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Contesting a speeding ticket.

Greyd

Platinum Member
Dec 4, 2001
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I went to the court house to inquire about contesting a speeding ticket. I was told that I could go to court to contest, but that if i was found guilty that I would have to pay possible court fines on top of the ticket. Are there any other possible reasons I shouldn't contest? What happens in court if I do go to contest?

Thanks
 

krunchykrome

Lifer
Dec 28, 2003
13,413
1
0
Originally posted by: Greyd
I went to the court house to inquire about contesting a speeding ticket. I was told that I could go to court to contest, but that if i was found guilty that I would have to pay possible court fines on top of the ticket. Are there any other possible reasons I shouldn't contest? What happens in court if I do go to contest?

Thanks
Reasons not to contest:
1) Possible reduction of points, which IMO would be worth paying the full ticket fine
2) Possible reduction of fine and points

If you contest, you most likely will not win
 

Turin39789

Lifer
Nov 21, 2000
12,219
5
81
Originally posted by: Greyd
I went to the court house to inquire about contesting a speeding ticket. I was told that I could go to court to contest, but that if i was found guilty that I would have to pay possible court fines on top of the ticket. Are there any other possible reasons I shouldn't contest? What happens in court if I do go to contest?

Thanks
were you speeding?
 

Greyd

Platinum Member
Dec 4, 2001
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To be honest, I don't know. I know I wasn't going fast tho, because I was messing with my radio and i slowed down to do so. Prior to slowing down I was going the speed limit. I was pretty much going from a stop light to a stop sign of about 2-300 feet. there was also a car directly in front of me. By the time the cop turned his lights on, I was already at a stop sign, so I didn't look at the speedometer.
 

Greyd

Platinum Member
Dec 4, 2001
2,119
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0
Originally posted by: krunchykrome
Originally posted by: Greyd
I went to the court house to inquire about contesting a speeding ticket. I was told that I could go to court to contest, but that if i was found guilty that I would have to pay possible court fines on top of the ticket. Are there any other possible reasons I shouldn't contest? What happens in court if I do go to contest?

Thanks
Reasons not to contest:
1) Possible reduction of points, which IMO would be worth paying the full ticket fine
2) Possible reduction of fine and points

If you contest, you most likely will not win
I'm in Illinois. No points here
 

krunchykrome

Lifer
Dec 28, 2003
13,413
1
0
Originally posted by: Greyd
Originally posted by: krunchykrome
Originally posted by: Greyd
I went to the court house to inquire about contesting a speeding ticket. I was told that I could go to court to contest, but that if i was found guilty that I would have to pay possible court fines on top of the ticket. Are there any other possible reasons I shouldn't contest? What happens in court if I do go to contest?

Thanks
Reasons not to contest:
1) Possible reduction of points, which IMO would be worth paying the full ticket fine
2) Possible reduction of fine and points

If you contest, you most likely will not win
I'm in Illinois. No points here
They don't issue points in IL?
 

Greyd

Platinum Member
Dec 4, 2001
2,119
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0
Originally posted by: krunchykrome
Originally posted by: Greyd
Originally posted by: krunchykrome
Originally posted by: Greyd
I went to the court house to inquire about contesting a speeding ticket. I was told that I could go to court to contest, but that if i was found guilty that I would have to pay possible court fines on top of the ticket. Are there any other possible reasons I shouldn't contest? What happens in court if I do go to contest?

Thanks
Reasons not to contest:
1) Possible reduction of points, which IMO would be worth paying the full ticket fine
2) Possible reduction of fine and points

If you contest, you most likely will not win
I'm in Illinois. No points here
They don't issue points in IL?
not that I know of. I could be wrong, but no one ever talks aobut points around here?
 

Spydermag68

Platinum Member
Apr 5, 2002
2,531
28
91
I contested a speeding ticket once and got it thrown out. I was the DD for the night and was transporting several car loads or Fraternity brothers from a party back to the house. I had twenty people waiting to testify.
 

Greyd

Platinum Member
Dec 4, 2001
2,119
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0
Originally posted by: Spydermag68
I contested a speeding ticket once and got it thrown out. I was the DD for the night and was transporting several car loads or Fraternity brothers from a party back to the house. I had twenty people waiting to testify.
Did you appear in court and the cop didn't show up?
 

pkme2

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2005
3,896
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I once had a speeding ticket for exhibition of speed, on a motorcycle with a passenger going uphill. Maybe I should have gotten one for loud exhausts. Went to court and contested it, judge threw it out. Sometimes extenuating circumstances lead to dismissal. If you think you were unfairly cited, then contesting it makes sense. But if you know you did wrong, pay the fine because the judge has seen them all. Good luck.
 

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
5,399
51
91
Originally posted by: Greyd
To be honest, I don't know. I know I wasn't going fast tho, because I was messing with my radio and i slowed down to do so. Prior to slowing down I was going the speed limit. I was pretty much going from a stop light to a stop sign of about 2-300 feet. there was also a car directly in front of me. By the time the cop turned his lights on, I was already at a stop sign, so I didn't look at the speedometer.
If that's the case I wouldn't waste my time trying to contest it. Just pay the fine and take traffic school to keep it off your record.
 

waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,145
9
81
Originally posted by: krunchykrome
Originally posted by: Greyd
Originally posted by: krunchykrome
Originally posted by: Greyd
I went to the court house to inquire about contesting a speeding ticket. I was told that I could go to court to contest, but that if i was found guilty that I would have to pay possible court fines on top of the ticket. Are there any other possible reasons I shouldn't contest? What happens in court if I do go to contest?

Thanks
Reasons not to contest:
1) Possible reduction of points, which IMO would be worth paying the full ticket fine
2) Possible reduction of fine and points

If you contest, you most likely will not win
I'm in Illinois. No points here
They don't issue points in IL?
at least not for now. but i have heard they are talking of starting it.



