13 votes

Update: I have a court date, what should I do?

Update: The judge was taking "no testimony" that day, and taking guilty/not guilty pleas. A guilty plea meant you could ask for traffic school.

Very poor people appeared to be pleading not guilty. Old hands seemed to be pleading guilty. I plead not guilty. One guy seemed to manage a deal that involved a commercial driver's license or something. He kept it quiet.

Court date in March. Apparently a conviction, according to the board, costs exactly as much as a ticket.

Original post:

I was accused of a rolling stop, and ticketed. I have a court date.

What if I show up in court instead of paying the ticket?

I am in Alabama; has anyone ever shown up instead of paying?

I remembered that in California if you show up and your accuser isn't there, you get the ticket dismissed (sometimes). Maybe this isn't true.

Philosophically, I feel like showing up would be the personally affirming thing to do, and might be educational instead of just handing my stuff over to the State.

I am tempted to see what I can do in court, is there a potential downside to this?

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I had a seat belt ticket once

The judge asked me how I plead and I said I did not understand the nature of the charges against me. He woke up (kind of looked like he was asleep before that) and asked me if I was a lawyer, when I said I wasnt he told me he would not be my lawyer and told me to get a defense attorney and made me come back at a later date, When I came back I was the only one in the court room and I was told to either plead guilty or not guilty or go to jail. I plead not guilty and he found me guilty and I ended up paying the 25 dollar fine.


See above.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.


Also author of Stick it to the Man!


Beating traffic tickets in CA

as far as your comments regarding CA, the officer is the witness for the prosecution so if the cop doesn't show up, it is generally dismissed. Keep in mind that the cop is NOT the prosecutor (that would be illegal since he is not even a member of the bar) but rather a witness. That is why the cop isn't allowed to ask the defendant questions. they TRY it, but should not be tolerated. If I were you I would first get as many extensions as the court allows prior to arraignment. Then I would plead not guilty and use the DISCOVERY process (the right to examine the evidence against you prior to trial). Each state differs on their discovery process laws, but generally all have some sort of process for it. In CA, you have the right to a TRIAL BY DECLARATION (trial thru the mail) and if you lose that, you have a right to a TRIAL DE NOVO (of new). its a free shot, nothing to lose by trying it. I am not a lawyer and wouldnt want to be one. I just share my experiences of traffic court victories. I learned how to properly fight tickets after a particularly fraudulent traffic stop in 2001. I have beaten about 15 since then, including one in CA Superior Court of Appeals (wrote all my own briefs, without a lawyer.). My site was recently featured in a Pasadena CA newspaper credited with helping an 81 year old man beat a red lite camera ticket. That is what it's all about. ;-) archives are here http://libertyfight.com/traffic.html "But he said: Woe to you lawyers also, because you load men with burdens which they cannot bear and you yourselves touch not the packs with one of your fingers." Luke 11:46

I pretty much always go to court

To be honest I have several speeding tickets on my driving record. Usually going 10 or over.
Its been about 2 years but I got another speeding ticket that I will be contesting next week.

Typically I always go to court for these and can't remember a time that the officer DIDN'T show up for me (have seen this work for others at the court). When I got into a car accident my lawyer at the time asked me why I payed by mail a couple times and why I was paying the fines (points on record). He suggested you always contest these things.

The court already charges you for court fees regardless if you go or not. Someone said they add this on - not true.

I have had tickets reduced before as well upon request. If found guilty tell them you don't have the money.

I asked for a juried trial once and that gave them a hoot. Apparently when you go to court for a moving violation, juries are not recognized. I thought this was America.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
www.yaliberty.org - Young Americans for Liberty
www.ivaw.org/operation-recovery - Stop Deploying Traumatized Troops

"The court already charges

"The court already charges you for court fees regardless if you go or not. Someone said they add this on - not true."

It's that kind of blanket statement that gets people into serious trouble. Every jurisdiction is different. They may not do that where you are, but they certainly do it here. In fact, fighting a ticket in my jurisdiction will cost you three times the original ticket amount if you lose, in addition to loosing a day of work. It's specifically designed to discourage people from fighting their tickets. If it's not like that where you live consider yourself very fortunate.

Turn off the TV Propaganda.
Find out what's really going on!
"Your portal to reality!"

When I was studying the law

When I was studying the law to become a Pro Se litigator we used traffic court as a tool to learn court procedure. An easy and relatively harmless way to see if you have what it takes to think on your feet. Another great tool was sitting in on other cases that are open to the public to see how the high priced lawyers handled themselves in court. I spent countless hours studying at the law library and in court learning in the hope, that if I ever got into real trouble, I could properly defend myself. Ultimately I achieved a 90% win ratio and took one case all the way to the US Supreme Court. In all those years of study and courtroom experience I learned that there is no such thing as justice in this country any longer. The judicial branch is as corrupt and political as the the other two branches. Arguing Jurisdiction and other such points, even if 100% correct, challenge the system, and they do not tolerate a challenge to the system in the courts any more than they do in the voting booth. Oh, you might get lucky and find an honest judge on occasion, but they are very rare and eliminated whenever possible.
If you want to become a litigator then by all means use this as an educational tool, otherwise you are far better off not wasting your time and money. Save your energy for fighting on a different front.

