Traffic Law in Juneau, AK
Have you or a loved one been in a motor vehicle collision in Juneau recently?
According to the Juneau Police Department, traffic deaths became a cause for concern in 2022. Clearly, the odds of a significant incident have increased as more people get out of the house and on the road.
The legal wrangling that follows any traffic accident can get complicated quickly. The essentials of local, state, and federal law you read below may be vital to your needs.
Juneau, Alaska Traffic Law
Traffic law refers to the implementation, and enforcement of Juneau, Alaska traffic codes. Traffic violations can vary in severity, ranging from minor speeding tickets to serious DUI charges. These violations lead to consequences that include fines, license suspension, revocation, and jail time.
In many states, authorities may assess points to your license. These points can increase your car insurance premium for several years. Moreover, it can lead to a license suspension if you accumulate too many.
Alaska law prescribes a point system to govern license suspensions or revocations. The values for each offense range from 2 to 10, depending on the severity. Reaching 12 points within a year or 18 in two years results in a suspension. Motorists in Juneau can take classes to reduce these assessments. Furthermore, extended time without violations will reduce your liability for losing driving privileges.
Legal Strategies to Fight Juneau, Alaska Traffic Tickets
Many people do not realize that fighting a traffic ticket and winning is possible. You might think paying court and legal fees to fight a citation is not worth it. On the other hand, keeping costly points off your license can save you more money in the long run.
If you hire a qualified Juneau attorney to fight your traffic ticket, the police officer may not appear in court. As a result, you will win the case. In these circumstances, you no longer have to pay the ticket, and the points get removed from your license.
Generally, you can expect to go to the trial court in Juneau to challenge citations. If the officer does show up at court, an experienced traffic lawyer can make a solid case in your defense. Here are common legal strategies that your lawyer may employ.
Challenge the Officer’s Conclusion in Traffic Law Court
Your attorney can argue the judgment the officer made was the wrong one. For example, an officer might say that you made an unlawful turn. But in actuality, they may not have the visibility to see whether it was illegal.
Challenge the Officer’s Observations in Traffic Law Court
You can challenge a police officer’s assertions in cases where it is your word against theirs. However, to achieve this, your Juneau traffic law attorney will need to cast enough doubt on the judgment of the police.
This task can prove burdensome for a driver to attempt alone because judges tend to agree with officers. However, if you can bring forward evidence, then you might win the case. Here are some examples of evidence that might be useful:
- Photographs of the scene of the traffic violation
- Witnesses, such as passengers or bystanders
- A diagram showing where your car was, and where the officer’s car was in relation to the traffic violation
- Showing that the point of view made it impossible for the officer to see what happened
Prove Your Conduct Was Legally Justified
If you commit an unlawful driving violation in Juneau, AK, you can argue that it happened due to the circumstances. In fact, there are countless examples of this. The main goal is to prove to the judge that you had good reason to commit a traffic violation. Here are a few of these examples:
- Driving too slowly because you are about to make a left turn
- Swerving your car after a bump in the road caused hot coffee to spill
- Driving above the speed limit to get to the hospital because of a sudden medical emergency
Prove Your Conduct Was Necessary to Avoid Harm
Sometimes, you have to violate Juneau traffic law because you were preventing injury to yourself or others. Typically, this action would be a viable defense to fight a traffic law ticket.
Regardless, you must clearly and accurately explain the situation in court. Here are some circumstances in traffic law where unlawful conduct is necessary to avoid harm:
- Speeding up well past the limit to bypass an out-of-control car
- Speeding up to avoid being rear-ended by an aggressive driver
- Slamming the brakes on a main road to avoid colliding with an animal that was crossing the street
- Swerving your car into the neighboring lane to avoid another vehicle that entered your lane
Prove Your Conduct Was a “Mistake of Fact”
If your unlawful traffic violation happens due to a “mistake of fact,” this means you made an honest error. Photo evidence can be essential to use this angle for your defense.
The judge can use their discretion to determine if your error was a mistake of fact and can either enforce or drop the traffic ticket. Here are some examples where this might prove applicable:
- You failed to stop at an obscured stop sign.
- The sun was at the exact angle that you could not see the light turn yellow and it was too late to stop when you did see the light.
- A traffic sign was faded and hard to read so you could not do as it said.
Traffic School Programs
In some cases, going to a traffic school that has state sponsorship or approval can help clear your driving record. In fact a judge may even make this a requirement after you’re found guilty of egregious speeding or a DUI. While this will involve some out-of-pocket costs, it can be worth the time and investment.
The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles lists four state-approved driving schools in the Juneau area. These institutions provide defensive driving training and other programs a court can order. As of 2023, the organizations you can go through are:
- Juneau A.B.A.T.E.
- Vocational Training & Resources Center
- Southeast Trucking and Training
Work with an Experienced Juneau, Alaska Traffic Law Lawyer
It may seem intimidating to go against Juneau law enforcement when judges tend to be on their side. This reality is especially foreboding when you have other traffic violations in your past.
There is no guarantee of the outcome in a court of law. However, working with an experienced Juneau traffic attorney can re-inject objectivity. This effort alone can get you the justice you seek.
Are you ready to talk to a traffic lawyer about your case?