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Should I fight my speeding ticket - or not?

It depends on:

1. How much time you have

2. What kind of chance you have to prove your case for innocence.

Courts are highly individualized in that respect. Some prosecutors and/or judges will listen to your story with a more open mind than others will. Some will barely give you the time of day.

If you get wrapped up in proving a point with your case, the emotional cost may not be worth it. Take a look at this page on requesting a speeding ticket amendment and decide which route is best for you.

Skip down to Resources to Fight My Speeding Ticket

If you decide that yes, I will fight my speeding ticket; here are a few points that may help:

Preparing your case starts when you see those flashing lights in your rear view mirror. Be polite and cooperative when you get pulled over. Being belligerent or indignant may make you feel better but it might cost you more. By being polite and cooperative, the officer may just write your ticket for a less costly offense instead of what was actually committed and with luck, you get away with only a warning.

On the other hand, if you are nasty or rude, the officer may note this and the prosecutors will be less likely to cut you a deal if this went to court. For example, Johnson County Court will not even amend speeding tickets where the officer has noted that the driver was "rude".

Avoid admissions of guilt and never make excuses or create outlandish stories. When you are asked if you know why you were pulled over, just respond with a simple and polite, "No officer, I do not,".

Keep in mind that honesty is the best policy especially when you prefer to get off with merely a warning. On the otherhand, if you do get the ticket and decide to contest it, remember that any admissions you make now, can be used against you later.

There two theories regarding how you question the officer.

  • Adopt the 'low-profile' technique. Ask the officer if you can handle the ticket by mail. The officer will immediately see you as a low probability to go to court and may take fewer notes. When you do challenge the ticket, the officer's sparse notes will make him want to skip the hearing. Even if he does come to the hearing, his sparse notes and memory will help the judge decide in your favor. Questioning the officer on the other hand will cause him to write voluminous notes on the traffic stop.

  • Alternatively, question the officer more directly, as you're handed the ticket, about how the offense was detected and verified. In the case of a speeding ticket, find out where they were positioned when they clocked you and what type of speed measurement device, was used and if it was radar, laser or Accutrac.

    Gather as many specifics as possible, including the serial number of the device. If, however the officer estimated your speed by following you, then find out what the location was when he began to follow you. Make sure you write down the patrol car's license plate number and his badge number.

    If you were cited for an offense other than speeding, make sure you understand exactly why you were pulled over, especially if you were cited for something that could not have been easily seen. The officer does not have to actually give this information related to the device used at the time of stop but you can request the information by filing a motion of Discovery.

    Check your ticket for accuracy by reviewing it immediately upon receipt.

    There are two considerations here:

  • If there are inaccuracies that may hurt your case (i.e. if the officer notes on the ticket that you crossed two lanes of traffic when you only crossed one, or if he says traffic was heavy when in fact it was light), ask him immediately to correct them. Be very polite when requesting changes to your ticket.

    If you find that the officer is not accommodating, do not argue but record the actual circumstances in your mind, and after he leaves, jot it down.

  • If there are inaccuracies that may help your case or get the ticket dismissed, such as the wrong license plate number, the wrong street, etc., you do not want to call attention to them. These errors may help your case later.

    Begin preparing your defense immediately. After the police officer has given you your ticket and left the scene, record relevant details such as traffic and road conditions, weather, time of day, and any extenuating circumstances.

    If you have a camera or cell phone camera take pictures - especially if your defense depends on something like an obscured speed limit sign or a huge pothole that you had to swerve to miss. Also check for any obstructions that might have caused them to have a poor view of the alleged offense or that might have caused the radar to malfunction.

    Make a diagram of the road showing where the officer was positioned, which direction you were traveling, where you eventually stopped, and other important details.

    Read the fine print on the ticket after you get home. There is useful information there that might help you. Make sure you understand all of it, as it will give you instructions on how to proceed to the next step. Decide whether to fight the ticket by the circumstances involved, and the information on the ticket, or both. Weigh the costs and benefits of contesting the citation.

    Request a trial. Your ticket may include a court date, or you may need to request a trial. For most minor violations, your ticket will also give you the option to pay the fine. In almost all jurisdictions, paying the fine is an admission of guilt, so do not remit payment. Instead, follow the required steps to get your day in court.

    Get as much information as you can. Well before your court date, send a written request for discovery.

    Always consider thoroughly any deal offered to you and make sure you understand the implications on both your driving history and your insurance costs.

    Consider traffic school. Many jurisdictions offer an option to attend traffic school. In return, your charges will be dismissed or reduced. Explore this option by researching the law in your state. If you find that traffic school is a good option, request it from the prosecutor or judge.

    Request a continuation of your hearing. In most jurisdictions, the police officer who gave you the ticket must show up for the court hearing. If he or she fails to show, your case will be dismissed.

    Many times officers will schedule many court hearings on a certain day so that they can appear for all of them at once. Requesting a date near holidays may lessen the chance that the officer will appear on the court date.

    These are a few of many considerations when asking "Should I fight my speeding ticket - or not"? Only you know how much time, energy, patience, and money you have to devote to this.

    Click Here if you have a Kansas or Missouri Speeding Ticket

    The Most Impressive DUI Video You Will Ever See.
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    Free Speed Trap Location Software
    Share These Free Links With Friends - Just Copy & Paste!

    Here's a link for free speed trap location software for your cell phone. It's compatible with:

    *iPhone speed trap location software
    * BlackBerry speed trap location software
    * Android (the TMobile G1 and others) speed trap software
    * Nokia N95, N96, N97, 5800, E71, and other Symbian s60 phones speed trap software
    * Palm WebOS phones such as Pre and Pixi speed trap software
    * Windows Mobile touch screen phones with 6.0, 6.1, or 6.5 OS and GPS
    * Unlocked J2ME phones with GPS (for example the Sprint Samsung Instinct)

    If you don't have one of these phones you can still get text message alerts with maps on any phone that supports text messaging and report speed traps or camera ticketing locations that you see using our 1-800 tip line.

    Here's another great resource that's completely free. This link is to a huge list of speed trap locations for all 50 United States and Canada as well.

    Check it out and please use this easy copy and paste link to share speeding ticket tips with your friends and family. They'll thank you and it could save them a lot of grief and money!

    Resources For Speeding Tickets And Traffic Violations

    Protect Your License, Your Freedom - Stay Out Of Jail

    Return to Home Page from Fight My Speeding Ticket

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