The traffic ticket industry relies on people not having enough time to fight their tickets. Going to court, often multiple times, can be a burden on even the most motivated ticket fighters.
Because of the amount of time a traffic ticket case requires, we’re often asked if there is any way to fight a traffic ticket without the hassle of driving to the courthouse. The good news is that in certain states, through something called “trial by declaration” or “trial by affidavit,” it’s possible. The bad news is that those states are in the minority.
Trial by declaration allows a defendant to state their case in writing, send it to the judge, and have the judge make a decision based on the facts presented in the letter.
Although this may sound appealing, there are few things to consider before fighting a traffic ticket in this way:
- When you fight your traffic ticket using trial by declaration, you give up the right to directly ask the officer questions.
- Any chance of dismissal due to the absence of the ticketing officer disappears.
- Because you’re not there in person it becomes much easier for the judge to find you guilty — all it takes is a rubber stamp.
- In some states you give up your right to a regular trial when opting for trial by declaration.
- As mentioned previously, it’s not available in the vast majority of states.
States where trial by declaration is not allowed include:
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