T Nation

Fighting a Speeding Ticket


#1

Damn cop pulled me over tonight for allegedly doing 66 in a 55. The big thing is when he turned his lights on I had just crossed into the 65 mph zone. Then he tell me he could have got me for 65 in a 50.... the 50mph zone was in front of where my car was stopped at on the side of the road. I am going to fight this one all the way. Any ideas on what can help my case? Things you have done in the past?


#2

Honestly, were you doing 65 when you were in the 55 zone?


#3

Well, if you dont want to pay the ticket maybe you could do a defensive driving class. If that is possible where you are at. If thats not an option then I dont know what to tell you. If you were going 66 before the 65 mph zone sign then yes he can pull you over for that and write you a citation. Now it usually depends on how far in front of the zone you are when clocked. If you were pretty close to the zone and he pulled you over, he was just probably tired of sitting around and doing nothing. Or he was just a dick. Each cop is different.

If you were as close to the zone as you say, I wouldnt have stopped you. But, then again thats me. But, yes he can do that. Sorry if thats not what you want to hear.

Goku


#4

Yes. In the past when I have been speeding I paid the ticket.


#5

You'll lose if you fight it. Bottom line it's your word against his and the judge will not give you the benefit of the doubt.

Why don't you try pleading guilty in exchange for not getting any points on your liscence. A lot of states will do that if you approach the prosecutor prior to the hearing. Just don't ask him in front of the the court ( all of the other people waitng for trial). That way you pay your fine, get no points and no increase in insurance. My two cents.


#6

It does sounds like your pinched. In the end, as the other post said, it's your word against his..and that is a losing battle. Plead guilty, get court supervision and take the defensive driving course. Hey, at least you weren't caught in a "construction zone"! that cost me over $600 this fall.


#7

Here in Minnesota, I was in the same situation. The trooper must've been new or something and didn't know the area. He said I was doing 59 in a 40 when I was doing 59 in a 60. I was really p1ssed, but couldn't really try and prove my case. I had pictures of the area, where I got pulled over and I believe I could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I wasn't speeding, yet, I would have to go to court AGAIN and miss another day of work (not worth it).

I went to court (only one time)and before going in front of the judge, you go and talk to a prosecuting attorney. I told him that I will plead guilty to a "nusiance on the highway charge". A buddy of mine told me to do this who was training to be a cop. I guess it doesn't count as a moving violation. Even though the fine was about the same ($60 fine plus $60 court cost or whatever else there was), my insurance never went up.

Good luck to you and your case :slightly_smiling:


#8

Was it with radar or laser? With laser, they only have to bring to court the certification of calibration at time of manufacture. Not too difficult.

With radar, they need to bring evidence of testing the gun with tuning forks within the past six months, as well as the daily testing log book. They usually bring the daily book, but often forget or never knew about the tuning forks tests.

I've won a radar case, and made both the cop and prosecutor look like incompetant idiots, before a judge in formal hearing. I did that when I was 23 years old, with no legal background. It was fun.

Here's all the information you need:
http://www.tipmra.com/


#9

I'd lead with a jab, and then go for a straight right or uppercut, those speeding tickets are pretty tough though.


#10

Where and when you got the ticket is very important! For example, a Friday night ticket might mean a cop searching for people who are DWI or something. The speeding is just an excuse to stop you. Or he might be filling his unwritten "ticket quota."

In big city like Houston, the cop is unlikely to show in court unless you pissed him off or something. No cop. Case dismissed.

If he is there, try to talk with the prosecutor before your case is called and see if he will let you change to taking defensive driving. Or check judge trial when sending your ticket in and if you see the cop in court ask for a jury trial. This will give you time to prepare a defense. You don't need to give a reason.

I can't imagine most cops want to spend a few hours a day hanging out in traffic court. Yawn, boring.

If your in a small town, your odds of beating a ticket in court are slim to none.

I saw a guy before me win a case once where the ticket was running a red light. He actually timed the light turning from yellow to red. Looked up the law and found the yellow light was too short. The judge threw out the ticket. So it is possible to win.


