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User Topic: Speeding ticket. Ugh. Go to court?
She11ybeanz
Member
Member # 27457
Helpless  Posted: 9:22 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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?


"Sometimes your knight in shining armor ...is just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12


Posts: 2717 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 9:31 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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


You can call me NIK

"Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you really stand."
-Hayley Williams


Posts: 25061 | Registered: Aug 2011
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 9:35 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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.

One.

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.

AJ's MOM


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21041 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 9:45 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
She11ybeanz
Member
Member # 27457
Default  Posted: 9:45 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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...


"Sometimes your knight in shining armor ...is just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12


Posts: 2717 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 10:14 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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!


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21041 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 10:16 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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.


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21041 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
She11ybeanz
Member
Member # 27457
Default  Posted: 10:17 AM, August 30th (Friday)

I will definitely check about the payments....how 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.


"Sometimes your knight in shining armor ...is just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12


Posts: 2717 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 10:20 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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)]


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21041 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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?"


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 10:38 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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.


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21041 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 11:12 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 11:17 AM, August 30th (Friday)

Yep.

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.

NOT!

BIG lesson learned.

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


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21041 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
She11ybeanz
Member
Member # 27457
Default  Posted: 11:27 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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...


"Sometimes your knight in shining armor ...is just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12


Posts: 2717 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 11:34 AM, August 30th (Friday)

Then you have nothing to lose by appearing.

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


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21041 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
64fleet
Member
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 11:56 AM, August 30th (Friday)

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?


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5391 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
Undefinabl3
Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 12:02 PM, August 30th (Friday)

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?


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1717 | Registered: Sep 2012
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 2:13 PM, August 30th (Friday)

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.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20035 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, August 30th (Friday)

http://www.dmv.org/va-virginia/traffic-tickets.php

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.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20035 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
She11ybeanz
Member
Member # 27457
Default  Posted: 2:48 PM, August 30th (Friday)

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.


"Sometimes your knight in shining armor ...is just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12


Posts: 2717 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 3:37 PM, August 30th (Friday)

If you go to court and throw yourself on the mercy of the court, you need to know that ignorance of the law is no excuse. The fact that you didn't see the sign will probably not make a difference, but you can take your chances if you want. Read the info on the VA Driver Safety course. I know in AZ, if you go to court, you lose the availability of taking the course.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20035 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
click4it
Member
Member # 209
Default  Posted: 3:43 PM, August 30th (Friday)

go to court. at the very least, your fine will be reduced significantly.


Me: 41
Two boys: 17 and 13
Divorced 12-13-05
d-day 10-02-01

Laughter will cure life's ills. Have you had your laugh today?


Posts: 25509 | Registered: Jun 2002 | From: California
Rollercoaster
Member
Member # 1298
Default  Posted: 4:05 PM, August 31st (Saturday)

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.

Most likely the judge will not care. It is your responsibility to know the law. Sorry! It does depend on the judge. Some have sympathy and some are hard a$$e$.

Having said that DO go to court. In my experience it ALWAYS pays. Either the fine goes away and they only charge court costs, fine gets reduced, they allow traffic school, or they allow payments and/or extra time to pay. Just be remorseful. I would not take a child with me. I don't think most courts allow children anyway.
Definitely check the laws in YOUR state!

Good luck!


Me BS 55, WS 55
Reconciled

Posts: 4059 | Registered: Mar 2003 | From: California
InnerLight
Member
Member # 19946
Default  Posted: 6:10 PM, August 31st (Saturday)

I just got my first speeding ticket. (I'm 52!) 50 in a 35 'town' on a highway speed trap.

I would have lost money by going to court and canceling on clients, so I paid it. It was about $215 or if I wanted to go to traffic school it was $282. I chose the latter to avoid the points and insurance hikes.

Traffic school was online, several hours of study and cost $33 additional.

On the ticket they described a payment plan but there was a $35 additional charge for using it.

This was California so it may be diff in Virginia.


BS, age 53, d-day 6-2-08, divorced after 17 years and 20 together. dating again, living in the sticks with a cat. It's taking a long time to create new dreams and a new life but it is slowly coming together.

Posts: 5798 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Rural California
StrongerOne
Member
Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 4:33 PM, September 1st (Sunday)

In North Carolina you can pay an attorney to enter a prayer for judgment continued. It's not cheap, but if you go the set time without another ticket, the charge is dropped and in the meantime you do not get any points on your insurance. You could google to see if this is possible in Virginia. Around here you get letters from lawyers within two days of the ticket!


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 855 | Registered: Sep 2012
Too_Trusting
Member
Member # 99
Default  Posted: 8:29 AM, September 2nd (Monday)

I don't know how it is in VA, but the fines in NC are pennies compared to the court costs. That's how they get the $$ - charge court costs regardless of how the case turns out. The ONLY way to avoid the court costs in NC is if the ticket is voluntarily dismissed. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening is slim to none. I'm sorry, Shelly.

IF it were me, I would take the safe driving course BEFORE your court date and bring the certificate of completion with you to court. You will likely get something like a "prayer for judgment continued" (PJC) is what it's called in NC and it's basically a "get out of the ticket" card. You won't be assessed points, but you WILL have to pay court costs AND the cost of the class.

They are gonna get their $$ some way out of you. The best you can do is try to minimize the long-term damage on your license and insurance.


"Anyone perfect must be lying; anything easy has its cost. Anyone plain can be lovely; anyone loved can be lost." Barenaked Ladies

Posts: 2454 | Registered: Jun 2002 | From: North Carolina
Warninglight
New Member
Member # 40507
Default  Posted: 7:45 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday)

Depends where you live. In the NE they have some BS non moving violation they substitute for everything except DUI and reckless.

Fine is double but no points. The prosecuter at court is a robot.

"This is a non moving violation we are willing to substitute for your [insert whatever] violation. It carries no points but a $250 fine. Agree to this and plead guilty to the judge. NEXT"
"This is a non moving violation we are willing to substitute for your [insert whatever] violation. It carries no points but a $250 fine. Agree to this and plead guilty to the judge. NEXT""This is a non moving violation we are willing to substitute for your [insert whatever] violation. It carries no points but a $250 fine. Agree to this and plead guilty to the judge. NEXT"


WIfe email EA. DDay 03-0-2013 758A OM was a half literate hillbilly ex.

Posts: 21 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: E US
Bigger
Member
Member # 8354
Default  Posted: 12:19 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)

Go back to where you were stopped.
Is the speed limit sign clearly visible?
Do you see it reasonably far ahead before you pass it?
Is it visible if there is a large car driving on the other lane?
Is there any advance warning telling you about a change in speed?
What was the limit before the sign?
How close to the sign were you before you were pulled over?
How close were you to the sign when the officer claims to have measured your speed?
Look into all these issues. If you can create a case where you can show reasonable and sensible doubt on enough of the above issues you might be able to get the case dropped. For example; if you were stopped ten yards from the signal and the +10 was within the former limit you can claim you were decreasing speed because the sign isnít visible in advance. Make entrapment noisesÖ Judges hate that.

I once got booked for an illegal turn at a red light. My defense; there was a bus beside me so I didnít see the no turn sign. Plus a police car pulled up behind me where I was waiting at the red light with the turn signal clearly showing where I was headed. Once I took the turn the blue lights came on and I was booked. Like I told the judge; a copís prime job is to PREVENT crime, they had a couple of minutes to walk over to my car (or scream through the bullhorn) that I was about to make an illegal turn.
Edited to add: The judge let me go and the ticket was dropped.

[This message edited by Bigger at 12:21 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)]


"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

Posts: 5521 | Registered: Sep 2005
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