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How to handle speeding tickets?

Joined
19 April 2001
Messages
489
2 tickets in 2 weeks. I got the first one driving a WAGON of all things. (but I just got back from the Porsche Driving Experience a few days earlier so maybe my adrenaline was still pumping) Then last night, only the SECOND time driving my NSX, I get a ticket going 47!!! in a 25. Come on.

I was going to plead Probation Before Judgment on the first ticket but now I can't. Any attorneys out there with some advice on how I should handle the tickets? (or someone with EXTENSIVE knowledge in obtaining favorable rulings) I don't care about the fine but I care about the points.

Also, I don't remember what either cop looked like so I can't go to court and hope that they don't show up.

Any help? Thanks.
 
What area do you live? Your best bet would be to get a lawyer to represent you. In the long run, paying for the lawyer will probably be cheaper than have 2 tickets on your record.
 
Where do you live ? Unless you have a really strong contact in the courts or a higher up buddy on the job, you may be screwed.
If you're in NY State, they may suspend your license for 45 days or so. They did that to me for 2 speeders in 10 months about 8 years ago. When asked what I would do if I lost my priveledge to drive legally, my response (under my breath) was "drive ILLegally of course !
 
I don't have any legal advice, but 47mph in a 25mph zone? That's pretty much a guaranteed ticket...you're nearly doubling the speed limit!

It's all relative, I think. You probably have a better chance of getting off on a 77mph in a 55mph highway zone, or at least having it written down quite a bit, than you will getting off on the 47mph on a 25mph zone. The reason is that a 25mph zone is probably a local road...pedestrian area or such, in which it is more of an offense to be speeding...as opposed to a 55mph highway zone where it is deemed "less offensive" or "safe" to be going 22mph over the limit.

Anyhow, I love to drive my NSX "fast and furious", but christ...if I was a cop, _I'd_ give you a ticket for 40mph in a 25mph zone...sorry to say?

Hey, I was pulled over in Maine for 18mph in a 15mph zone...just got a friendly warning, but it was an area in town with a lot of pedestrians, so I understand. And it is much easier on the part of even a driver who is paying close attention to go 3mph over the limit...that can happen just rolling down an incline in the road...but 22mph over the limit? That's just indefensible...especially on a percentage basis of the 25mph speed limit.

-Andie
 
Its been my experience in California that if the cop doesn't show, the case gets dismissed. You can increase the chances of that happening by asking for an extension date -- ostensibly to gather your case defense together. The cop will most likely show for the original appear date on the ticket and chances are increased he won't want to be/can't be inconviencenced by having to appear at the later court date for a lousy speeding ticket.

You don't have to know what he looks like.
If he doesn't show, they can't defend the case without him. If this happens, they'll call your name at the beginning of the session and dismiss your case.

Worked for me.
 
I live in the Washington DC area; therefore, almost everyone I know is an attorney. I don't have a problem using one if needed. However, I wonder if I would get more leniency from the judge (for a reduced sentence) if I go to court, apologize, and ask for leniency instead of showing up with an attorney. Both tickets should have been 4 point violations but the latter officer gave me a "break" and lowered the violation to a 2 point offense. Even if I got an attorney to represent me, what would they say? Kind of hard to argue with a radar gun. (I guess my post on the Valentine 1 was a little late) What do you think? Attorney or plead for mercy?
 
HomeDepot. I got the exact opposite. The ticket for 77 (how did you know?) in a 55 was not reduced but the one for 47 in a 25 was reduced. The 25 mph was about 1/2 mile outside of the areas with high traffic and a few hundred feet before the sign that changes to 45 mph. I think the avg speed where I got pulled over is close to 55. Anyway...

Kinan...to get out of the ticket b/c the cop doesn't show, you have to first plead not guilty, correct? If he's not there, great. If the cop is present, I have no grounds for pleading not guilty and don't know what I would say at that point. I think it would be kind of hard to then plead guilty and ask for leniency. Is that the format you went through?
 
