Re: Improper Lane Usage
You may request a deferral by requesting EITHER a 1) Contested Hearing or 2) a Mitigation Hearing. Theoretically, you SHOULD be eligible for a deferral even AFTER you have been found to have committed the infraction at a contested hearing (since that is the "finding" that is being deferred). However, in practice, most courts will offer deferrals BEFORE the hearing begins and will remove the offer once it does.
FYI, I agree with Guy's assessment of your situation. In order to beat this, you would, basically, have to show that the officer's point of view (suppose he/she was 1/4 mile back, for example) did NOT afford a clear view of the situation. You might want to request discovery of the officer's notes and see if the officer's location is spelled out in detail. If not, you might be able to get a dismissal. To request discovery, you MUST first request a contested hearing.
Oh, call the clerk of the court to find out the deferral "administrative fee" -- it's usually around $150. And if you win, there are NO court fees to be paid. If you lose, you cannot be charged more than the amount listed on your ticket.
Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?