Are there any simple and easy methods to try to detract from a police officer's credibility? I'm interested in the US legal system.


When challenging a traffic ticket, you can take notes or an official report of the weather to court. Then you can examine the citing officer in front of the judge to see whether he remembers the weather. If you can get him to answer inaccurately, then you have cast doubt on his ability to remember the other facts relevant to the traffic charge.

Keep it simple

In traffic court (infraction of the law) you only have to be found 2 percent more accurate than the officer (who the judge thinks is 51 percent credible). Are there other simple ideas for achieving this?

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    The fact that the officer made contemporaneous notes regarding the circumstances of the violation probably trumps his inability to remember details of the weather.
    – phoog
    Dec 30, 2015 at 1:33
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    @phoog I think the point is that a lot of officer's don't. If they did, it wouldn't be a problem - after all, an ethical person doesn't go to court to fight something they're guilty of just to so they can get away with it. But what it does do is force officers to take those notes and gather evidence. If you're going to fine someone, and have a court hearing, you should have real evidence to present side from "here's a ticket showing he did something wrong". If we let them do that, they can write tickets for anything at will, and that's not justice.
    – corsiKa
    Dec 30, 2015 at 3:30
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    @corsiKa I've only been to court three times to fight tickets. In two cases, the officer had notes to supplement the facts written in the ticket. In third case, the officer was called away for an emergency while writing the tickets, so he handed them to me hastily and drove off. He apparently had no time to make notes; he testified that he had no recollection of the incident and the ticket was dismissed
    – phoog
    Dec 30, 2015 at 3:35
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    after all, an ethical person doesn't go to court to fight something they're guilty of just to so they can get away with it - say what?
    – jqning
    Dec 30, 2015 at 4:41
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    I've been told the whole system would collapse if EVERYONE took every ticket and everything to court. In America you are innocent until proven guilty, so make them do their job and prove you guilty otherwise the judge will throw it out. There are not enough courts in the US to keep up with every single case traffic, criminal, etc. so if EVERYONE took EVERYTHING to court or trial, the whole system would collapse of be backed up so far they'd probably have to throw the minor stuff out. The suckers just take a plea or pay the ticket, DON'T BE A SUCKER, DENY that and make them prove your GUILT!!! Dec 30, 2015 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


I have beaten all but one of my traffic tickets just by going to court. In one case, the judge threw out the charge because he couldn't read the officer's handwriting on the ticket. In another, the officer charged that I was parked in a "no parking" zone on a particular street (at night), but gave a cross street where parking was, in fact, allowed.

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    Once for me, the officer didn't even show up! There was nobody there to make a case against me, so I just said, "I didn't do it," and got off.
    – Will
    Dec 30, 2015 at 4:33
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    I would say the officer not showing up is actually fairly common, unless you did something pretty severe or someone else on the same docket did. And if avoiding points is your main goal, sometimes you'll get probation instead (unless you get the hanging judge).
    – pboss3010
    Nov 26, 2018 at 12:42

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