Police pull you over for third brake light out, when you do your daily walk around inspection you cannot inspect this feature by merely turning on the flashers to simulate the brake pedal nor does an indicator lamp light up in the instrument cluster to confirm it does not light up like your turn signal lamps. You cannot self inspect this feature reasonably alone without some creativity. I would understand if an indicator on the dash told you the lamp was unlit but that is not the case.
You are asking the wrong question. Whether the cop was legally right or wrong is a not for either you or me to decide. That decision is left to a Judge (unless you choose to either pay the ticket or attend driving school).
The question that you should be asking is "now that I got a ticket what am I going to do about it?", and in that regard I strongly urge you to HIRE A LAWYER (caps intentional).
My guess is that you have has about as much business practicing law as I do commanding a nuclear submarine... meaning none. Please understand that this is not personal to either of you. It is a simple truism in the legal profession. It is very easy to screw up a case when one does not understand the complexities of the rules of evidence, the nuances of rules of procedure and the art of cross-examination; and you are very likely to unintentionally screw up your case if you serve as your own lawyer (ergo Abe Lincoln's famous quote... "He who represents himself has a fool for a client."). In my opinion, the best defense for any traffic citation anywhere is to hire a local traffic ticket lawyer.
I can't speak to the Pensacola area per se but in Miami, Fl where I have been a practicing criminal defense lawyer for more than a quarter of a century, there are many skilled and experienced traffic lawyers who know the law, the procedure, the Judge and probably the cop. In short you will almost certainly get both competent representation and a better result for a relatively small fee / investment.
Wishing you luck and hoping that I have been helpful in answering your question.
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I agree with Mr. Haber above, consult an attorney for this matter and then hire them.
I understand the problem. However, this is your third citation. Try asking a neighbor to look at the lights while you brake. It is simple and will avoid any additional tickets.
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