Seeing the flashing lights in your rearview mirror is enough to make anyone nervous. A Las Vegas traffic ticket can be a major bummer, or it can be a serious problem for your driving record. Either way, most people don’t want to go through the hassle of getting a speeding ticket taken care of.
You want to do everything that you can to avoid having that Las Vegas traffic ticket stick. While it’s possible to take measures to do this yourself, you may also need to work with a traffic ticket lawyer in Las Vegas to ensure your ticket gets resolved. Here’s what you should know about how to get out of a Las Vegas speeding ticket.
1. Have your paperwork with you to present to the officer
When you’re pulled over in Nevada, law enforcement can ask for your license, registration, and insurance. Make sure that you know where these things are so that you can present them quickly if you’re asked to.
You don’t want to have to fight a speeding ticket for multiple infractions like not having the proper documents. Having your paperwork with you sets the right tone with the officer and gives you one less thing to worry about.
2. Don’t admit to the officer that you did anything wrong
If you end up going to a hearing on your speeding ticket, the officer is allowed to tell the judge what you say on the side of the road. Be polite with the officer, but don’t admit that you did anything wrong. That way, you have a clean slate when you talk to the judge about what happened.
3. Keep your vehicle in working order and always wear your seatbelt
Just like you don’t want extra infractions for missing paperwork, you don’t want additional violations from problems with your vehicle or not wearing your seatbelt. Always be sure to fix issues with your blinkers, windshield and the like as soon as you notice that there’s an issue.
If your vehicle is fully working and you always wear your seatbelt, there’s less of a chance that you’ll even get pulled over. You’ll also have less to contend with if you receive a traffic ticket.
4. Don’t do anything to make yourself memorable
Fighting your ticket might come down to your word against the officer’s. You want the officer to remember as little as possible about their interaction with you. Don’t argue with the officer or say anything that might make you more memorable than the average person.
Try to end the traffic stop as quickly as possible by providing the requested paperwork and being polite. If the officer can’t remember you come court day, their testimony isn’t going to be as strong as it might have been if you gave them a reason to remember you.
5. Learn about camera-based tickets and the law
Nevada Revised Statutes 484A.600 imposes strict rules for when law enforcement may use cameras to issue traffic citations. If you get a ticket based on a camera, you should check to see if law enforcement complied with state law when they used the camera.
In addition to state law, camera-based speeding tickets are a matter of some debate because the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to confront your accuser. You might find a judge that’s sympathetic to the argument that a camera-based ticket is unfair because you can’t confront any witnesses against you. Also, camera-based tickets often don’t clearly show who’s driving the vehicle. You can use all of these points to try and get out of a traffic stop in Nevada.
6. Study radar-based tickets for errors in maintenance and training
If you have a radar-based speeding ticket, there’s a lot that you can do to work on poking holes in the state’s case. Most radar guns have protocols for proper testing and maintenance. You can ask the police for testing records. Read more on other ways police can detect speeding.
In addition, you can ask the police for information about the officer’s training to use a radar gun. Particularly in the case of a moving radar ticket, an officer’s failure to adequately train to use the radar can call the evidence into question.
7. Contest the ticket within the time limit
When you receive a ticket in Nevada, you have five days to appear in court under Nevada Revised Statutes 484A.630. It’s crucial that you comply with this requirement, or you may lose the opportunity to contest the ticket.
You may also face a bench warrant or suspension of your driver’s license. When you receive a traffic ticket, you need to work quickly within the deadlines of your ticket to have your Las Vegas traffic ticket lawyer build your case.
8. Learn the elements of the offense
A traffic offense is made up of parts called elements. When you’re given a traffic ticket, you should learn about it. Study how the law is written and all of the things that the state needs to show happened to prove the case against you.
Once you study the elements of the offense, you can begin to work on where the state made mistakes or where they don’t have the evidence to prove their case. Learning the details of the offense helps you understand how to fight the allegations against you.
9. Contact the state’s attorney
You may be able to negotiate with the state’s attorney for a reduction or dismissal of the charges. When you contest a ticket, it’s ultimately up to the attorney that represents the agency that the police officer works for to decide how to dispose of the ticket.
You can ask them to dismiss the charges or ask them to reduce the charges to something with lesser penalties. When you talk with the state’s attorney, you should have good reasons that they should reduce the ticket, and you should clearly state what you’re asking them to do regarding a reduction or dismissal.
10. Don’t be afraid to take your case to a hearing
Finally, don’t be afraid to take your case to a contested hearing. In most cases, you have nothing to lose. Be prepared for the hearing in advance. Jot down questions that you want to ask the officer and think through the things that you want to say to the judge.
If any witnesses may be helpful to your case, you can call them to the witness stand. When you arrive at court thoroughly prepared, you can make the most of your day in court.
How an Attorney Can Help
A little traffic ticket can have significant consequences. If you’re facing a traffic ticket, an experienced attorney can help you preserve your rights and challenge the ticket. Your attorney knows the time frame for contesting a ticket.
They know how to build evidence, review the state’s case, and contact witnesses. They can help you contact the state’s attorney and present your case at a hearing.