The steps to prepare for traffic violation court vary, depending on whether someone intends to plead guilty or challenge the violation. Since many people try to contest in court, there are a few things people can do to get ready for court. People with traffic violations should be aware that many regions allow people to respond by mail to the charges, including contesting by mail, and this may be easier than going to court. If this option is permitted, information will be provided in the packet sent by the court.
People preparing for court in general should dress neatly and take care during their personal hygiene session before court to make sure they are well groomed. Many courts have dress codes, but generally speaking, any conservative, neat clothing without logos or writing on it is acceptable for courtroom appearances. People should also bring all documentation associated with the violation, including the original citation, the documents sent by the court, and other supporting materials.
Supporting materials can include diagrams of the scene, photographs, and anything else people can use to support the defense they are using. People are also allowed to bring witnesses to traffic violation court when they are contesting a charge. This can include passengers in the car, as well as passersby. If someone is not available for a court appearance, a deposition can be taken to get their evidence onto the court record.
When going to traffic violation court, people can ask for the records taken by the police officer, including records pertaining to the maintenance of devices used to measure the speed of traffic. People fighting speeding tickets often do so by attacking the accuracy of such devices, making the maintenance logs important. Another challenge can be that someone was driving safely given the road conditions, or that an emergency necessitated a violation of the speed limit or other traffic laws.
It helps to practice beforehand. People speaking in traffic violation court should be clear and loud, but not aggressive, and should frame their statements as clearly and neutrally as possible. If a police officer attends court to testify, a cross-examination is allowed, and people should generate a list of questions they want to ask and practice asking those questions politely, but firmly. People appearing as witnesses should be cautioned to be informative and clear, but not to embroider the truth, and to answer honestly if they do not know the answer to a question.
Being neat, pulled together, and respectful can go a long way for people appearing in traffic violation court. Showing that the issue is taken seriously can persuade the judge that the defendant's case is sound, and can result in the violation being reduced or thrown out.