Lets face it courtrooms can be scary and intimidating at times, but knowing the rights steps and preparing yourself before entering one, could help make things a lot easier. By following the guidelines bellow, you will not only feel and look more confident about going to court, but also be one-step ahead of everyone in court.
To prepare you for your court appearance there are a few things you should do. The first thing you should do is call our insurance agency and find out how much your premiums would be affect by the ticket. Then you should check how many points you have on your license and how many your ticket may add. Make sure that your insurance and registrations is up to date. If they are not, make sure that you take care of them before you appear in court. Find out if you are not eligible for driving school. Once you have taken care of everything, it is time to prepare your defense.
Set the court date
The first things to consider is entering a plea and then try to set a trial date. There are three ways you could enter your plea with the traffic court. The first is going to the County Clerk’s office and request a trial date in person. Second, is to stand before the Judge, and say your "not guilty" plea, then ask for a trial date. The third option you have, is to mail a copy of your citation and request a trial date. Remember the longer you wait for the trail the harder it is for the officer to remember you.
It may be possible that you will have to post bail for ticket. Should it be required, check with the court in advance to find out, so that you do have the proper amount. Within 45 days after you entered your plea, you should be attending your trial.
File discovery subpoena
A discovery subpoena is when you file a request to find out information that is in the public record. In other words, it is a public record request.
Talk to your local county clerk’s office and find out how to submit a discovery subpoena. Make sure that you note, on the discovery subpoena, any information that is necessary prior to the trial date.
If your trail is for a radar speeding ticket, the information you might need are repair records, a log of the calibrations, a copy of the license to operate the unit, accuracy of the turning fork, and the manufacturers manual and specifications. You should also get the arresting record of the officer prior to 90 day of offense.
In traffic cases, some states try to limit this right. They want you to pay the fine and go home. As a citizen of the United States, you have the constitutional right to utilize the discovery process, use it.
Go back to where you got your ticket
Going back to where you got your ticket could help you for several reasons. You may remember some additional details that you forgot to write down on the day that the citation was issued.
Your best evidence is to present at the trial pictures that depict everything that is relevant. Try to include all the roads, with any markings on the road and their size, and all traffic signals (light, signs, ect.). Where you and the officer’s vehicles were at the time that you were pulled over, and where you pulled off. Write down if there were any structures in the area (walls, buildings, fences, ect.) Also, note if there were any trees, or bushes at the scene.
It might be a big help for you to take some pictures from the drivers viewpoint to show if you had any obstructing object, which may have caused you to miss a speed sign.
Check out the courtroom ahead of time
Often times the Judge will be the same for your case. Focus on the way the Judge addresses the defense, motions, or objections. This will give you some kind of expectation of what you can look forward to, before you go to court.
If you see that the Judge is overruling any defense objections, you might want to file for a continuance immediately. It will help your cause if you transfer to another court.
Watch how other people defend their case; learn what you could do differently, and what not to do.
Observe what people are wearing, and behaving in the courtroom.
What to wear in court
If you go to the courtroom before your trial, you would have a chance to see what everyone is wearing in the courtroom. Do not wear anything that is loud, flashy, or attention getting. The Judge’s first impression of you is very important; you want it to be pleasurable.