Moving Violations and Tickets in Houston
In over 95% of our ticket cases we have been successful in keeping moving violations off of driving records, regardless of the facts of the case. Our fees start at $70 for moving violations, and even less for non-moving violations, depending on the violation and the court.
Tickets are usually issued by either a city policeman, a deputy sheriff, a deputy constable, or a DPS officer. Tickets issued by a city policeman are usually handled in that particular city's municipal court. All others are usually set in one of the Justice of the Peace courts in the particular county.
Always treat the officer with respect, even when they are wrong. Besides simple courtesy, be aware that the officer has a great deal of discretion when your case finally ends up in court. The officers usually make notes about certain drivers who have "attitudes." You are always better off if the officer does not make any special notes about you on his copy of the ticket. The best place to present your case is in court, not on the street. The best way to present your case is through us, not by yourself. Perhaps you have heard the old adage that a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. Do not let your personal feelings get in the way of a successful resolution of your case.
It is best to hire us as your ticket attorney soon after the ticket is issued as is possible. This will allow the maximum time to reset the case and tends to keep costs down. It also will eliminate the possibility inadvertent mistakes on your part.
Usually, ticket errors are not in and of themselves enough to warrant a dismissal. This is because the ticket is merely a summons, or promise to appear. The official court document (the complaint) used to prosecute the case against you, however, is based on the information contained on the ticket. Ticket errors can lead to fatal defects, but not very often. Items such as the wrong color of your car, or transposed numbers on your license plate or drivers license are not enough. A grossly misspelled name or a wrong speed limit on the ticket can lead to a dismissal.
When your case comes to court, we always examine all the documentation to see if there is a fatal defect in the complaint or elsewhere. In some courts and cases, this results in a permanent dismissal. In others, the case gets refiled, forcing you to return to court another day.
Red light (traditional, non-camera)
These cases are usually your word against the officer's. Factual issues can develop over whether or not a stop line or crosswalk was involved, or where the front of your car was at the instant that the light turned red, or at instant that you came to a complete stop. If the jury has reasonable doubt whether the front bumper of your vehicle was across the imaginary line connecting the curbs, or the stop line or crosswalk as the case may be, then you are not guilty.
If possible, return to the intersection with a camera and take photos from various vantage points of the stop line, crosswalk or the bare street to prove the nonexistence of a stop line or crosswalk. Make sure that you bring these photos with you to court.
These cases are usually your word against the officer's. Some officers monitor intersections with video cameras rolling. Factual issues can develop over whether or not you came to complete stop, if so, and at what point in relation the stop sign or other mark, such as a crosswalk or stop line. Also, the stop sign can be partially or wholly hidden by vegetation, signs, etc. The officer may not have been in a good position to see whether or not you stopped before proceeding into the intersection or making a turn.
If possible and relevant, return to the intersection with a camera and take photos from various vantage points of the vegetation obscuring your line of sight to the stop sign, or the officer's line of sight to where you stopped. Make sure that you bring these photos with you to court.
In Texas, you can exceed the posted speed limit and not be guilty of speeding if your speed was reasonable and prudent under the circumstances. Also, the ticket issued to you must accurately reflect the posted speed limit and your alleged speed. Sometimes, the posted speed limit is different than what the officer writes down. If in a construction zone with workers present, the prosecutor must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there were workers in the area. State law does not allow probation (deferred disposition) or defensive driving for speeding tickets issued in a construction zone with workers present.
If you believe that your speedometer is inaccurate (sometimes due to oversize tires), while not technically a defense, it is a good idea to have the condition corrected and bring proof of this to court. This can be done with expensive, special calibration equipment, or on the cheap using another vehicle driven by a friend and cell phone communication between the two of you to check speed readings at various speeds. Make sure that you do this at safe, legal speeds and at a safe distance.
Click on our FAQ page to answer many of your questions. Please also call us at 713-464-6461 for a free consultation, or email us at michelle@TheTicketAttorney.com.