each case are unique. To get more specific answers to your traffic ticket questions, you may want to sit down with an experienced traffic ticket attorney near you.