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Do I have to go to court if I got a traffic ticket?

In traffic ticket defense a common question is whether the Defendant has to appear or show up in court.  There is no requirement that an accused be present. However, whether someone should go to court depends on the case itself.  In speeding tickets, the answer is almost always no, there is no need to attend.   Even if the officer checked the box "Infraction Court Appearance Required", then the hearing itself is mandatory but the appearance by the client is still optional if they hire a traffic lawyer.

In traffic ticket accident cases such as failure to yield or careless driving, most of the time the traffic cop did not witness the accident.  Therefore the officer can only testify as to what was observed upon arrival at the scene of the crash.  Therefore, to prove the case, the Court will subpoena eye witnesses who saw the collision to testify in court.  If those witnesses do not appear, the case can be dismissed. If those witnesses do appear then the cases can still be defended and the State may not be able to prove the case if, for example, there are issues with the State's witness(es) such as memory, they looked away or a mistake in the report.  Even if there is no evidence for the defense, the attorney will appear to challenge the evidence or lack of evidence, cite to the law and obtain the best result possible.

The attorney cannot testify for any witness. To present a defense, the attorney must use either live witness testimony or an affidavit (notarized written statement).  The rules of traffic court allow the use of affidavits where an affidavit cannot be used in a criminal case or most other cases.  

Everybody has rights, so use them!  Moving violation cases deserve representation; the only way for the court to hear the Defendant's side or to have the citation removed from the record is to elect to have a court hearing.  If you are going to have a hearing, then you should hire a lawyer.  Please click, call or fill out the form to get started. 

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