The other day I was visiting with my mom and she asked me about traffic tickets. Of course, I can only imagine why she brought this up, but she wanted to know if there was any truth to the strategy of resetting your traffic ticket case until the officer doesn’t show up and the ticket gets dismissed. All I could think of in that moment was “dear God tell me you didn’t try this,” and “who on earth would give my mother a traffic ticket, she makes cotton candy look bitter?!”
For those reading this let me be the first to tell you, this strategy is absolutely UNTRUE. Let me put it into perspective. You are more likely to see your grandmother run over by a reindeer, pulled by St. Nick himself as he drinks a warm mug of hot cocoa and listens to ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas’ in the middle of July before this strategy actually works.
Courts are not going to allow unlimited resets. Most will only grant a reset for good reason. Then after that first reset many courts will only consider jail, hospital, or death in the family a valid reason to miss a court date. Even with a lawyer documentation is often required. Nobody likes to feel jerked around and that goes especially for the court. You only get one first impression, don’t let your first impression with the court be one where you’re trying to ‘outsmart’ the court or the system, and only manage to waste everyone’s time and money. And yes, by everyone I’m including you. Let’s say you do reset, when there was no reason to, you are either: (a) making your case more difficult and thereby more expensive for the attorney you end up hiring, or (b) you risk paying higher fees to the court.
Most importantly of all, I’ve seen cases reset when the officer did not show up. That means the only thing you stand to accomplish from this so-called ‘strategy’ is pissing off the judge, the cost of which will be coming straight out of your wallet.
This begs the question, what do you do if you get a traffic ticket?
Well you can either:
Even though these tickets are only class c misdemeanors and punishable by fine only, some convictions can result in serious consequences. Figure out if your situation requires an attorney to assist you, you may be eligible to dismiss the ticket via defensive driving, or in the case that your license or registration expired then having it renewed and presenting evidence of renewal to the court.
If you do wish to hire an attorney know that you are hiring them for representation. An attorney cannot guarantee a certain result, only that you will be given the best possible representation given the facts of a particular case. Be cautious of any attorney that guarantees a specific result such as dismissal. I like to say,
"A guarantee is like a lie in disguise as a promise, they’re either lying to you or to themselves."
Attorney at The Reeh Law Firm