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5 Ways to Fight a Stop Sign Ticket

March 21, 2018

Rolling stops are illegal in California, and police are on the lookout for motorists who indulge in them. They set themselves up near stop signs and wait for violators. If you’ve been found guilty of such an infraction, or maybe have outright run a stop sign, you need to know how to fight a stop sign ticket.

To be found guilty of a stop sign violation, it must be proven that you failed to come to a complete and total stop at a limit line, crosswalk, or the entrance to the intersection of a railroad crossing. Note that you will also be ticketed if you stop past the limit line or crosswalk, even if it’s a complete stop.  A guilty plea or verdict means a hefty fine plus a point on your driving record.

Running a stop sign in California may mean you have to pay a fine over $200. You will need the best accident ticket lawyers to fight for you to get the fine dropped and to keep the points off of your record. Fortunately, there are some common defenses your all traffic offense attorney can utilize to defend your case.

  1. Challenge Officer’s Observation

Most judges side with the officer’s recollection of events, so you need to cast doubt on the officer’s testimony. You can provide eyewitness accounts from a passerby who saw the event from different angles.

  1. Challenge the Officer’s Subjective Conclusion

One example of this is if you stopped 20 feet away from the line. Depending on the officer’s point of view, it may look as though you rolled through the stop sign when you actually did stop. Taking pictures from the officer’s point of view will come in handy.

  1. Prove Conduct Was Justified

You may have needed to drive past a stop sign to avoid an out-of-control vehicle from hitting you. In this case, you admit you ran past the stop sign, but it was done to avoid further harm. New facts are brought to light.

  1. Claim Mistake of Fact

You need to have knowingly broken the law to have been issued the ticket. If the stop sign was covered up by shrubbery, then you can claim you did not know the sign was there. Signs are often degraded and painted over, and you will find an illegal u turn ticket lawyer can implement a similar defense.

  1. Argue Sign Was Newly Installed

This defense is trickier because you should still be aware of your surroundings. However, the judge may be sympathetic if you can prove you traveled this road numerous times in the past, and this sign was an unexpected change.

How Much is a Stop Sign Ticket in California?

Under California law, the fine for failing to stop is $238, plus any additional court costs and assessments. Failure to pay or failure to show in court will result in further fines and a possible hold on your driver’s license. 

When you are given a stop sign ticket, you must act before the “Notice to Appear” date on your citation. You can act by paying the ticket and sending your payment to the courthouse. This action is admitting your guilt. When the court receives your payment, your case is closed and the violation is sent to the DMV where it can show up as a point against your license.

You can also act by appearing in court on the date that is on your ticket. In court you can plead guilty, not guilty, or plead financial hardship and ask for a reduction in fees. If you choose to go to court, you can go alone, but it’s a good idea to be represented by a traffic attorney.

Attorneys from Ticket Clinic help with everything from fighting a red light camera ticket to providing you with a DUI traffic ticket fix. Call us at 1-800-248-2846, so we can start fighting for you.