Originally posted by WeakestLink:
HomeDepot. I got the exact opposite. The ticket for 77 (how did you know?) in a 55 was not reduced but the one for 47 in a 25 was reduced. The 25 mph was about 1/2 mile outside of the areas with high traffic and a few hundred feet before the sign that changes to 45 mph. I think the avg speed where I got pulled over is close to 55. Anyway...

It would be really funny in a sick way if I told you that I was the cop that pulled you over for 77mph in the 55mph, and put a notice out for you to bust you for anything more than 15mph over the limit. :)

But, that would be really really SICK...so I'm glad to say that I'm not a cop, and I just sweep floors for a living.

Just goes to prove that speeding tickets are not a hard science, hehe...

Good luck on your tickets! -Andie
 
I recommend a lawyer who is familiar with the local traffic court system. Tell him you don't mind fines but want to keep as many points as possible off your record. The goal here is to actually work a deal with the prosecution BEFORE the actual trial. It will cost you, but you are in a somewhat bad situation otherwise in my opinion.

You don't need to regognize the cop to know if he shows up. The court will know if he is there or not.

[This message has been edited by Lud (edited 05 March 2002).]
 
Thanks Lud and everyone for the input. I just talked to an attorney who agrees that he can negotiate the points/fines before it gets to court. Crossing my fingers.

What is really strange about getting both tickets so quickly is I have had a very clean record for 10+ years. And I think I have always been a spirited, but safe, driver. Then all of a sudden...double whammy.

Thanks again.
 
I highly recommend these sites even if you didn't get a ticket. Lot's of good information regarding, specifics of the charges against you, attorneys, preventive measures, how to plead, state laws,... The "Tutorial" is a very easy, step by step process to understand. I recently won a decission over a CHP officer who allegedly cited me for doing 99+mph while testing a Modena. The Judge grinned as he ruled me "not guilty". But I pleady guilty on the "no front plate" violation because the $40 fine was cheaper than putting screwholes in the front bumper to get the fix it ticket signed off.

http://www.helpigotaticket.com/index.html
http://www.traffic-school.org/how-to-beat-ticket.html
 
Extend the date and file for change of venue. Also request it on a Mon or Fri. Then go to court and hope he doesn't show up. If he does show up, you are screwed either way, attorney or not. If he shows, plead "no contest" and ask the judge to reduce the penalties. Offer to go to traffic school, apoligize, tell them you are poor, etc. I've been pulled over at least 20 times in the past 6 years. Got about 5 tickets, but have always gone to court and got reduced fines. Your best chance is for him to not show up. Fri and Mon are good because it is most likely the cop may take a 3-day weekend on one of those days. If they show, you'll lose. I've sat through many days in court and everyone, I'm talking 100%, who plead their case, lose and are stuck with the original fine/penalty. This is in CA of course, and may be different in D.C. Forget the lawyer, it's a waste of your time and money. Doesn't work in CA anyways. Just my opinion.
 
Originally posted by ck:
I've sat through many days in court and everyone, I'm talking 100%, who plead their case, lose and are stuck with the original fine/penalty.

In CT this is almost the exact opposite. Everyone I know who has contested a ticket basically gets a reduced fine just for showing up. Not sure about the points though.
 
If anyone knows tickets well... its probably me.

First: Always go to court... even if you lose, you are no worse off than not going. And there is a good chance the cop won't show, OR that he will slip and you can get off by proving his story to be in-consistant. Its not easy, but Ive done it many times (especially times I was truely innocent and it was a clear form of harrassment due to the cars attention... don't kid yerself cops arn't always "good" guys).

On top of that, even if you lose you can request a reduction, which is better than just eating the full hit. Its worth your time to go if your job/life allows for it.

Second: Lawyers are a waste in most cases.. you'll spend more money on a lawyer that "might" get you off, when the worst that will happen if you lose in most states is it stays on your record for 3 years plus a minor insurance price increase, usually between 4 and 10 percent depending on who your carrier is.

Multiply 36 months X the increase and if its less than a lawyer fee, then squash it and move on with your life. The only time you would want to get a lawyer is if you have multiple offenses and you are at risk of losing your license if you take anymore points, at this time the investment of driving is worth the extra money.

