As soon as possible, hire a qualified attorney familiar with the substantive law, defenses and rules of evidence.
Take multiple photographs of the relevant roadway, signs, road markings, etc., from driver and officer perspective contemporaneously with the citation date and perferably at the same time of day and under similar conditions.
Write down the complete names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident.
Recall in detail the conversation between you and the citing officer, especially any apologies, excuses or other statements that could be interpreted as admissions of guilt. Also, if you file a complaint against the citing officer with his/her internal affairs department, keep a copy of your complaint.
Before trial, set a conference with your attorney and bring your photos and witness information. Relate your conversation with the citing officer and a copy of any internal affair's complaint.
Ask your attorney's advice concerning the merits of your case, and follow your attorney's advice on how to best present your defense.
Help your attorney get your witnesses to court.
If you testify, listen carefully to each question and answer truthfully and accurately. Do not volunteer additional information.
You are required by State law to "immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection". T.C. ß 545.156(2). If the officer prefers that you move elsewhere, he/she will instruct you. Keep both hands on your steering wheel and remain seated in your car until instructed otherwise. Do not unlatch your seat belt or reach for your drivers license or insurance papers until asked. DO NOT MAKE ADMISSIONS OR EXCUSES. Citing officers will make notations of your statements and frequently bait drivers to make incriminating comments. Simply state that you were unaware of doing anything illegal or unreasonable.
BE COURTEOUS, no matter how discourteous the officer may appear. Most police officers are people just like you and deserve respect as police officers. However, when their authority is challenged or they are treated disrespectfully, they are usually most happy to show you that THEY HAVE POWER AND YOU HAVE NONE. One citation is certainly preferable to five, and remember: they have the discretion to arrest you and take you to jail or write you a ticket. Further, when cases are finally set for trial, officers tend to remember the drivers who acted disrespectfully and make a greater effort to appear for trial.
We make personal appearances in Dallas, Denton and Collin Counties. Our staff is friendly, professional, accessible and bilingual.