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Should I Fight My Speeding Ticket?

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If you are stopped and a traffic ticket issued, you might be asking yourself some of these important questions:

  • Is there any way I can get this ticket removed from my driving record?
  • Should I simply pay the ticket I received and move on?
  • Is it possible that I might lose my driver's license?
  • Do I have the legal grounds to contest the ticket in court?
  • If I just pay the ticket, will it cause my insurance premium to go up?

 

If you decide that you'd like to fight the ticket, there are specific things that will happen:

  • You'll spend time worrying about making sure you are able to present a good case in court.
  • You will spend a great deal of time preparing your case.
  • You'll waste at least a half day, possibly more, traveling back and forth from court in order to argue your case.

 

If you choose not to fight the ticket, some of the following might occur:

  • Your insurance premiums might go up, especially if you've had another ticket in the recent past.
  • You'll likely spend valuable time and money having to attend traffic school in an effort to clear your driving record.
  • You might be hit with a heavy fine as well as a driving record with the ticket on it.
  • You might even lose your driving privileges if you have received several tickets in the recent past.

 

Is It Impossible to Beat a Ticket?

The answer is clear: absolutely not. There are many tickets issued in situations where even the officer writing the ticket understands that a good defense by the motorist might mean the driver will beat the ticket. Of course, this doesn't mean that the officer will simply stop writing questionable tickets. One reason is, the officer knows that only a very small percentage of drivers will contest their citations; in fact, only about 3% will fight a ticket. Furthermore, many people who do choose to fight their ticket will be too nervous or unprepared to win their fight, especially if they don't have an attorney.

 

Does Fighting a Particular Ticket Make Sense?

Sometimes the answer is no, especially if the chance of winning is small; however, if the police officer clearly made a mistake, then, yes, fighting the ticket might make sense. Still, the majority of the time, the guilt or innocence of the driver is not all that clear, meaning that you need to weigh various factors, such as the consequence you'll face if you simply pay the fine, which is generally viewed as pleading guilty.

 

When determining whether it makes sense to go to court some questions to consider include:

Was the police officer's view obstructed by something, such as trees, buildings, fences or even other moving vehicles? If so, you might be able to put up an argument that the officer was not able to clearly see what happened; this might help you convince the judge to rule in your favor.

 

Did the officer actually stop and ticket the right vehicle? In heavy traffic, it could be very possible that an officer saw a vehicle commit a violation, but accidentally stopped the wrong driver down the road. Something, such as a road with a curve or heavy traffic that put your vehicle out of sight of the police officer for a few moments, could significantly help improve your chances of swaying the judge with the defense that the officer simply got the wrong vehicle.

 

Did you receive a speeding ticket, even though you clearly were driving safely albeit slightly over the posted speed limit? In many areas, it is legal to operate a vehicle slightly above the speed limit if you are able to prove that you are able to do so in a safe manner.

 

Was there anything in the officer's methodology or approach that was in error? For example, if you are cited for speeding, was your vehicle's speed accurately paced by the offer or was laser, radar or VASCAR used to establish the speed of your vehicle?

 

Are there any legal defenses you can use as a defense to the particular violations you have been charged with? For example, if you were cited for operating a vehicle too slowly while driving in the left-hand lane of a multi-lane highway, you might be able to provide a legal defense that you intended to turn left.

 

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