Mistake of fact is a certain context in you may have in fact disregarded the law, but because of certain circumstances you are not held legally responsible. Sometimes though you still have to defend yourself in spite of not actually being liable to the crime.
How could you use a mistake of fact defense with traffic tickets?
You simply must demonstrate that there were circumstances that you were unable to control that caused you to get pulled over and receive the citation.
For speeding tickets one of the most traditional ways this is used is because the traffic sign is somehow gone or blocked. After severe storms a branch could of covered the traffic sign or it is completely fallen over. For this scenario you aren’t trying to speed over the limit or do anything else wrong. It’s a good idea as soon as you can go back to where the speed limit sign is blocked or gone and take pictures to defend yourself.
This can also happen with tickets where you could have failed to stop. For example a traffic sign might not be there or the lines on the road are faded. This defense strategy will work best when you have the photo evidence to back this up when you address the judge.
For the most part judges will be sympathetic in cases where there are circumstances like these. You have to be attentive that you don’t actually admit to the traffic court that you were going over the speed limit as posted.You just want to declare that the county did not maintain proper traffic signage to the drivers in that particular instance.
In vary rare cases this defense can be used when the speed limit signs are changed and you happen to be one of the ones that is ticketed that day. This isn’t a really strong defense but it could be an option that you might use.
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