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rojo's avatar

Will I win this court case? Details inside.

Asked by rojo (24159points) August 28th, 2015

This is the basis of the justification/argument I will attempt to introduce in the court.

Yes your honor, I was probably going 63 mph when the office ticketed me for speeding in what he said was a 50 mph zone but I could see the 70 mph sign up ahead and I was just trying to get my speed up so that I would be going 70 when I reached the sign.
But, your honor, I do not think the ticket is justified. If it was the opposite way and I was approaching a 50 mph sign in a 70 mph zone I would be expected to reduce my speed so that when I reached the sign I was going 50.

What do you think? Can I win? Can you provide other examples or ideas on how I should word it?

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32 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You are admitting you were exceeding the speed limit before it became effective. You cannot exceed the posted speed limit until you are past the sign that permits a higher limit. There is no obligation to be traveling at 70 (or even 55 or 60) when you get to that zone.

I think you will lose.

rojo's avatar

But you have to be going 50 the other way. I can get ticketed if I pass the 50 sign going 70 and then begin to slow down. just playing devils advocate

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I got nailed for 70kph in a 50kph zone,that I thought was 70 and I asked the officer where then does it go to 70kph? he said if you look in your right mirror it is half way down your trailers, and he still gave me the ticket.

kritiper's avatar

Nope, no chance. The higher speed limit begins at the sign. It’s like a driver speeding up before leaving a school zone. I saw a cop telling a driver about it and pointing to the flashing light marking the end of the zone.

josie's avatar

The sign marks the zone. There is no reasonable standard that says you must or may accelerate to meet a faster zone “head on”.

There is however a reasonable standard that states that you may accelerate when you enter the fast zone. There is a reasonable standard that says that you must decelerate when you enter the slow zone.

You will lose.

Cruiser's avatar

If a conviction on this ticket will adversely affect your ability to keep your license and or insurance….I would hire a lawyer. If this your first diving violation I would appear before the judge and explain your initial impression that when the speed limit sign was in clear view you could accelerate. Then tell him that after you were issued the ticket you went home searched the internet and found the Rule of the Road that clearly states that you can only operate your vehicle up to the posted speed limit after passing that sign and that a speeding ticket is in order. Highlight your blemish free driving record and your new found knowledge of your violation and respectfully request that your violation be reduced to a warning. It’s the best you can do and don’t forget to bring your checkbook.

Darth_Algar's avatar

That argument sounds like a sure-fire way to lose your case.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Nope, you’re going to lose. It may be logical, but the 70mph zone starts at the sign, not 500 feet before the sign.

You’re better off pleading “this is my first offense”:

zenvelo's avatar

If you are in California, I suggest this interaction with the judge;

Judge: “Mr Rojo how do you plead?”

@rojo: “Traffic School please.”

Taking Traffic School mitigates the citation and keeps it off your insurance record.

2davidc8's avatar

I’m with everyone else on this one. When going from a 50 to a 70 zone, you must wait until you get to the 70 zone before accelerating to 70. But when going from 70 to 50, you sure can slow down to 50 well before reaching the 50 zone.
What @Cruiser said represents your best appeal for mercy, IMO.

jca's avatar

Judges don’t usually like wiseguys. Normally the way it works around here is they “bargain” with you before you go before the judge. In other words, you’ll be pleading guilty to a lesser charge like no seat belt or something.

Coloma's avatar

Doubtful. Judges have heard every cleaver argument and then some, but, just the facts. You were speeding BEFORE you hit the 70mph zone. Guilty, case closed. haha
You’d be better off arguing that you have increased your speed to pass someone and had yet to reduce it within the few seconds you were pulled over. Either way, a waste of time, don;t think your cheeky argument will win you any points. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

When my daughter was learning to drive she once asked, “Do I change speed (from 45 to 65) when I see the sign, or do I wait until I get to the sign?” She was wondering if she’d get a ticket.
I said, “Well, look at it the other way. Let’s say you’re doing 65 when you see the sign ahead that the speed is changing to 45. Would you expect to get a ticket for speeding just because you can see the sign?”
So whether or not you win will probably depend on whether the judge likes you or not. If you call him an asshole, you will probably not win the case!

Good luck.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Anyway, I think it’s a good, logical argument, and as long as it is provided good naturally, rather than defensively, you have a chance!

@Coloma The “passing someone” story would be a lie. The cop would have seen him do it.

Zaku's avatar

The burden of proof is on the officer, unless you admit it yourself. In many cases, if you contest the ticket and request the officer appear (when you sign and return the ticket) and he doesn’t, a speeding ticket will be automatically dismissed. Some officers in some courts won’t appear for a minor violation.

DoNotKnow's avatar

I don’t think you would win using this argument, and this is a good thing. It’s a bad argument. Really bad – the kind that might make someone sympathetic to you change their mind (I did). When I read that you were going 63 in a 50, I thought, “Well, that’s too bad. We all make mistakes. It can happen to any of us.”. But then, when you presented your argument, I realized that it wasn’t a mistake. It was intentional. And this made me realize that you very much deserve that ticket.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But what about the reverse argument? We start slowing down when we see a slower speed limit ahead so that we’re doing 45 by the time we get there. If you aren’t going 45 by that time, and even if you’re in the process of slowing down, you still get a ticket. Why shouldn’t the opposite be just as valid?

