What to Say in Court for a Speeding Ticket

traffic offender
03rd Oct,2023

If you are planning to take your speeding ticket to court, it’s crucial to be fully prepared with what to do and what to say. Those who go to court without knowing what to say usually end up having to pay for their ticket, therefore wasting time and money.

To help you avoid this plight, we created this guide of everything you need to know in order to get a favourable outcome in court.

Honesty is the Best Policy

It is always a good idea for you to be honest when going in front of a judge about your speeding ticket. Lying can get you in a lot of trouble, and it would be more difficult for you to provide details and evidence to reinforce your lie. It’s simply too easy to get caught in a lie, so we don’t recommend this. On the other hand, being honest can go a long way in helping you get out of a ticket or at least have it reduced. You can also seek the help of a lawyer for your speeding ticket.

Keep a Cool Head

Whatever you decide to say in court when contesting a speeding ticket, remember to keep calm. The last thing you want to do is lose control of your emotions in front of the judge. You need to stay cool and collected at all times while in court. This will help you articulate yourself as clearly as possible, which can do a lot of good in communicating your defense.

For other types of courtroom etiquette, everything’s listed here.


Not Guilty

If you are asked to enter a plea when going to court over a ticket, you should always say “not guilty”. Admitting guilt automatically means that you will have to pay the full cost of the ticket and get points on your license. Make sure that you keep this in mind throughout the entire process, as it can be overwhelming at times.

Often time when you plead not guilty, you will have to wait or reschedule the court hearing. This is your best chance and gives you time to review your evidence. Most of the time you can have the court hearing the same day which is what we recommend.

Most likely than not the office that gave you the ticket will not be in court. If this is the case it is very easy for you to win because there won’t be a witness to argue against you. If the officer is there then you will have to explain and argue your case.

Explain in Detail

When you are explaining the situation that led to your speeding ticket, you need to be as detailed as possible. The more detailed you are in your explanation, the more likely you are to be taken seriously. If the judge gets the sense that you are being purposely vague, you’ll probably be stuck with the ticket and all of the consequences that come with it.

Mention the Weather

If the weather was totally clear when you were issued the ticket, you might want to mention that. This will tell the judge that you weren’t speeding in dangerous weather conditions. While you shouldn’t use it a justification for speeding, bringing it up can potentially help your case. Just say that the road was completely dry and the conditions were clear. This is almost always the case in places like California

It was Less Than 5 Mph Over

A lot of speeding tickets get thrown out if it’s established that the driver wasn’t going more than a few mph over the speed limit. If this truly is the case, there’s a high chance that you can get the ticket dismissed completely. It’s very rare for any speeding ticket to hold up in court if the driver was only going three or four miles per hour over the posted limit.

There was an Absence of Traffic

Something else that you might want to consider saying is that there weren’t any other cars around at the time. If you were caught speeding in the middle of the night on an empty road, the judge may take that into consideration because you weren’t posing threats to traffic or pedestrians.

Use Your Clean Record to Your Advantage

If this speeding ticket is your first infraction, you’ll definitely want to bring that up in court. Many courts are willing to waive speeding tickets for first-time offenders. Just be certain that your record really is clean before you try this argument in court. If you’re not sure that your driving record is pristine, you can see here how long a speeding ticket stays on your record:

It can also help if you haven’t gotten a ticket in a very long time. Overall, a clean driving record can be your best defense in a courtroom.

traffic offender

No Posted Speed Limit Signs

There are large stretches of road in many places, especially along the freeways, where there aren’t any speed limit signs. If you were pulled over in such an area, you should bring it up in court. While ignorance of the law is not a valid defense, this can still help you get out of your speeding ticket. A judge might have mercy on you if he feels as though you genuinely didn’t know the speed limit on the stretch of road you were traveling.


When you go to court to fight your speeding ticket, you will need to be well-prepared. Know if you were fined fairly by checking a speeding ticket calculator.

You can also learn more tips on fighting your ticket here: aside from learning what to say in court.

But if you want to avoid going to court, try getting your speeding ticket dismissed here. You need to rehearse what you are going to say beforehand just in case. This will make it easier to express yourself clearly and concisely on the actual day. 

William Johnson

William Johnson is the owner and founder of RatedRadarDetector.org. He writes about car accessories, with his passion stemming from a deep enthusiasm for all things automotive. His website, RRD, focuses on in-depth reviews of car accessories to help people find the best and latest products in the market.