Turn off the TV Propaganda.
Find out what's really going on!
"Your portal to reality!"

Check This Out

Not sure how fast your rolling stop was, but check out this story of a physicist that got out of a similar ticket using a math equation: http://www.physicscentral.com/buzz/blog/index.cfm?postid=465...
Not sure if that will help you, but thought it was worth a look.

Marc Stevens recommends:

Have an unsigned guilty plea in hand ready to be signed , but only if the judge can provide the prosecutor's necessary evidence that the code has applicability. If the judge tries to dismiss the fact that the prosecution has the burden of proving all elements of an alleged crime (jurisdiction over the case is paramount), he has violated his supposed impartiality. In fact, it proves that he is working for the plaintiff. Marc's tactics are meant to expose and prove the fact that no one can get a fair trial. See his website, marcstevens.net and watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNuFxsBow8k

Good Luck and Keep Fighting for Freedom, it's the American Way.

Here's Some More Help

..at the bottom of this :

Which also links to this post;

Martin Hill's Article/website:
"7 years of freedom: Vincent Arias, Shot by cops & facing life in prison, tells his story of Acquittal by Jury without a lawyer"

I've been where you are now, although I'm not sure you took note of my reply (one of the first), however GOOD LUCK!

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

Plead not guilty

and go to court for every ticket. If only 3% of people did it, it would clog up and burden their system. Most times when you show up, the charge is dropped, or your fine is at least reduced.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

Amen! Make them earn their

Amen! Make them earn their pound of flesh. If the cop isn't there you must be smart enough to say you are ready for trial and "move to dismiss based upon lack of evidence".


Find out the location of the greatest number of accidents

versus the location of tickets given in the city in which you where given the ticket.

They are never the same location.

The most tickets are given in areas where citizens are driving safely but not adhering to the strict "Letter of the Law" In other words, in an area where the driver "feels safe breaking the law" by driving with intuition instead of constantly monitoring his actions against the legal codes.

If laws are designed to keep people safe then;

A. What did you do that was unsafe?

B. Why is there a discrepancy in the two above locations.

Use this info in court as a possible motivation for the PO to lie about your offense.

I say we all make a pact to plead "NOT GUILTY" to driving unsafely.

Ask to reshedule as much as you can get away with,

then go to court, by then the cop will have forgotten the incident or will have more pressing things to do like rob someone else.

"Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free men."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ii would contest it if you can. Make the cop show up or they'll

...drop it to my knowledge.

Then - depending on how bad you blew thru the light - you can plead your case.

Once I got ticket for just barely rolling thru a stop sign at 2:00 AM when there were no other cars around (except obviously the cop).

I fought it and got it dropped. But generally they will at least reduce the fine.

Just plead to the judge that you're real proud of your good driving record and that you really want to keep it clean.

That is IF you're proud of your driving record!

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

80%-90% chance you will win

Here in San Joaquin county of California. You have 80%-90% that you will win because police are under staff. The summer of 2013.

How I handled my speeding

How I handled my speeding ticket:

Attorney went to court for me and screwed me. Got me no points but I still had to pay some $200 and change. Screw that, I refused to pay. There is a warrant for my arrest for Failure To Pay. I don't live there anymore. Well, they called me at my new home on the land line to tell me I had a warrant. I told her that I was going to be home all day and to just send a cop. They didn't take up my offer to surrender at my house because I live about 300 miles away and they probably don't want to pay any associated extradition costs.

Someday I will turn myself in when it is convenient for me. Maybe when I need some medical care, lol. I've done this before. I will turn myself in on a Tuesday and they will bring me before the judge. I will plea nolo in exchange for a sentence of time served. I won't give them a dollar, plain and simple. Once you are not afraid of their punishments, they lose any authority over you and you become a free man again.


wolfe's picture

Just to be clear...

Your attorney didn't screw you, that is how the system works when using an attorney for traffic court. All the court really cares about is getting paid, so they dismiss it in exchange for paying a nominal fee. $200 is a bit high but that is the nature of the beast.

I have no comment on the rest of what you said, but you can't blame the attorney for doing his job and doing what he was paid, by you, to do.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Visit Help I Got a Ticket .com


This site goes thru the details on how to fight your ticket.

Look up the violation in the vehicle code.

