Running a red light is a serious offense that can result in costly fines and points on your commercial driver’s license (CDL). If you’re caught running a red light, there are certain legal actions you need to take to minimize the damage. Here’s what you need to do if you beat a red light.
Remain calm and don’t panic
Getting pulled over is always nerve-wracking, especially if you think you might have done something wrong. However, it’s essential to remain calm and not panic when dealing with the police.
If you’re pulled over for running a red light, for example, the officer may just give you a warning if you’re polite and cooperative. It’s also a good idea to keep your hands where the officer can see them and avoid making any sudden movements.
If the officer asks to see your license and registration, reach for them slowly and hand them over without argument. Remember, the officer is just doing their job, so there’s no need to get angry or defensive.
Be prepared to show your documents
If you’re ever pulled over for running a red light, the officer is going to ask to see your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. It’s important to be prepared with these documents before you get behind the wheel so that you can avoid getting a ticket for not having them.
Keep your driver’s license in an easily accessible place, such as your wallet or purse, to hand it over to the officer quickly. This is an important document that allows you to drive legally in the United States so ensure your driver’s license is up-to-date.
Your registration should be kept in your glove compartment, and your proof of insurance should be kept with your registration. If you don’t have these documents readily available, the officer may give you a citation.
Keep your hands visible at all times and avoid sudden movements
When a police officer pulls you over for running a red light, it is important to keep your hands visible at all times and avoid sudden movements. This will help to prevent the situation from escalating and ensure that the officer feels safe. If you need to reach for your license or registration, be sure to do so slowly and with your palms up. Similarly, if the officer asks you to step out of the car, do so calmly and avoid making any sudden moves.
Once the officer has given you a ticket, sign it
Once you’ve been pulled over and the officer has given you a ticket, you’ll need to sign it. This may seem like a simple formality, but it’s a crucial step in the process. By signing the ticket, you’re acknowledging that you’ve been given notice of the violation and that you agree to appear in court.
If you fail to sign the ticket, the officer may arrest you on the spot. In addition, refusing to sign the ticket can result in additional penalties, including fines and points on your license.
Pay the fine or contest the ticket in court within the allotted time frame
After you receive a traffic ticket, you’ll have the option of paying the fine or contesting the ticket in court. If you decide to pay the fine, you can typically do so online, by mail, or in person. You’ll need to pay within the allotted time frame, and failure to do so can result in additional penalties, such as a late fee or a warrant for your arrest.
If you decide to contest the ticket, you’ll need to appear in court on the specified date and time. Plus, this can be a complex and confusing process. If you have a CDL, you may risk losing it if you contest the ticket and lose. This is why it’s often advisable to hire an experienced CDL lawyer to help you. They will know the ins and outs of the legal system and will be able to put together a strong case on your behalf.
It’s important to note that contesting a ticket does not guarantee that the judge will rule in your favor. However, if you believe that you have a strong case, it may be worth your while to go through the court process.
Running a red light is a serious offense that can have costly consequences. If you’re caught running a red light, stay calm and be prepared to show the officer your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Once the officer has given you a ticket, sign it and then decide whether you want to pay the fine or contest it in court. Whatever route you choose, take action within the allotted time frame so that your case doesn’t go into collections or warrant arrest.