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III True, but not any more outrageous than his original ploy. haha

DoNotKnow's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “But what about the reverse argument? We start slowing down when we see a slower speed limit ahead so that we’re doing 45 by the time we get there. If you aren’t going 45 by that time, and even if you’re in the process of slowing down, you still get a ticket. Why shouldn’t the opposite be just as valid?”

Speed limit.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III There is NO obligation to be “up to speed” when entering the zone. There IS an obligation to drop to the lower speed when the limit is reduced.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know that, @zenvelo, but why? Why is there an obligation to be doing the speed limit one way, but not the other?

DoNotKnow's avatar



When the OP was in the 50 MPH zone, the fastest speed he is allowed to go is 50 MPH. When he enters that 70 MPH zone, the fastest speed he is allowed to go is 70 MPH.

You can stop reading. That’s all there is to it. But for fun…

When a driver is in the 50 MPH zone and enters a 70 MPH zone, 50 MPH is not an illegal speed. At this point, however, s/he can drive faster and work up to 70 MPH because this is the limit of this zone.

When a driver is in the 70 MPH zone and enters a 50 MPH zone, 70 MPH is illegal. So, in order to make sure the legal speed limit is respected, s/he will need to slow down while approaching the 70 MPH zone in order to obey the speed limit.

2davidc8's avatar

Another way to look at it:
@rojo Why don’t you try your argument and give it a shot? What have you got to lose?
Let us know how it turned out!

elbanditoroso's avatar

@2davidc8 – assuming that the jail has internet access.

majorrich's avatar

Alas, it does not look good for you. If you wish to pursue the argument go with a no-contest plea. But you will probably hear most of what is written above and still get the same fine. it’s been my experience, unfortunately, that although the fine may be less, when you add in court costs it costs more to go to court.

Dutchess_III's avatar

HE AINN’T GOIN’ TO JAIL @elbanditoroso!

Hey…I won a court case once. I was stopped for doing 29 in a 20. The cop acted like an idiot. My 9 year old son and I were the only ones in the car. The cop pulled up behind me at a stop light. When the light turned green, and just as I started to roll, the cop hit his sirens and lights. Scared the crap out of me.
I pulled around the next corner to get off Main. The cop pulls up behind me, gets out of his car, and sidles along the side of his car, and along mine, with his hand on his gun. I felt like fecking Bonnie and Clyde.
He demands to know where I’ve been. “I went to the Super Walmart in Cherryvale to get camping gear for my son. He’s going camping with his boy scout troop this weekend.”
“Oh yeah? What were you in such a hurry coming back for?”
“Because it’s Friday, I worked all day, then went to Cherryvale and I just wanna go home and relax.”
“Well, you do know that down town turns into a 20 mph zone for about five blocks.”
I said, “Nobody goes 20 mph there!”
“Well, we’re trying to change that.”
Anyway, he gave me a ticket. I presented my case to court, admitted to speeding, then told of the officers idiotic actions.
The judge dismissed the speeding ticket, but couldn’t dismiss the court costs. So, I won a little bit.

You can too. Just depends on what mood the judge is in.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@rojo Can you get a lawyer? That is your best defense, standing in front of the the Judge going “Dapa dapa dada” is not a defense. Some jurisdictions will “Nolle” the charge and plead a lesser charge OR the Prosecutor may have the ability to “Nolle” but you have to make a CASH donation to the United Way or Boy Scouts . . . .

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Tropical_Willie It would hardly be worth the financial cost of hiring a lawyer to get out of a simple speeding ticket.

jca's avatar

Where the lawyer comes in is not just getting the OP out of the ticket but the resulting increase in insurance rates for however many years they can be increased in the state he lives in. That will be well worth the cost of a lawyer.

@Zaku: Cops I know tell me they’re now paid to go to court, so that people who they give tickets to don’t get off because the cop didn’t come to court.

ibstubro's avatar

You don’t hire a lawyer, @Dutchess_III, you get a traffic court lawyer. At one time, around here, the difference between paying the fine and getting the points on your license was about $75. Well worth it for insurance/future security reasons.

A speed limit sign displays the maximum speed allowed.
Unless there is a posted minimum, there is no requirement for increasing your speed when the sign changes.
When the posted maximum speed reduces, you’re required to be at or below it at the time you pass the sign.

I know a woman that argued with a cop that “they could see the sign increasing the limit from here” and lost.
I know I was given a speeding ticket when the signage was down at a local 35–45 transition and when the signs went back up? I was legal. History and tradition automatic obedience of the law were no excuse.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My lawyer cost to defend for a speeding ticket conviction, would be worth the next six years of increase rates for insurance.

whitenoise's avatar

Why don’t you just accept that you were lucky to be stopped by a cop and to walk away from it without being shot?

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