How many times in your driving life have you violated the speed limit? To be honest, that happens very often, especially when life circumstances make us speed up to reach the destination at the desired time. If you are a ’speeder’ and this is your constant behavior, then this text is not for you. Above all, obeying the traffic rules is, without discussion, life-saving!
However, we might assume that you are driving by the rules, but sometimes, you might happen to go over the speed limit and get caught. This text is a step-by-step guide on how to fight a speeding ticket, get out of paying it, and survive the consequences. For first-timers, we have a more detailed guide for you.
For starters, as a driver, you are familiar with speeding laws in your state, as well as the speeding limits. Even a small violation, of a few kilometers over, will bring upon the penalty and the following lines will be the best advice any driver ever received.
The question is, how to fight a speeding ticket? How would you be able to pull it off?
The first rule – avoid any speeding ticket, buy a radar detector
If you are familiar with radar detectors or this is the first time you hear about it, this small device can make your life safer. Before you decide to buy a radar detector, check out the law regulations in your state, since some states have this device listed as illegal. If that is not your state, then you are in the clear and you might never get caught for speeding. For the rest, if radar detectors are illegal, let’s face the scenario of getting a speeding ticket and fighting it.
Blue lights and a familiar sound? There is a ticket on the way, so let’s prepare for the first round – meeting the officer
Watch out for your behavior. When the police car approaches, make sure to stay calm and pull over right away. Use the hazard lights to stop and don’t wait for too long in that procedure. When an officer approaches, be polite and speak in a normal tone. When the officer requests for your license and registration, make sure to first note where those are and ask for permission to take them. No matter what happens during the conversation, remain still and don’t argue.
The first question the officer will ask you is if you know how fast you were going. Saying that you do is admitting the guilt, so the best solution is to answer that you are not familiar or not sure. Don’t compare the speed limit and the speed you were driving. Make sure that none of your answers show any admission of guilt, otherwise the court case will be difficult to get.
Give only legally required information to the officer
Even in the hands of law, information can be miss-used and that is why you must be familiar with which type of information you can share and which you can remain silent about. The right to remain silent always works, however, you are allowed to show you personal ID and tell your name and surname. furthermore, in this case, you are advised to remain silent.
Make a detailed ’crime scene’ description
While your memory about the pulling over is still fresh, make sure to write a detailed description of what was happening. Write down the officers name, the license, the location of the alleged violation. Think about the traffic conditions, current weather and if something of the scenery is important for the outcome. If there were passengers, before the pullover they should be advised to remain silent during the talk with the police officer and after the meeting, they are essential witnesses on the court. A detailed description will help you keep your memory fresh in the case of trial and make sure to show legitimate and detailed information.
Sign the citation
After your statement, the police officer will ask you to sign the taken notes. The citation is no admission of guilt, it’s the acknowledgment that you received it and it’s leading to a speeding ticket. Many people refuse to do so in this cases since they are frightened of possible consequences, but it’s standard procedure and if you refuse it can result in a negative experience that the officer will have, which is not helpful in your defense.
Get to know your rights
After the pullover and a citation, it’s very important to visit the local department of traffic and make sure to get familiar with the law in detail and the procedures of getting and paying for a speeding ticket. This might open new horizons since we tend to miss some processes and part of procedures and they can become useful to our defense. We can never know if we are not familiar with something or if we are missing something, so going back to driving school and law regulations will resolve that issue.
Reach out to the officer before the court
If you obeyed the above-listed procedures the possibility that the impression the officer has about you is very nice and you can use that to softner him before the trial. On the other hand, if you were not offensive during the talk with the officer, it might result in the officer’s not appearing in court since he or she most likely won’t remember any specifics, nor will they search for justice.
Try to find a loophole – was it all by the rules?
There are a lot of procedures that officers should follow to have a clean case. In those procedures there is your defense. One of the most common tricky situations is police radar calibration or the angle of deflection of the radar gun, which if you prove that the radar might miss your speed, you are going straight home without any penalties. Try to get the list of the procedures the officer must obey with and compare those with your scene description. Found something that does not match? There is your solution. If you live in New York, you might want to read more about speeding laws there: https://www.ratedradardetector.org/ticket/speeding/new-york/.
This is your first ticket? Pull the records
If you have a perfect driving record with no tickets, that can be your best defense. Before going to trial, pull out the records and use them as evidence number one, since the negligent speeding might be forgotten and you can end up with a dismissed ticket.
Hire an attorney
When you consider that the trial challenge is way over your possibilities, the best option is to hire experienced traffic attorney and leave your case to the professionals. However, make sure, to be honest with your attorney and as detailed as possible, since your defense will depend on that. The traffic attorneys are experienced with options in defending the ticket and because only 5% of the people fight their ticket, but usually, have their case dismissed or get reduced charges.
Choose to go to traffic school or negotiate the penalty
While in a trial, any option that shows regret or it’s a substitution to a paying a fine it’s welcome. Going to driving school again seems like a legitimate option, and your money will remain in your pocket and no penalty points will bug you in the future. In this case you need to pay a fine, make sure to offer an option of lower rates since asking is never a bad choice. Or go straight to paying your fine at Pay.gov (link) if you don’t want to go through the hassle. But if you’re keen on not paying, see what happens if you don’t pay a speeding ticket.
Options for defense
Sometimes the most creative excuses to say in your defense are the ones that can work. Think this way. The court members and police officers that caught you for speeding and most likely in 99% of the cases also the drivers. So, they have been in some of the similar situations in traffic that caused the speeding and on the psychological side, this can make them recall some of the personal experiences and understand your position. That way, you can have compassion and your ticket can be significantly smaller. (More helpful tips for court appearance: https://www.ratedradardetector.org/ticket/speeding/say-in-court/)
Here are some of the possible excuses you might use in your defense:
I had to urinate
The physiological needs are unconsciously making us act in a certain way and after the need is contented, the behavior can be analyzed. We’ve all been in this situation!
I had a stomach issue
Any sudden illness during the driving is unsafe and we usually tend to make a home as fast as possible.
Driving down a hill
Yes, we all know how the car speeds up down a hill and if this happens to you, this is a good way to make a logical explanation if the radar memorized the speed at the very moment.
Getting away from an unsafe driver
This is a very common situation in everyday traffic, facing a driver who doesn’t have control over the car is making us either move or run away.
I didn’t realize I was going that fast
In regular traffic, without traffic jams, we might press our gas pedal more than usual and without checking the speedometer, so a speed limit violation can occur. Make sure to check the rules above and never admit that you were speeding.
In the end, we hope that you never have to deal with a speeding ticket in your driving life, however, the mentioned hacks are useful to any driver and we all understand what that means. Do you have any additional idea of how to beat a speeding ticket? Write it in the comments.