How to Get Out of a Ticket

How to Get Out of a Ticket

by Deborah Ng, December 2009

So, you were driving too fast on the freeway again and got another speeding ticket. You know you're not doing your driving record any favors. Of course, the best thing to do from here on out is to be a safe, law-abiding driver and stick to driving within the speed limit. Unfortunately, nothing will guarantee your immunity - drive like Ward Cleaver and even then you still might get pulled over. How can you avoid getting slapped with a ticket? Is it really possible? Below are some tips for getting out of a traffic ticket for a moving violation, or at least, how to make the attempt.

Blame Your Vehicle

Did you know the color of your car can influence whether or not you'll find yourself stopped on the side of the road? Drive a black or similarly dark car and do whatever you want - traffic cops will likely view you as responsible and serious, assuming you're speeding for a reason. Drive a red or yellow car, especially an adorable red or yellow car, and those flashing police lights are probably meant for you. Cars like this have the highest likelihood of being pulled over, so stay within the speed limit and don't let anything fly out your windows.

Anything else that draws attention to your car is a no-no - you're also drawing attention of the police. Cute or obscene bumper stickers, large fog lights, loud music, tinted windows, flashing neon license plate frames and ostentatious "shoes" will all flag your car and make you more likely to receive a ticket for even the smallest violation.

The inside of your car should be clean. If there are piles of newspapers and fast food containers all over the back seat, a police officer is more likely to want to inspect your car or regard you in a negative light. A neat appearance will make you appear more law-abiding, hopefully influencing the officer to let your infraction slide.

Crying Won't Cut It

If you are pulled over, the best thing is to be respectful. When the police officer approaches your car, roll down the window and immediately hand over your license and registration. Since everyone knows this is expected, there is no excuse for not having your paperwork ready. Once the officer has your documents, place both hands on the steering wheel, in plain view.

Let the police officer do the talking first. Don't joke. Don't comment about the weather or attempt small talk, and most importantly, don't argue. Let the police officer talk without interrupting him or her. When you respond, speak in a clear, pleasant voice. Make eye contact and don't give short, sarcastic or rude responses. If you're respectful to the officer, your chances of getting off with a warning are much better.

Don't lie. Don't make up a sick passenger or pregnant wife if this isn't the case. Cars are small spaces that can be checked easily and if you're caught, it will only make matters worse. Don't drop names or mention relatives on the force. If you really do have an emergency, by all means, mention it. Cops are fair. If your wife really is having a baby, they just may lead the way to the hospital.

If you're guilty, apologize. You don't even have to make an excuse for your behavior, just be respectful. If the officer feels you're sincere, he or she may let you off with a warning.

Going to Court

If the police officer who pulled you over isn't of the understanding variety, you'll probably get a ticket, no matter how many times you drop a "ma'am" or "sir." If this is the case, try and fight the ticket in traffic court. The same rules apply in this instance as when you're talking through your window: speak when spoken to, be polite and respectful and don't argue.

While there's no sure-fire way to avoid a ticket for a moving violation, if you treat the officer with respect, acknowledge your mistake and keep a neat appearance, you're less likely to incur the wrath of a ticket-happy cop.