Next: If its a radar ticket, ALWAYS request to see the radar gun when you get pulled over, if they refuse to show it to you, request a calibration from the police department prior to your initial plead court date.

Next, have your speedometer calibrated, 9 out of 10 times a speedometer is never truely "accurate", in turn you will get a mileage adjustment and can take that as another form of "proving" your car was misleading you to believe you were going slower than you actually were. This is usually 30-60 dollars depending on the shop you go to.

I know this is a lot, but bringing evidence in like this also increases your respect level to a judge to show that you went through effort to try and prove you are indeed innocent. Judges arn't stupid, and a "crap" case where some Schmoe gets a ticket, goes in and says he's innocent with no proof gets nailed almost every time, because thats a pure sign of the cops word versus the drivers word, and the cop will always win. So back up what you've gotta say.

Always re-visit the location of your tickets, check for differences in speed in directions. In other words if you have a road that goes south and north, if the north direction is 35mph and the south is 40mph you can battle with the differences in speed, and claim you are used to travelling the other direction and often get confused at the speed limit due to the difference. (Don't laugh, I actually had this happen to me, and won due to a difference in speeds on both sides of the streets in different directions). Then request that the city fix the speed limits to match.. and of course don't ever speed there again ;P

The next thing you want to do is get the EXACT penal code explanation of your violation. Look it up, its available online for almost every state in the US. Read it VERY carefully and look for errors between what the officer cited you for and what the actual code says.

Many times, minor errors in wording can lead to you being let free. I got off on one ticket due to the wording using references to streets, yet I was travelling on a highway. Instantly got off due to being cited for the wrong penal code for the violation.

The key to beating a good solid speeding ticket is knowing the case, being better at the facts than the officer. Take note of weather conditions, your surroundings, people, cars, if there was traffic, what lane you were travelling in etc etc... attention to detail is good.

If you can remember word for word what the officer said, write it down so you have it. Its not a big deal, but its important in case he slips and says something different in the court house. You can inform the judge nicely that the words the officer used were as follows, and not what the officer just stated... and the reason you remember is because you wrote it down for whatever reason you want to come up with.

Also, if there are any "illegal" items on your car, ie: exhaust, no front license plate, tinted windows etc etc ... be prepared to have them removed. Bring pictures of your "clean" vehicle so that if the cop tries to pull some BS about how he was being "nice" and just writting you for speeding and letting your "other" violations go, you can prove you have no other violations and that what he just said was "made up" to make your case look worse.

If you have 2 cars, don't drive the one you were cited for to the court apperance. If the judge requests to see the car, you can say "I have my wifes car today" or whatever you want to say to state you don't have the car you were cited in. This is also important in case the judge wants to see the car himself, it buys you time to get whatever he wants to see "fixed". (Although Ive never seen this happen, its good to be safe).

Don't EVER get cocky or rude, talk calmly and present your case with facts... you'll have a much better response from a judge this way.

Hopefully some of this helps, if you need anymore help, Ill do my best to provide answers... everything Ive stated here is from 19 tickets of experience (Note: Only 1 is on my record.. which I indeed deserved).

Just remember the officer and judge are people just like you... if you treat them as such you get better results.

Also, never admit guilt, or appologize for your actions. Appologies are assumed to be a form of forgiveness when you are guilty. So be careful.

If you choose to appologize make sure its at a point where you know you're going to lose and you are doing it to sound sincere, and pleading for a "softer" penalty.

Hope this helps...

-BZ
God of tickets, King of freedom...
 
If the officer already reduced the points from 4 to 2 then most likely the judge will reduce it to 1. If you arn't inconvenienced by the fine then ask the judge to reduce the speeding ticket to a parking ticket while keeping the fine the same or increasing it. Of course, don't suggest the fine increase right off the bat. Worked on my last ticket 2 months ago in MD. 81 in 55 (officer reduced to 74) went to court and asked the judge to wipe off the points. Ended up paying 20 dollars more but no points.
 