#11

Hey kids, this would be a time to put those camera phones to good use.


#12

Go to amazon.com. There are a few books out there on this topic.


#13

Don't ask for a jury trial - you'll lose. Do a formal hearing instead, and it will still give you the time to prepare.

The key is to have your ticket thrown out on a technicality, and not get mixed up in the facts of what happened.

For real, use the Tipmra.com website. It's better than the best book you'll find on Amazon (which, btw, is "Traffic Ticket Defense" by Sutherland). Good luck!


#14

It would seem to me that the 65 mph limit starts at where the sign is, not when you see it. If you were going 65 before you crossed the (imaginary) line where the sign was, you were going 65 in a 55 mph zone.

Also, ask to see the radar next time you get pulled over and get a radar detector for future use.


#15

fuck...a speeking ticket is no big deal...I've been pulled over at least 15 times that I can recall...I've been let go with no ticket about half those times. Knock on wood, that seems to have been in my younger days and I haven't been pulled over in about 5 years now...

Just plead no contest, get a deferred sentence for 6 months to a year and call it good. What's all the fuss about trying to "beat" it?


#16

A couple things:

1) Agreed. If you were speeding, man up and pay the ticket.

2) Cops, believe it or not, are not required to show you the radar reading. Besides, what's to stop the officer from locking in another speeder on the radar, then just saving that old reading and showing it to the next person he stops?

To another poster's point, the cop is not required to bring all radar certification to the initial appearance. However, once there, you can present your argument and allege that the radar had not been properly calibrated. I suppose, at that point, the judge could set another date for you both to return, with the officer brining the appropriate paperwork.


#17

1) If you go to court. Ask for a continuation. Chances are that either if you go to court, a)the police officer will not be there, or b)when you ask for a continuation, he may be off and he wont be supena'd to court unless its a felony charge, which this is obviously not.

2) Every officer has to be certified in radar every so often. Ask to see his certification papers.

3) Every officer is REQUIRED to keep tuning forks in his vehicle and at the beginning and end of every shift make sure that they're radar is functioning correctly. This HAS to be documented.

4) If all else fails, dont argue. Admit that you were wrong and pay the ticket. At least then if he saw you out next time, he wouldn't try to write you for every violation in the book.

5) Either way you are going to be paying the same amount (in AL), whether you go to court or not. So, fight it, goodluck

6)Ask for driving school, although this may not be your first offense, maybe they'll show some leaniancy due to the circumstances.


#18

During spring break of my freshman year of college, I got pulled over for doing 93 in a 65. I was in Oregon at the time, but was living in Washington. I wrote a letter to the judge (with a check for the ticket) and told him that I would be willing to take a defensive driving course and pay the ticket if he would wipe it off my record. He agreed. I took the course (which sucked ass, but was worth it). A couple months later I got a check in the mail from the county where the ticket was issued. They refunded the cost of the ticket. So it might be worth telling the judge you were wrong for speeding and let him know that you want to make a deal. It worked for me.


#19

You're right, at least, that this is what the prosecution will argue. The judge may even say that you should have subpoened those records in advance.

But by presenting the case law, and most every state has this, suddenly they ARE required to present calibration records. And since the prosecution has equal access to the case law (remember, you are a layman, and they do traffic cases for a living) the court should not grant the prosecution any mercy. The evidence against you (the radar reading) is in fact the prosecution's evidence, and they are required to substantiate it - not you. Broadcast this point well.

Here is a sample:
http://www.tipmra.com/sample/tipmra_sample.htm

This can all be a lot of fun, if you let it. I lost my first trial by tipmra, because I was too emotionally involved - in my own case - couldn't think clearly, and got real angry at the judge who looked down on me as immoral scum. The second time I went for a lark, and even though I pissed off the judge by not following procedure - I objected several times to the cop's testimony (on basis of hearsay) - he got himself in on the joke, and I believe had some real fun with me in pointing out the prosecution's incompetance, and finding me not responsible.

Maybe you'll get lucky, maybe not. The worst is that you pay a ticket, but maybe have a good time "playing lawyer" anyways.