|Fight your ticket!|
After pleading “not guilty”, some states allow you to select “trial by declaration”. For this option, you write what happened [more on this part in a future post], sign under penalty of perjury, attach any supporting written documents, and mail to the court BEFORE your trial date. You will usually also have to enclose payment of full bail. If you lose, the court keeps your bail. If you win, the court returns your bail.
The officer does the same thing, or doesn't. If the officer doesn't, you usually win the case, but not always. For example, if your declaration admits that you're guilty, you may still lose.
The judge then decides the case. If you lose, in CA you have the option of requesting a new trial in court in front of a judge.
If this is an option in your state, definitely consider it.
Next week, part 2 of Preparing Your Case