Speaking of bad luck with speeding tickets... I got a ticket going 72 in a 55 and two days later, the speed limit was changed to 65, and bout 2 month later (in a rental car, someone rear-ended me) I got a ticket going 51 in a 35,well, there was a speed limit sign of 45mph just 100 ft in front of where I was "lasered", it is like one of those places where 35 and 45 over lap like on one side it would be 35 and soon to be 45, and directly next lane (going opposite directions) was 45 soon to be 35... *sigh*
frown.gif
 
BTW I already took the defensive driving class for my first speeding of the year, and with that year I got my second speeding ticket(see post above) so I'm not eligible for the defensive driving class to clear my record, is there anyway to clear that speeding ticket record???
 
All the advice from the west coast is good in general, but a lot of the specifics really do not apply in this part of the country.

If for some reason his attorney can't negotiate the points for fines pre-trial, THEN I would start to worry about all the other stuff.
 
if your driving record is good, you can go in, plead guilty, and request that the court grant you court supervision, with the understanding that the ticket will be dismissed from the record if you have no further offenses in the next 12 months. you still pay for the offense, but it wont go on your record if youre a good boy...
 
Again you can REQUEST that in VA/DC but there is NO guarantee the judge will grant it. The best bet to avoid points around here is to negotiate them for fines pre-trial. If the court does grant it, usually you have to spend an entire Saturday and an additional $50+ at driving school. Simply putting you on unofficial probation is rare here.

[This message has been edited by Lud (edited 06 March 2002).]
 
Originally posted by BoneZ:
If anyone knows tickets well... its probably me. ...

First: Always go to court...

Second: Lawyers are a waste in most cases...

Perhaps all true in your neck of the woods, but 100% false around here. With extremely rare exception, a lawyer who makes a living at this will get it reduced to a non-points violation if your past record is good. They deal with the prosecutor before proceedings begin. It's all a game, but it’s best to have a lawyer to play it. The Judges here can't cut you that kind of slack, but will suggest that you discuss it with the prosecutor before entering a plea. You can do it yourself, but for lawyers known by the court it's just a formality.
 
Originally posted by BoneZ:
Second: Lawyers are a waste in most cases.. you'll spend more money on a lawyer that "might" get you off, when the worst that will happen if you lose in most states is it stays on your record for 3 years plus a minor insurance price increase, usually between 4 and 10 percent depending on who your carrier is. The only time you would want to get a lawyer is if you have multiple offenses and you are at risk of losing your license if you take anymore points, at this time the investment of driving is worth the extra money.

Around the Seattle area, many of us use the same lawyer for all of our traffic violations. We pay a flat fee of $300 and we don't even have to show up to court. The lawyer takes care of the rest. Unless it's a reckless or neglient driving ticket or some unusual circumstances, the lawyer always gets the tickets dropped. Considering the increase in premimum in insurance for the next few years(if you lose), the $$ lost in taking time off to go to traffic court & hours you spend researching, it's $300 very well spent. Even if it costed more than $300, I would rather have my money go to a lawyer than to either the state or to the insurance companies.

Next: If its a radar ticket, ALWAYS request to see the radar gun when you get pulled over, if they refuse to show it to you, request a calibration from the police department prior to your initial plead court date.

That statement may have worked in the past at some point, but so many people have used it that it would probably work against you if you used that when you got pulled over. Any chance of you getting a warning instead of actually getting a ticket is history. It's like asking the officer to proove that he's qualified to do his job no matter how nicely you ask him.

Next, have your speedometer calibrated, 9 out of 10 times a speedometer is never truely "accurate", in turn you will get a mileage adjustment... This is usually 30-60 dollars depending on the shop you go to

Car & Driver(April 2002) just recently did an article testing the speedometer of the "Big Three" automakers of different brands and this is what they found(only listing the makers with worst accuracy). Testing was for 70mph accuracy:
American: Ford 72.12mph
Japanese: Nissan/Infiniti 71.60mph
European: BMW 73.18mph

Honda/Acura actually was only off by 1.33mph(at 71.33mph), so unless you were ticketed for going 3-4mph over the speed limit(which is very rare in most cases), you're just wasting $30-$60 and not to mention the money you lose for taking time off from work.


[This message has been edited by johndoh (edited 06 March 2002).]
 
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