Going to court for 2 traffic violations. Need help?

I was pulled over for careless driving and for fictitious plates and I was given a 2 points and $84 fine for the careless driving and a court summons for the plates violation. The car is not mine, it is my mothers but I was operating the vehicle. I’m going to be representing myself in court.

I tried explaining to the officer that I was gradually  crossing the white line and getting close to the yellow line because of all the potholes on that specific road, but I was given a “That was the most BS excuse I’ve ever heard” reply. However there were potholes that I was trying to avoid and I took pictures later on of the potholes and my bent wheel due to them. I also took pictures of other drivers avoiding the potholes the same way I did. A few weeks later, road construction in NJ patched all the potholes which further proves my point about the potholes . I also took pictures of the potholes after they were patched. 

Secondly, my grandma (aka mom) has disabilities and cannot stand in long lines at the DMV for so long. We went about 3 times only to be turned down due to maximum capacity being reached. However, the day after I got pulled over, we went to the dmv and waiting at 1am in the morning until opening and got it done. (She slept in car while I waited on line). I needed the car for work before it was registered and couldn’t lose my job. I also have dates on the title for proof we got it done the next day. 

How well can I do in court? I’ve never went before and I’m scared.


I forgot to include, the DMV has had long lines and limited capacity due to COVID 19 which was the reason we were constantly turned down.

3 Answers

  • blank
    Lv 6
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    All you can do is present your case and evidence.  

    Be respectful of the court:  do NOT go in with a chip on your shoulder nor give attitude.  

    No one knows what actual approach might work (it could vary from judge to judge) and no one knows how much latitude the law allows in your jurisdiction.... but if you go in with accepting repsonsibiliy, not arguing with the law, you may have a chance at relief from both issues.

    What you are asking the judge to consider is referred to as mitigating circumstances:  you broke the law for what you believed are legitimate and/or forced circumstances.

    Like the pot holes forced you out of your legal and safe driving lane, so too did circumstances of Covid force you into a "Hobson's Choice:"  Drive a car not legally plated or get fired from work - and the down hill slide to poverty that represents.   Explain the second situation has been corrected and what it took to do it.

    Basically you are throwing yourself on the mercy of the court as they say.  Ask that the fines be waived or significantly reduced due to circumstance, hardship and challenging times.  Then hope for the best.

    Good luck.  No matter the outcome it is not the end of the world.  Hang in there.

  • L
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    Explain all of this to the Judge - NOT us.

  • 1 month ago

    You have a pretty good case on the first, not so much on the second.

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