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Beowulfthehunter

So I got a speeding ticket last night....

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Coming back from watching Summer Slam at Buffalo Wild Wings last night i got stopped for doing 45 in a 30. Ended up with a 75 dollar ticket. Sucks, but I was totally in the wrong. I wanted to get home as it was late and I was tired. I have not had a ticket in about 5-6 years. Infact I was able to renew my license through the mail because I was a "safe driver." I am now wondering what I should do next. My options are:

 

Not pay the ticket and have a bench warrent put out for me (not an option, but I might as well put that out there)

 

Pay the 75 bucks

 

Go to court and fight it (I was in the wrong, and I speed everywhere, so this was just pure karama), I will loose and it will cost me a day off work

 

or request supervision, not sure what it will do to my insurance. I have not had any issues in the past 5-6 years so would this really raise rates.

 

Give me some ideas.

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Does your state offer a deferment option? You pay the ticket, it gets filed with the state, but doesn't go against your record unless you get another ticket within a period of time (seven years, I think for Washington).

 

So you pay the ticket, and if you don't get another, it doesn;t ding your record or insurance.

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Around here if you pay it before they get around to reporting it to your insurance company, the ins people never find out about it. :)

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Pay the 75 bucks

The easiest option. You are lucky, BTW, I recently got a ticket for doing 15 over the limit and it cost me $140. ::(:

 

Go to court and fight it (I was in the wrong, and I speed everywhere, so this was just pure karama), I will loose and it will cost me a day off work

Its never happened to me, but I have heard that if the defendant shows up and the officer who gave the ticket doesn't, the judge will dismiss the charges. Even if true, its just a small chance and still costs you a day off work.

 

or request supervision, not sure what it will do to my insurance. I have not had any issues in the past 5-6 years so would this really raise rates.

Around here, "supervision" means that you pay the full price of the ticket, but it does not go on your record as long as you don't get another ticket in X amount of time (usually 6 mo, I think?). That way there is no impact on your insurance rates. One thing that my insurace agent told me once, however, the insurace company only checks your record on new policies. So, if you don't intend to switch insurance companies for a couple years, it won't matter one way or the other.

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Is defensive driving an option in your state? Plead no contest to the ticket, take an online defensive driving course, pay the fine and submit the certificate of completion with the payment, certified mail, and insurance doesn't go up....

 

As far as the court thing goes, yes.. if the arresting/ticketing officer does not show up, the ticket is dismissed. Depending on how crazy the courthouse you're supposed to report to is, that might be a good option. Another good one, if you have an attorney friend, is to reserve him as defense for your ticket, and if he's smart, he can get enough time to elapse (30 days from date of issuance of ticket i believe, is the statute of limitations on traffic tickets) that the ticket has to be dismissed.

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I had a friend get a DUI dismissed because the officer lost his original ticket. My friend was like "Oh here, I have my copy." :rolleyes: The judge was like "Thanks for being honest and giving me your copy of the ticket, but I need to original to proceed. Case dismissed." Yeah, he was lucky. ^_^

 

You can always hire a lawyer and have them plead something like faulty equipment. That's essentially your speedometer doesn't work right. :poke: This will not go on your record, but you will pay a higher fine (original $75 + court fees + lawyer fees). If keeping it off of your record is very important to you, this is the way to go. ::):

 

That same friend with the DUI also got a speeding ticket thrown out once because his car was a piece of crap. :lol: He was driving a 1984 Buick Regal that more rust than normal sheet metal. :lol: He got a speeding ticket for doing 80 in a 65. My buddy showed up with a picture of his car and showed it to the judge. The judge asked the cop "Is this the car the defendant was driving?" The cop confirmed that indeed it was. The judge was like "There is no way that rusted out piece of junk was doing 80. Case dismissed!" :lol:

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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Well, hopefully you can find a way not to get your insurance rates to go up. But like Sergeant Crunch said - I'd pay the ticket. But - there's nothing like your insurance rate going up to get a person to slow down :)

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Those examples are going to vary a lot by state. Its highly unlikely that a ticket will be thrown out because the officer did not show up. Its equally unlikely that a ticket will be dismissed it its not addressed with 30 days. I have an example of a DUI of a very close friend's son whose paperwork has been lost and the judge simply gives the prosecution additional time to find the paperwork. We are now six months from the original incident and he is going back in September again. They may dismiss it this time, they may not.

