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Need Tips - Beating A Speeding Ticket

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ajsmom posted 7/9/2013 13:14 PM

I got my first speeding ticket EVAR taking AJ up to a camp at a university in a very small town that he counsels for back in June. I was cited for going 39 in a 25 to the tune of $175.30 and 4 points. I have the option to appear in court this coming Thursday to fight the ticket and have been told by friends that its pretty likely they will reduce the fine and the points if I show up.

A little backstory: He has been going to this camp as a counselor for the past 11 years and was an attendee for one year. We have always taken the state highway route there, but this time we decided to go via country roads for a more relaxing drive which meant we came into town through very unfamiliar back door roads with AJ guiding me via his GPS phone ap as I drove. When I was pulled over, we were trying to find a street name two or three blocks away on which we planned to turn left.

When I heard the sirens, I noticed that there was a black SUV similar to mine right behind me. I thought that driver was being pulled over so I moved to the right when BAM!, there was the police car behind mine. The officer was completely pleasant while I explained that we were unfamiliar with the route, that I thought he was pulling over the person behind me and I was only there to drop my son to XYZ College for the annual camp their fine city hosts each year, etc.

He took my info, walked back to his car and while he was walking back, AJ said he thought Id get a warning ticket. But, nope. Got me the 8.5w x 11h fax paper looking ticket.

Knowing that I can present my case, Id like to plead that I find it hard to believe I was going that fast anticipating a left turn as well as the presence of the other similar looking car. While at the camp, AJ did a little checking around and found out that the week we are there, tickets are handed out left and right to the parents driving their kids in and out of town while on their way to and from the camp. Obviously I wont mention that.

What I would also like to mention to the court is that my kid pays his own way there each year and takes a week of his vacation time to volunteer.

So, what do you think of my strategy or should I just hand them the check and wait for my personal sized tube of Vaseline to be handed back with my receipt?


Edith posted 7/9/2013 13:22 PM

Hey there young lady!! I happen to know from experience with a family member that if you go to court you can plead down the points. Also, if you overpay your ticket by $1, you will avoid any points visible on CCAP and avoid insurance rate hike. Good luck!


painpaingoaway posted 7/9/2013 13:25 PM

hand them the check and wait for my personal sized tube of Vaseline to be handed back with my receipt?

painpaingoaway posted 7/9/2013 13:26 PM

Also, if you overpay your ticket by $1, you will avoid any points visible on CCAP and avoid insurance rate hike.
whaaattt? Splain that please.

TrulyReconciled posted 7/9/2013 13:36 PM

Id like to plead that I find it hard to believe I was going that fast

"Your beliefs" vs. "calibrated radar" = ticket plus court costs

Was the scenic route worth $175?

You know if you show up and the cop doesn't you will probably win.

Edith posted 7/9/2013 13:38 PM

A family member had a speeding ticket and overpaid by 1 dollar. The system apparently (at least in this state) will only register the points after payment of exact amount. Thus overpayment by 1 dollar keeps the points out of the system. I can tell you it works.


ajsmom posted 7/9/2013 13:44 PM

Was the scenic route worth $175?

Yes. So was the quality car time (about 90 minutes each way) with a kid I see 2-3 times a year.

My question on the calibrated speed is who was he calibrating? Me or the driver directly behind me? Guess I'll present that question as well.

ajsmom posted 7/9/2013 13:48 PM

You know if you show up and the cop doesn't you will probably win.

NOT INTENDED TO BE POLITICAL: The camp teaches high school junior boys about how state government is set up. Some of the local judges attend for meet and greet and Q & A sessions. When AJ chatted with them about what had happened, they mentioned to him that appearance dates are set up as court dates for the officers as well. In other words, they are off the streets and sitting in court specifically for traffic tickets, so the chances of him being there are pretty good.

atsenaotie posted 7/9/2013 13:57 PM

Chances of the officer being their are pretty good, but not certain. You can beat the ticket ususally if the officer is not there.

I doubt the Court will care that your kid pays his own way and volunteers.

If you are willing to invest money, hire an attorney to go after calibration and maintenance records on the radar.

While they may reduce the fine if you show up, they will also probably charge you Court costs and make it back.

If your time is valuable, I would just pay the ticket and take whatever online course will erase the points.

