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Using a 'Mistake of Fact' Defense in North Carolina To Reduce or Dismiss Traffic Tickets


Traffic tickets can be a significant burden on individuals, both financially and in terms of the points that may be added to their driving record. In some cases, it may be possible to contest a traffic ticket and have it reduced or dismissed by raising a defense based on a mistake of fact. This defense can be used when the individual does not realize that their actions were against the law or that they are committing a violation.


In this article, we will discuss the concept of a mistake of fact defense and how it can be used in North Carolina to contest a traffic ticket.


What is a Mistake of Fact Defense?


A mistake of fact defense is a legal defense that can be raised when an individual is accused of committing a crime or violation but they did not realize that their actions were against the law or that they were committing a violation. This defense can be used when the individual had a reasonable belief that their actions were not illegal or a violation based on the facts and circumstances known to them at the time.

For example, if an individual is accused of speeding, they may be able to raise a mistake of fact defense if they did not realize that they were exceeding the speed limit due to a faulty speedometer or a misreading of the speed limit sign.


How Can a Mistake of Fact Defense be Used to Reduce or Dismiss a Traffic Ticket in North Carolina?


In North Carolina, an individual who wishes to contest a traffic ticket can do so by appearing in court and raising a defense, such as a mistake of fact. The individual will need to provide evidence to support their defense, such as testimony or documentation showing that they had a reasonable belief that their actions were not illegal or a violation.

If the individual is able to successfully establish their defense, the court may choose to reduce the charges or dismiss the ticket altogether. However, it is important to note that the burden of proof is on the individual raising the defense, and the court will consider the facts and circumstances of the case when determining whether the defense is valid.


Other Possible Defenses to Traffic Tickets in North Carolina


In addition to a mistake of fact defense, there are several other defenses that may be available to individuals contesting traffic tickets in North Carolina. Some possible defenses include the following:


  • Necessity: This defense may be available when the individual has no other reasonable option but to commit the alleged violation in order to avoid harm or danger. For example, if an individual was driving over the speed limit in order to get a sick family member to the hospital, they may be able to raise a necessity defense.

  • Duress: This defense may be available when the individual committed the alleged violation because they believed that they were under the threat of immediate harm or death.

  • Entrapment: This defense may be available when the individual was induced or lured into committing the alleged violation by a law enforcement officer or another individual.

Work With a North Carolina Traffic Tickets Attorney


Do not let a traffic ticket ruin your driving record or cause financial strain. Contact our traffic ticket attorneys today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options for contesting your ticket.


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