General Question

shockvalue's avatar

How to get out of a speeding ticket?

Asked by shockvalue (5800points) June 23rd, 2008

I plan to contest it, any advice on what to say?

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41 Answers

shockvalue's avatar

Oh, details:

I was going 39 in a 25 zone; there were two cars in front and two cars behind me, all traveling the same speed. If I had been going 25mph I would have been impeding traffic.

robmandu's avatar

What’s your history? Do you have any tickets in say, the last 3–5 years?

shockvalue's avatar

nope, clean record.

robmandu's avatar

You’re in luck!

In my experience, there will be mechanisms in place to help minimize impact to you. The judicial system won’t be out to get you. Of course, it all varies by state and jurisdiction.

Chances are you can effect some sort of plea bargain. Does the ticket you were given explain what your options are in going to court? Like how to mail in payment? Or when to go to court? That kind of thing?

Could you transcribe a brief description of each option here?

shockvalue's avatar

yar. I actually got the ticket in February, and I just went in today to contest the ticket. Now I have a court date in August, but that’s all I know.

Also, I live in California

trudacia's avatar

They won’t care about the other cars or any other excuses. Tickets are basically about the town/state getting your money! Plea bargain will work with a clean record. You’ll likely have to pay a fine but you won’t get points.

Sometimes it’s worth it to get a lawyer. In NJ a lawyer will charge appox. $500 to show up in court but you’re pretty much guaranteed no points, which is what I’d be worried about. Insurance rates go up sky high….

pattyb's avatar

Keep cancelling the court date, at least as many times as they let you ( adjournments) hopefully the officer that issued the ticket won’t show up, then the summons will be dismissed. If they do show, you should be able to plea to a lesser infraction, like not wearing a seat belt. However all depends on the officers attitude and mood. Hopefully you were not a hot head when the ticket was given, or gave any reason for the officer to remember you by.

playthebanjo's avatar

By your own admission you were speeding. I would leave that part out of your statement to the court.

babygalll's avatar

Where in California do you live?

vectorul's avatar

Depending on the Judge, when you plead no-contest to a minor traffic violation you will be ordered to pay the fine and court cost while occuring no points.
The issuing Officer does not have to show up in court for a speeding ticket. Speeding is a administrative violation not criminal.

reed's avatar

Given the facts as you state, you really don’t stand much of a chance in court. You were speeding and just weren’t as lucky as the other drivers who were apparently speeding as well. Your only prayer, assuming that the other cars were relatively close to you, is to argue that the radar picked up one of the other cars and not you, but even this may not be successful. I tried this argument, in a California court, and I truly was NOT speeding, the judge didn’t buy it but did reduce the fine. Since you are in California, you should consider going the traffic school route, it will save you the points and potentially higher insurance.

PupnTaco's avatar

Doesn’t sound like you have much of a case for a dismissal. It’s just dumb luck you were picked, not one of the others. “Everyone else was doing it” is never an excuse. :)

shockvalue's avatar

Hmm okay, I live in the bay area (east bay). Is there no way I can say that traveling at 25 would have impeded the flow of traffic?

robmandu's avatar

No, there’s not.

Your goal at this point is to minimize financial impact. The fine is trivial compared to potential insurance rate adjustment. What you want to do is get the charge reduced (typically via plea bargain) such that the fine is minimal, but more importantly, there will be no impact at all to insurance.

For a first offense, this is very do-able. As I said, the court system will work with you on that. We just need to know your available options.

PupnTaco's avatar

Look up the CA Vehicle Code section on “impeding traffic.” You’ll see it’s not as simple as what you think.

Xpress411's avatar

Tell the cop your wife ran off with a police officer and you thought he was bringing her back.

shockvalue's avatar

… yeah tried that one. Now look where I am :P

shockvalue's avatar

“If a vehicle is being driven at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time, and is not being driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, it shall constitute prima facie evidence that the driver is operating the vehicle in violation of subdivision (a) of this section.”

…So if I had been going 25, could not they have cited me for this?

jlm11f's avatar

i think that rule applies to highways since it mentions the “right hand lane” and isn’t valid to your situation. my opinion is, you got caught, sucks. now its all about damage control like the others said. you should just try to reduce the amount of money you have to pay (and avoid getting insurance involved) instead of trying to “get out of a speeding ticket”.

robmandu's avatar

@shock, are you a lawyer/solicitor?

No? Then you really don’t want to go down that path. If you want to fight it on legal merits or challenge the statute, then hire yourself a real legal eagle.

trudacia's avatar

seriously, forget the excuses. You’re only going to piss off the judge. Bottom line is you were speeding. That’s all they care about. Remember it’s not personal..right or wrong you’re not getting a judges sympathy. Cop a plea and be done with it.

shockvalue's avatar

Haha, okay. well I guess it’s settled then. Does anyone know what I should say to a judge in order to have the fine reduced? Or is there no hope of that either?

