Driving along and getting a ticket is the worse feeling. Most of us feel so frustrated we just throw the ticket in the glove compartment and drive away. This is exactly what we’re not going to do. When it comes to tickets, a judge has the final say, not the police officer. We’re going to stay calm and collected if we do happen to get a ticket.

Here are some of the best ways for us to prepare to beat a traffic ticket. Always keep a pen and paper somewhere in your car. Read everything on the ticket and verify that it matches your information. A wrong license plate number or wrong street address can sometimes be enough to get the ticket dismissed. After verifying the information you’re going to take note of where you are and what direction you are traveling.  Write down the weather outside, the condition of the street, what type of area you’re in. Be detailed while you’re doing this. Include if it’s cloudy, if the road is wet, if it has potholes or if you’re in a residential, school, or commercial area. This may all seem irrelevant but it may help us down the road. Note where you first saw the police car and where it pulled you over. Write down whether or not the cops were wearing uniforms. Write down what you were wearing that day and whether your windows were up or down. Were your headlights on? Did you have your windshield wipers on? These are questions you need to be prepared to answer in court. Taking the extra five minutes to write this down just might save you $200 down the line.

When you go home, print an overhead map of where you got the ticket. Use streetview if you need a closeup of a stop sign or traffic light. Take the map and draw your position on it as well as the police officers. This should be done as soon as possible. It will help the most if the entire situation is fresh in your mind. You will forget details if you wait until the next day or week to write down what happened. If you are using a closeup map, you should also get photos of where you received your ticket. Most maps arent updated and don’t have timestamps. These are important if we need to use them in court later.

Parking tickets

Parking tickets are different from driving tickets in the way they are settled in court. In most states, the police officer will not be at the court to submit an oral testimony. This works to our advantage in many cases as we only need to prove the ticket wrong and not the officer’s testimony as well. Unlike driving tickets, most parking tickets’ fines will be reduced with a proper defense. Much like the traffic tickets, you should always take a photograph of your car with the ticket on it. Take pictures of the parking meter, street signs and pavement markings. Get the parking meter number and write down what times and how much money you put into the meter.