Sad in AZ posted 7/9/2013 14:30 PM

I got my first speeder 13 years ago. I was lost and looking for an address, so I know I was not speeding. It was a very hot Tucson afternoon, and the cop was on a motorcycle, so there was no way I was not getting a ticket. I showed him where I turned and showed him that there was no speed limit sign. He said the speed limit in neighborhoods was always 25 when not posted. I showed him that he pulled me over next to a convenience store--how was this a neighborhood? I asked to see the radar and he refused. I finally had to make myself stop because I was sure I was going to get arrested.

I went to traffic school, which cost as much as the ticket. Everyone stood up, told why they were there and admitted that they were wrong--except me!

There's nothing wrong with me...

Phoenix1 posted 7/9/2013 20:53 PM

POS is a veteran cop. You have a 50/50 chance at him showing/not showing. However, if he shows and you are contesting the ticket, you will likely get the full fine anyway. They don't really care what your excuse is. Attempting to dispute the calibration validity will cost you more in the long run.

Since this is your first ticket, look at what your state offers for defensive driving options - either online or in person. If you can take that, suck it up and do it. That will usually forgive the points and prevent any insurance hikes, and they may dismiss the ticket. They usually have a time period for taking defensive driving (e.g., no more than one in a three year period), but you will need to check your state's particulars.

I've known a lot of people that have had tickets dismissed because of an officer no-show, but it is a risky move and might bite you in the end if you try it...

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 7/9/2013 23:41 PM

You *may* be able to get the ticket diverted, since this was your first ever ticket. I know in my state you can get a ticket diverted (you don't pay the fine, you don't have points on your license, etc) and as long as you don't have a ticket or accident for the next two (I think it's two) years, that ticket will never show up on your record. If, by some stroke of dumb luck, you get another ticket or into an at-fault accident you have to pay BOTH tickets AND take the points from both incidences on your license. It's something to look into

NotDefeatedYet posted 7/10/2013 02:14 AM

It all depends on what you want to do. Do you intend to fight? Plead out? Just lower your fine? If you plead out,your best chance is to set it for trial. Right before the trial the prosecutor will meet with you immediately prior and offer the absolute best deal you can get. I have seen this be nothing more than court costs and probation. Prosecutors are paid to keep money in, not going out. The cost of a jury trial is expensive. If the prosecutor can get even a crappy deal, its still a win for them.

If you want to challenge it, you need to know what instrument was used to verify your speed. You can ask a lot of questions about it. For instance, on radar, you can ask the officer about errors. One common error is the patrol speed and the target speed adding up together in the target window. If the officer did not verify a patrol speed and target speed, this error can happen. Was the A/C to the car on? I used to point the antenna at the ac vent and it would read 195mph. Are there any anomolies? I have seen certain areas where the radar will read a phantom speed in a certain area. You run enough radar and you will know these areas.

Laser is a little different. The distance the speed was recorded should be sufficient enough to visually identify the vehicle. The further you are, the wider the laser beam gets.

I got my dad off of a speeding ticket testifying as an expert witness. I truly believe he was the victim of an error. And that whole 'send a dollar extra' thing is a myth. I was at a convention for municipal courts a few years ago and they joked about that quite a bit.

And about the officer showing up, its is time and a half for court pay , and you usually get a two hour minimum. On top of that, a write up usually follows a no show,so there is incentive to be there.

[This message edited by NotDefeatedYet at 2:19 AM, July 10th (Wednesday)]

TrulyReconciled posted 7/10/2013 10:27 AM

There's nothing wrong with me...

You're absolutely right - I've seen the list ...

Why didn't you have a PBA card?

ajsmom posted 7/10/2013 11:01 AM

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate all the advice.

I've decided to show up for court and see what their process is. I've looked into the driving school option and I can do the class and save 3 points, so that may be an option based on how things go.

I also was able to get a copy of my driving record online so I'll take that with me (though I'm sure they have access to the same info ) and hope for the best.

I'll keep y'all posted.

Thanks again!

nowiknow23 posted 7/10/2013 11:04 AM

Good luck, if luck is required.

Dreamboat posted 7/10/2013 11:33 AM

Just an FYI, I have never seen my insurance rate go up after a speeding ticket. I have been with the same agent for 20 years and he does not check my record when I renew. If I tried to change insurance then the new company would check my record. And I am sure if my DD16 got a ticket my rate would sky rocket.

When you go to court you may be able to plea no lo (not sure what it stands for) and get a reduction in the fine.

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