Got a ticket for a legal left turn…

Question: I got pulled over and cited for going through a red light, but I didn’t do it. When the light turns “red,” the left arrow is actually green, so I made a left turn on
the green arrow. The officer just saw the red light and didn’t see the green arrow. How do I fight this?

Ryan’s Answer: You certainly can challenge your ticket/complaint in court. You can deny responsibility (similar to a “not guilty” plea, except a traffic ticket like yours is not a criminal offense, so you would be pleading “not responsible”) by appearing in person or by notifying the court in writing.

Once you do that, the court must promptly notify you of a hearing date. At the hearing, you can cross examine the police officer, and you can testify on your own behalf about what happened. Just be aware that if you lose, you may have to pay additional court fees.

You do have the right to represented by legal counsel, but there are serious time restrictions on having a lawyer represent you in traffic court cases, so if you’re going to hire a lawyer, I’d suggest getting a consultation sooner than later.

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