Kay's avatar

Probably an apology and your clean driving record will work the best for you at this point in court. I wouldn’t stress out too much, but you’ll probably end up paying some sort of fine in the end.

trudacia's avatar

If you have the cash for a lawyer that’s your best bet. But I think you can talk to the DA before court begins. They will work out a deal with you but it’s not guaranteed.

syz's avatar

In North Carolina, if you have a clean record, you can ask for “prayer for judgment”. That means that they put the ticket on hold – if you do not receive another ticket for three years, it is dismissed. If, however, you do get another ticket, you are responsible not only for the new ticket, but also for the original ticket.

playthebanjo's avatar

doesn’t that violate a separation of church and state?

robmandu's avatar

@syz, you’re allowed one PJC every three years in N.C. It doesn’t take three years to get the original citation dismissed. Texas offers a similar option but they don’t call it that. The procedure is spelled out on the ticket form itself.

SpeedingTicketCentral has an interesting FAQ.

BirdlegLeft's avatar

I might be in the minority, but I say pay it. If you were speeding you were speeding. Don’t blame or worry about the other drivers who were in front or behind you. Seems kind of wasteful to trouble the California court system for something you were actually guilty of.

Seesul's avatar

You might want to check this out. It pretty much spells it out from the horse’s mouth.

What happened to you was like duck hunting. You were just the unlucky duck. The impeding law refers to moving over if you have a right lane to move over to. It doesn’t give you the permission to speed up, though that might seem the logical thing to do at times. In CA, what you should be most concerned about are points on your license, which go hand in hand with speeding tickets. They can raise insurance, etc., more and cost you more over the years than getting a lawyer and gambling on reducing it. Even if an atty, lowers the fine, the point will still be there.

Your best bet is to go to take the class route (however, you may have already passed that up by requesting a hearing). I have only had one ticket in more years of driving than some people here have been alive, (for getting stuck in a carpool lane and not being able to get out. I had a blind spot in the car and couldn’t get over to the left safely) but took the class and the majority of the people there were there for speeding tickets like yours. The instructor started the class by going around the room and asking people how and where they got their tickets. I learned every speed trap in the
county. Worth what I paid for for the class. Most of them were just after a downhill grade or through towns where the speed limit changed often. I payed a lot more attention to my speed after that.

Zaku's avatar

You can often get fines reduced by showing up and being polite and explaining the circumstances. But that won’t beat the ticket.

What will beat the ticket is contesting the charge and requesting the officer appear and showing up when he doesn’t. You could go spend an hour in the courtroom during traffic session and notice the percentage of contested cases of your severity level where the officer shows up. I was in court in my (urban) area waiting for my case once and NO officer ever showed up for a simple contested not-really-dangerous speeding ticket. Case dismissed. No doubt it varies by jurisdiction though, and you can always get unlucky.

margeryred's avatar

Ask when the last time the radar unit was calibrated… they aren’t calibrated as much as they should be especially in bigger cities.

If it’s laser your screwed!

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

The DA will pull you aside at some point after you make your plea. At that point if he’s going to offer you a bargain, he will do it. Since you have no record, you will likely get a bargain for no points on your license so long as you agree to pay some fine.

Take that deal, as most have said, you will not get out of this ticket. It sucks since everyone was going the same speed, but it won’t matter. Best of luck to you!

JackAdams's avatar

Assassination is always an option.

marcosthecuban's avatar

First thing to do is to use humor with the cop:

“i heard that you were checking speed in this area so i got here as fast as i could” OR

“Last week my wife ran off with a cop,” the man said, “and I was afraid you were trying to give her back!”

OR check this:

XOIIO's avatar

I’ll tell you how to never get a speeding ticket. Come a little closer..closer…

OK, what you do is…


gussnarp's avatar

Doesn’t all this seem like a terrible waste of the State’s (i.e. your) money? I’ve never even considered going to court for a traffic ticket. Seems to me that forgiveness on points should perhaps be automatic on first tickets for minor offenses and plea bargains should be pretty much non-existent on traffic violations. Anything to keep people from wasting tax dollars in a courtroom trying to get out of tickets that they earned.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

If you were speeding… just pay it! Courts area already too jammed up to waste their time and yours fighting something just to fight it.

If you think you were unfairly stopped, go to court and explain why you don’t think you were speeding…

Good luck.

blu330ciracer's avatar

I recently just read a good article that had some good tips that could help you get sympathy from the traffic court judge. Sometimes you can plead for an alternative punishment, or sound like a good person that just needs a little help. My sister recently just got a speeding ticket dismissed but the judge issued her traffic probation as an alternative.

This is the article I found that had the helpful tips for traffic court:

plethora's avatar

Hire an attorney. But first check this
I was stopped twice in a seven day period in Alabama on interstates. I figured I had best not handle the situation alone, so started googling “traffic ticket attorneys”. Seems that there is a law firm in Birmingham that does nothing but traffic tickets and DUI’s. They know every judge and prosecutor in every county in the state. It was simply a matter of a few phone calls for them. I paid an amount equal to fines plus “court costs” and $1,000 to the law firm. The were very good and very pleasant. It was then that I realized that it is all about money, and it is a very very big business.

Oh yeah, and defensive driving courses for each one to keep them off my record.

kritiper's avatar

Be honest. Tell the truth. Address the judge properly with respect to his/her court.

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