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Speeding ticket. Ugh. Go to court?

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She11ybeanz posted 8/30/2013 09:22 AM

So, I'm an itiot. I didn't see where the sign changed when I was changing lanes and a cop pulled me over just past the posted speed limit sign change and I got a 10mph over speeding ticket.

I know that I deserve it BUT, I really don't want these points on my record. I haven't had a ticket in 4 years and before that over 10 years! I live in Virginia and am thinking about going to court and at least asking the judge if I can take the driver improvement course in lieu of the points. Is it worth it?

I'm sure I will still have to pay court fees and God knows what else... but I just don't know what else to do. I'm so mad at myself right now. The cop even admitted that the sign just changed....and he still didn't give me a break. I have never gotten out of a ticket. How do other women get so damn lucky?

nowiknow23 posted 8/30/2013 09:31 AM

It can't hurt to go to court and try.

ajsmom posted 8/30/2013 09:35 AM

My first ticket was a few weeks back. Hit me for going 14 over in a 25. Fine was $175 and 4 points.

All going to court did was reduce the points by 1.


Fine stayed the same.

Municipalities are hurting for money. Chances are the fine will not be reduced, but they may negotiate the points.

And the other myth - "If the cop doesn't show, they throw the ticket out" is false. The Chief of Police showed up representing the officer.


Amazonia posted 8/30/2013 09:45 AM

Do you have to go to court to take the driver improvement course? I don't know how it works in VA but some states you can just sign up.

She11ybeanz posted 8/30/2013 09:45 AM

UGH..... That sucks!

I honestly am so broke right now I just broke down crying. I can't even afford to pay some of my bills and now this.

I feel so stupid and just want to give up.

I just don't know what else to do. My dad will probably help me pay for it... but I feel like when it rains it pours...

ajsmom posted 8/30/2013 10:14 AM

Check with them - they may let you pay it in payments.

I know when I sat and listened to the other "criminals" in court that day, they extended 30 or 60 days to some of them.

Ask them for sure!

ajsmom posted 8/30/2013 10:16 AM

Oh, and in WI, you can take the safe driving course, but it only allows you to remove 1 point per year or something like that. Thing is, you have to pay for the class each time you take it.

My insurance agent said I should be OK seeing it was my first ticket ever and other than that I have/had a spotless driving record.

She11ybeanz posted 8/30/2013 10:17 AM

I will definitely check about the do I ask? Just say that I wanted to know if its possible to make payments instead of a lump sum? Then, I suppose explain my dire financial situation? How embarrassing. I'm already so ashamed by my situation. My sperm donor only pays $65 a month....cause he "says" he is unemployed... and even though I have a decent job... I barely make it. I have so much debt that I live paycheck to paycheck and most times I'm in the hole.

ajsmom posted 8/30/2013 10:20 AM

When I went it was for people with traffic, speeding and disorderly conduct tickets.

Those that pled no contest went right up to the clerk and she just out right asked them if they wanted more time.

Most of the kids busted for what appeared to be the party of the year ($250 tickets) took her up on that.

I did hear her offer it to speeders as well. I'm not sure what prompted her to give them 30 or 60 days - maybe the total fine?

ETA - How much was your fine? (Just curious)

[This message edited by ajsmom at 10:21 AM, August 30th (Friday)]

Amazonia posted 8/30/2013 10:35 AM

Shelly, I'd call the courthouse, or if there's a number on the ticket, and ask 1) "is there a driver improvement course I can take as an alternative to part or all of the ticket?" (If so, ask how to sign up), and if not, 2) "is there any sort of payment plan option if I can demonstrate financial hardship?"

ajsmom posted 8/30/2013 10:38 AM

She can try that, Ama, but that's why they gave her a court date - for her to discuss her situation.

They deal with hundreds of people at a time. It's more efficient for them, I'm sure versus fielding phone calls.

Amazonia posted 8/30/2013 11:12 AM

They give you a court date automatically with tickets? Wow. (I haven't gotten a ticket since high school and definitely didnt go to court. ) That seems inefficient to me, when they could just make info like courses available online.

ajsmom posted 8/30/2013 11:17 AM


You are either ordered to appear or not based on the severity of the incident.

ETA - there are instructions right on the ticket about what to do if you don't want to appear if you're not required to. All those rebel rousers from the big party were ordered to appear. Most had their parents in tow.

I wasn't ordered to appear - I could have just paid the fine, but I wanted to see what they would do if anything.


BIG lesson learned.

[This message edited by ajsmom at 11:18 AM, August 30th (Friday)]

She11ybeanz posted 8/30/2013 11:27 AM

Yeah...I don't HAVE to appear....I could just pay the $126. But, I want to avoid the points on my record if I can. I usually just pay the fine. I haven't had a ticket in 4 years...but I just paid the last one. It wasn't worth my time. But, this one is. I can't afford higher insurance. Its already high enough as it is for full coverage...

ajsmom posted 8/30/2013 11:34 AM

Then you have nothing to lose by appearing.

Bring Piper with you. Who could say no to that face?

64fleet posted 8/30/2013 11:56 AM

If the cop doesn't show, they throw the ticket out" is false. The Chief of Police showed up representing the officer.

or they simply reschedule until the cop appears-how many time you wanna try?

Undefinabl3 posted 8/30/2013 12:02 PM

There was a big brew haha about speed traps that are allowing cities to get more money.

Honestly, if you can show that the ticket was a trap, you may be able to avoid.

Take a picture of the sign in relation to where you were, is there a hill? any trees in the way? any signs announcing that the speed limit will reduce?

Sad in AZ posted 8/30/2013 14:13 PM

Read all the info he gave you with the ticket and if there is none, go on line. In AZ, you can take an on-line course and not have ANY points assessed against your license. It costs the same (or more) than the ticket, but it may be worth it for insurance purposes. You don't go to court; you just take the course and pay the money.

FWIW, the last time I did this , the questions had NOTHING to do with the course I studied--they were stupid questions like who is the president of the US

Seriously; check it out before you panic.

Sad in AZ posted 8/30/2013 14:16 PM

If you have received a traffic ticket in Virginia, then a Virginia State Approved Traffic School is a great way to dismiss your traffic ticket and lose the points from your driving records. I Drive Safely is a good choice for Virginia traffic school online.

The successful completion of a course from one of the approved traffic schools may prevent violations from damaging your driving record. While in many cases a course just might get a traffic ticket dismissed, attending traffic school can also enhance your driving knowledge and skill level, and it may increase your overall safety awareness so that you, your family, and other drivers can be safer on the roads.

She11ybeanz posted 8/30/2013 14:48 PM

Well, I will be honest. The hardest part for me is not "losing it" in front of a judge. I have a HORRIBLE time trying to control my emotions and I tend to feel the tears welling up well before I choke out what I have to say under stressful situations such as these. I've been like this ever since I was a small child and it is the one thing that I truly HATE about myself...

I want to plead not guilty and explain to the judge that I did not realize that the speed limit dropped right where I was and at the time I was switching lanes and must have missed the posted sign change. I will apologize profusely and promise it would never normally occur. If I STILL get found guilty regardless....then I will definitely request that I take the driver improvement class as an option and state that I have never taken the course before and would like to know if I could do that instead of getting the points on my record...

I think this is my best course of action....I just know that I will be terrified when I have to face the judge.

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