What to ask for in Discovery

In CA Request Trial by Written Declaration

Strategies for beating tickets (again for CA) but lots should apply elsewhere.

Lot's of links and additional information

Fight your ticket with helpigotaticket.

If everyone fights, the system goes bust.

Tip: Don't use your adversary's forms. They may leave out things not to your benefit. Remember, you can invoke your right to silence. You can bring witnesses.

I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice.

One of my coworkers beat a rolling stop ticket. Could the cop see where you had stopped behind the line? How far away was he? Was he far behind you. lighting, weather, road conditions, signage. Where was the limit line, Crosswalk, sidewalk, etc.

Again, I'm not an attorney. But in CA myself and coworkers have beaten a dozen tickets. It's highway robbery.

See http://highwayrobbery.net/ to beat traffic and speed camera.

Just pay the fine

Unless you are committed to spending hours educating yourself, at the law library, and in court, on principle, then just pay the fine. The court is set up to punish anyone who resists. What I mean by that is that, if the fine is 20 bucks, if you go to court to fight it and lose, the fine now goes up to 150 bucks, as they will add court costs or whatever else they can tack on.
The easiest way I know of to beat a ticket is to bring three friends with you to court who will swear they were with you in the car and witnessed you coming to a complete stop. (:-)

Turn off the TV Propaganda.
Find out what's really going on!
"Your portal to reality!"

Always be polite in court.

Always be polite in court. You are on their turf and they will show you no mercy if you are rude and dressed poorly.

Does the ticket say

Show up ON OR BEFORE This date? So go tomorrow if it does. Point out what it says and you are there now..its not your fault the witness isn't there...

I believe in Hope & Change..I Hope the government will Change
Spindale-Rutherford County-North Carolina

meekandmild's picture

Pled:Not Guilty

Be sure to look at the courts "local rules of criminal procedures." you should be able to find online or ask court clerk.
Make em work for their fine. Object to everything, ask who is the victim, who and how did the victim suffer loss.
But most of all have fun with it and learn from the experience.

Dress well, don't be afraid

Dress well, don't be afraid to make your intentions known, and don't be bashful to try and go all the way on the first date!

Try mail if you can

Stay away from the court..
contempt who says the gods?
the universe?
problems you have is they use guns.
and for some reason.. courts believe they know more than you.

Go light with it.. be careful.
A judge is in tremendous denial as a human.
To play god is quite a feat!

They only have power because of box cutter mentality.

Truth rarely makes it into court.
Your up against a bunch of lower I.Q. People that don't like to lose.. they tend to shoot and hit as a group.
A lot of them like to think their heroes because they where in the military at one time.

Point is walk soft and get away as soon as you can.
Patriot act killed any chance of a fair court hearing.

That doesn't mean it will not happen(you getting a fair outcome).. but odds and the truth have very little to do with it anymore.

Just want what seems to be missing, Truth and Justice for ALL
What is fraud except creating “value” from nothing and passing it off as something?

Bring flowers

and you might wanna ask one of her friends what she likes to eat.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Wow-I forget

how intimidated people are. consult an attorney:)

Show up.
Plead not guilty.
(they may arrange a trial date right then)

Show up to trial.
Confronting your accuser.
If the accuser doesn't show, then move the court to dismiss the charges, if you lose, ask the court to discount the fine.

You have everything to gain by being a grown up.

Any questions?

I live in Alabama.

Go to court, it might seem intimidating at first. If the officer doesn't show up in court, the court automatically rules in your favor. I wouldn't count on the officer not showing up though. Be prepared, do you best and win or lose, know you did the right thing.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Please do it and let us know

I remember back in college, I had this scooter that I used to park in a place it wasn't supposed to be parked, and I racked up a couple hundred dollars worth of tickets.

There was a way you could go challenge them. It wasn't "court" per se, but you went to see a "magistrate" who was just a guy in an office down in city hall.

I didn't have much of an excuse other than there was no other place to park the thing (I don't even remember now, honestly why I always parked it there). Basically, I think I pled poverty, and the guy cut it down to 10% of the total.

Of course, those were just parking tickets, yours is a moving violation.

I remembered that in California if you show up and your accuser isn't there, you get the ticket dismissed (sometimes). Maybe this isn't true.

That rings a bell, but I don't know if it is true or not either.

If you have the time, and you're up for the adventure, I'd say go to court and see what you find out.

If not just for the

If not just for the experience, I'm curious as to why they even offer a court date if it is a "waste of time" as many (not here) have told me.

I think I'll go ahead and make the date.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.


Also author of Stick it to the Man!


Depends on the type of court

It is always best to appear.....

Are you being sited as the corporate or the individual self?

Read up on Admiralty Law vs Common Law to know how to tell the difference....

Fed, State or local..... makes a difference

If you can read this thank a teacher. Because it's in English thank a soldier!

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville