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How You Can Dispute a Ticket if You Get Pulled Over

Photo: Getty Images

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Very few traffic stops end without a citation if there is any kind of anger involved. We all make mistakes, and sometimes traffic violations just the unfortunate outcome of those mistakes. And while it’d be best to avoid a ticket altogether but following all the rules, sometimes you might get carried away. In those situations, there are things you can do to help yourself if you feel you’ve been treated wrongly or been given an unwarranted citation. Here are a few steps you can take to try to dispute a ticket.

What Options Do You Have to Dispute a Ticket?

If you feel like a police officer is not staying within the bounds of the law during a traffic stop, there are some simple things you can do to try to diffuse the situation.

Ask to Speak to a Supervisor

Photo: Scott Davidson via CC BY 2.0

You can always ask to talk to an immediate supervisor if you want to dispute a ticket immediately. If you feel like the traffic stop is wrong, or if feel like you are being treated unfairly, you have the right to ask for the officer’s supervisor. Understand though that asking to speak with a supervisor may not always accomplish much if anything. Plus it means your wait time might be drastically increased if a supervisor has to come on site. If you feel strongly enough about any wrongful accusations of violations, you still have every right to attempt to talk to a supervisor. If you do, be calm. Calmly explain what you feel is happening. If this doesn’t work, don’t worry! You still have options!

Traffic Court

Photo: George Hodan, CC0 Public Domain

If you would like to try to fight the citation you received that you felt was unjust, you can try to appeal them in traffic court. The process may be different based on the city/county court system you are appealing against. Try calling or visiting the website of the court system first for questions. If your questions aren’t answered, you can likely appear in person (with a valid ID) and schedule a court hearing with a clerk at the courthouse.

Internal Affairs

Photo: Getty Images

Another route you can take if you feel like a police officer is not staying within the bounds of the law. An Internal Affairs division of any police organization hopes to ensure police officer accountability to the community and reinforces the professional conduct of police officers in the field. If you would like to dispute any action taken against you by law enforcement, Internal Affairs Units can usually be contacted directly via the police department that you are appealing against.

Make the Sensible Choice

A lot of people who have been pulled over feel like they have been treated unjustly. But stay calm. Think it through. Were you breaking the law? Or was the officer really treating you unfairly? If the officer was, now you know the steps you can take to take the appropriate action.