 

However, it is not unusual if you go in to have a ticket reduced in severity. The first accident I had in 20 years was reduced to a non-moving violation because I did go in and I had a speeding ticket reduced to a lower speed for the same reason. So take that for what its worth.

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There are two things you can do.

 

1. Pay the ticket.

2. Stop speeding.

 

You admit you were in the wrong. Don't waste the courts' time trying to weasel out of something that you are already admitting you were at fault.

 

Consider yourself lucky they only gave you a ticket and didn't cite you for reckless driving, which in most states is 15 mph over the posted limit.

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Where I live, if the cop doesn't show up to court, as soon as the case gets called up, the prosecutor says they have no evidence and the ticket gets tossed. Saw it happen in a bunch of cases when I was in traffic court waiting for my turn a few months back (FTR, I was the victim of a fender bender, not the defendant... But I got pulled over leaving the courthouse because the sticker on my license plate was 2 days expired <_<).

 

Even if that's your only hope of getting off, why not try it? Last thing you need is for your insurance to get jacked up, right? Worst case scenario, you plead not guilty and lose, have to pay the $75 anyhow. Or if you find out that the cop did show up, you could just ask for extra time to pay or something instead of pleading not-guilty, and save yourself the embarrassment of being publicly proven guilty.

 

Or you could just pay the fine; it's not like it's cripplingly high anyhow...

 

Good luck,

 

Kang

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Just pay it. Let the court system handle cases that actually matter instead of hoping the officer doesn't show. A $75 speeding ticket is nothing. You'll incur court costs in addition to the fine by setting foot in front of a judge, and you've already stated in a public forum that you're guilty, so pleading against it would require you to perjure yourself. Now there's probably very little chance the judge would see what you've posted here, but a perjury conviction can equal jail time. Is it worth it to (maybe) dodge a $75 fine?

 

It's funny, but I was often accused of being a leftist guerilla around these parts in my beekeepers days. However, I firmly believe that the rules of civil society require you to take the consequences of your own admitted actions. Speed and don't get caught: fine by me. Speed and get caught: Pay your fine and get on with it. Don't waste anybody's time (including your own) on the chance the officer who wrote the ticket will be too busy to present evidence in court.

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We can give you suggestions, but if you don't just want to pay up it's best to talk to a lawyer. Find one that won't charge you for a quick consultation. You may be able to ask your insurance person how to avoid having it raise your rates, but I don't know if they have to disclose things to the companies they work with these days.

 

FWIW, I've done the 'plead not guilty and ask for a supporting deposition' and if you don't get one your case is dismissed, but some municipalities have passed laws saying you can't even ask for a supporting deposition (which I found out the hard way on a non-speeding ticket that the officers own testimony should have gotten me out of, but still had my case dismissed because I had another run in with the officer where he was less than friendly).

 

Just go to court and ask to talk to the DA (or assistant DA). Most of them will reduce your ticket if you plead guilty to a lesser charge (especially if they are elected, they still get your money and they score brownie points with you for helping keep your insurance down). Note I said most...

 

My grandfather once got a speeding ticket thrown out by asking the judge if he had sped on the way to court that day. Not something I would suggest, but if you have the cajones (and are out of better options) I suppose you could try it (good luck with that).

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Wait, they passed a law saying they don't have to present evidence in court if requested? That sounds more than a bit unconstitutional to me. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Whatever happened to facing your accusers in court?

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Based on your description of the incident, if it were me, I'd probably just pay it ASAP.

 

However, depending on your state and municipality, you might want to go into court for it or wait for the letter from the court. Around here, you start off by talking to one of the junior ADAs, and depending on the violation and record, they may offer you a some osrt of plea bargain. Sometimes they'll even offer this as an option in the letter from the court. The last two speeding tickets I got were reduced "unsafe vehicle" (like taillight out), rather than speeding violations. The fine didn't change at all, but I didn't have to worry about the impact on insurance.

 

When I lived in CA, you could go through a driver safety class instead if you hadn't had a ticket in x months.

 

My worst speeding ticket never ended up on my driving record, thanks to the circumstances. I was moving from CA, and was literally a mile from the CA-NV border when I got pulled over for doing around 90 in a 65 zone.* I timed the payment of the fine so that CA processed it after I had already got my CO driver's license.

 

 

*Yes, I was anxious to get the heck out of that state!

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