The lie: If you contest your ticket and the cop doesn’t show, you’re free

The truth: In most counties, this rarely happens. In Mecklenburg County, you would be required to appear in court on multiple occasions and spend hours waiting around in court before this would be a possibility. The courts and police departments coordinate to prevent these dismissals from happening.

The lie: Tickets in other states don’t count against you

The truth: States share traffic violations with one another. There’s something called the Driver Licensing Compact that guarantees info-sharing, and every state but Georgia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Tennessee is a member.

The lie: Driving barefoot or in flip-flops will earn you a ticket

The truth: This is nonsense.

The truth: I’m not sure about paint color, but I DO think the appearance of your vehicle influences officers’ decisions in borderline situations. I don’t have numbers to prove this, but I often have clients stopped on the highway for speeding while traveling “with the flow of traffic”. An officer can only choose one car in a pack to pull over. Do you think he’s more likely to pick the minivan or the flashy car?

The lie: You can’t get a ticket when you’re keeping up with the flow of traffic

The truth: Yes you can. Does keeping up with traffic mean you’re driving above the speed limit? If so, that’s called speeding. You might think there’s safety in numbers, but eventually an officer needs to make sure everyone sees those bright flashing lights of his/hers.

The lie: You won’t get a ticket for an emergency

The truth: It’s unfortunate, but you’re still speeding. It’s up to the officer’s discretion as to whether you’ll get a ticket, and that might come down to what kind of emergency you’re talking about. Wife in labor in the back seat: maybe. You just finished that giant soda and you don’t want to use the restroom at a gas station? Better luck next time.

The lie: Ticket quotas exist

The truth: Not really. Some jurisdictions do have minimum numbers to ensure officers are legitimately doing their jobs, but by all accounts, those numbers are so low an officer really would have to turn a blind eye to scores of infractions to not hit the marks.

The lie: You can’t get a ticket driving the speed limit

The truth: The speed limit assumes optimal conditions. If you’re doing 40 mph in a 40 mph zone in icy conditions, fog, or in the vicinity of an accident, you might be pulled over. Driving the speed limit during a summer downpour is great time for a “too fast for conditions” citation.

The lie: ​You can get out of a ticket by challenging the accuracy of the radar

The truth: You can try, but I’ve never seen it do any good. Radar guns are calibrated regularly as part of normal police vehicle maintenance. Officers are also “trained” to estimate speed visually in NC so it is important to know which method the officer used to gauge your speed. Whether or not you believe in it’s accuracy, the courts usually accept an officer’s observation of speed as reliable.