OP if this is your fist ticket go in and beg for court supervision. you will have to pay for the ticket+court cost. but it will not go on your record.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,532
9,511
126
Depends on where you live. For example, in my area, you don't pay court costs even if you contest, and taking it before a judge and respectfully presenting your case is the best way to get the fine reduced or plead for traffic school deferment. You can even win outright if the officer fails to show up to court. It's the suckers who don't contest and just mail in the fine who get hit the hardest here.
So if you're unsure, you should consult an attorney.

The likelihood of actually winning for a speeding ticket is generally very small. Traffic violations are infractions, not actual crimes, so the state's burden of proof is considerably less (in a "your word versus his" contest with the police officer, the judge can accept the officer's word over yours without any other supporting evidence) so usually you need to discover that the officer violated some procedural requirement in order to win (i.e. mistake on ticket, report not filed in timely manner, radar gun wasn't properly calibrated, officer's radar gun certification was expired, etc.). The police know this, of course, so these are the things they concentrate on. Be aware that many judges are biased to the point of corruption, as traffic fines can represent a significant portion of their revenues, and will find a person guilty for a speeding ticket even if the officer were to admit under questioning in open court that it was likely another car that was speeding and not you (this actually happened to me in 1996).
 

Greyd

Platinum Member
Dec 4, 2001
2,119
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What if there is a discrepancy on the ticket? For example he marked the wrong time. He marked it AM intstead of PM. Could it be thrown out on that technicality?
 

HN

Diamond Member
Jan 19, 2001
8,186
4
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Originally posted by: Greyd
What if there is a discrepancy on the ticket? For example he marked the wrong time. He marked it AM intstead of PM. Could it be thrown out on that technicality?
don't pinpoint it as a technicality, just have evidence that you weren't there at such and such time AM, then you can argue that you are not guilty of the infraction indicated on the ticket.

(but don't fully take my word for it, i just got my first ticket the other night :frown: )
 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
48,900
10
81
Originally posted by: Greyd
What if there is a discrepancy on the ticket? For example he marked the wrong time. He marked it AM intstead of PM. Could it be thrown out on that technicality?
Most likely no.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,532
9,511
126
Originally posted by: Greyd
What if there is a discrepancy on the ticket? For example he marked the wrong time. He marked it AM intstead of PM. Could it be thrown out on that technicality?
Yes. But you should still consult an attorney if you're unsure how to handle it. Look at this example as to why. Suppose it was a 45 mph zone, and the officer wrote you up for 65. You argue in court and prove to the judge that you were only doing 50. Are you still guilty? Yes.
Make sense?
 

Metron

Golden Member
Oct 16, 2003
1,163
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0
my own post from an old thread

Originally posted by: Metron
Don't pay the ticket!

...generally have 4 better options:

1) Go to court and negotiate. In many states if the officer involved doesn't show, the ticket is dropped. The Assistant District Attorney will typically negotiate down the fine and points if you're honest and respectful. I've had great success with this method.

2) Opt for "deferred adjudication." This is typically a probationary period of 90 days. As long as you don't receive another ticket in that period, you pay court costs and a fine (usually equal to the original ticket cost... free revenue for the county!), but no "points" are assessed since the charge is dropped.

3) Take defensive driving. You typically attend a 6 hour class (some states allow online) on defensive driving techniques. You must pay for the court costs, fees, driving record fee and course fee, but the charge is dismissed. Bonus in that the insurance companies are usually required to give you a 5-10% discount for attending this course.

4) Get a lawyer. Most lawyers use procedural methods to have the ticket dismissed, such as filing a change of venue to a higher court which doesn't deal with traffic tickets (thus the case and ticket are dismissed). Typically more expensive, but the ticket is usually dismissed. Worst case, you'll pay a reduced fine, plus the attorney fee.

Your options will vary by state... contact the court clerk listed on the ticket and ask what options are available to you.
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,375
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I've contested every ticket I've ever recieved. A few tips:

1) Find out a little more about court procedure and possible costs. It sounds fishy that they mentioned additional fines for contesting the ticket. I know for a fact there are no additional fees for contesting a ticket in my state.
2) The worst that can happen is that you have to pay the full fine, instead of a reduced one. If the fine isn't for much to begin with (<$200), the benefits of fighting the ticket far outweigh the savings of paying a reduced fine.
3) See if you can get a trial by affadavit. Instead of appearing before a judge, you and the officer instead submit written accounts of what happened, and the judge rules based on those accounts. However, if your state requires the officer testify in person, then you should show up in person as well.
4) Regardless of whether you testify by affadavit or in person, get rid of all the "maybes" in your story. The judge will always side with the officer if there is any question of doubt, so don't offer any doubt on your part.
5) Pre-trial, you have the right to ask for any public documents in the state's domain through discovery. I've asked for radar/laser calibration records, the officer's radar/laser certification, state policies on the use of radar/laser equipment, speedometer calibration records, etc.
6) I've had cases ruled in my favor for a variety of reasons. Cops haven't shown up. Cops didn't submit their affadavit. The state didn't provide me the documents I requested pre-trial.
7) Always come prepared to trial if the cop does show up. Ask the officer as many detailed, relevant questions as you can. The more he says "I do not recall", the better your case is. Remember that many states have so few resources, your trial date might be 1-6 months in the future.
8) Always act polite to everyone at court, including the officer. Don't give them reasons to throw the book at you. I've lost cases but still recieved reduced fines from the judge.

None of this applies of they offer you deferred judgement or traffic school. Take either of those options over fighting your ticket. The judge will let you know if you're eligible for either option before you plead.
 

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