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View Full Version : Got a $355 speeding citation... Need some good advice.



ToyotaSupra
06-28-2006, 08:31 PM
Well I was driving to my apartment as usual and didn't notice I was still in a construction zone; speed limit was 65, but because there was construction, the limit was bumped down to 50. I was driving around 70 mph and the cop said I was going 73.5 mph. So I got a citation saying I was over the speed limit by 23.5 mph...

Fines double in construction zones and so he give me a $355 dollar ticket. :bigthumbu By the way, when the cop pulled me over we were no longer in the construction zone and there were two cars behind me going the same speed. :wtf:

The cop even said if there was no construction I would be ok. :squint:

What shall I do? I don't exactly feel like I'm at fault and feel like the construction zone should have been more clear where it starts and ends. :(

convertiblechick
06-28-2006, 08:53 PM
that really sucks. You're saying no state police at either end of the construction or people waving flags? Were there signs saying like, road construction 1 mi ahead, or road construction next 3 mi? We have so much construction around here and no one slows down.Unless there's traffic. Thats another story :ugh:

2kSnakEater
06-28-2006, 09:07 PM
If your in florida, go to www.theticketclinic.com. Hell even if your not in florida call them and see if they can do anything for you.

ToyotaSupra
06-28-2006, 09:14 PM
that really sucks. You're saying no state police at either end of the construction or people waving flags? Were there signs saying like, road construction 1 mi ahead, or road construction next 3 mi? We have so much construction around here and no one slows down.Unless there's traffic. Thats another story :ugh:

There were cones, but no people or construction vehicles. The road was straight and traffic was pretty low. It was around 9:20 pm and getting dark. I did notice some signs on the road but they were not turned on (that was 2-3 miles back though). Maybe if I can get some proof that the signs are not turned I might have a better chance of fighting the ticket.

convertiblechick
06-28-2006, 11:57 PM
go back by there and take pics. That cop is busting your balls. But if the sign had a reduced speed on it and you were faster than that...
I still say he gave you a ticket to fill his quota so he could go get donuts.

TEAMFaint
06-29-2006, 12:03 AM
Well here's my advice:

1) Go take some pictures. Make sure there are noticable signs that show reduced speed limit, if there isnt theres a bonus for you.

2) If its that late, should there truly be any construction workers working? Isnt the law in place to protect workers? If there are no workers working that late (which I doubt they are) this could also go your way.



Goodluck with everything. Usually when you show up to your court date they will lessen the ticket if you show a good attitude. The day I showed up to my court date for my speeding ticket, I saw 3 drivers get off their tickets and saw 2 guys get their tickets reduced. So my advice, show up and do a bit of research and you will at least get the ticket reduced.

alltracman78
06-29-2006, 01:33 AM
Did you know that if every driver that got a ticket went to court and fought it, the state[s] couldn't afford to give out tickets?

Check these guys out.
They are alot of help.

www.motorists.org

Blackcloud
06-29-2006, 04:38 AM
I know around here you would have to be high as hell to miss on construction zone.

so id say if there was nothing at all that would indicate construction you might be able to get out of it. but if there is as much as a single road cone your prob fucked

GRUMPY514
06-30-2006, 01:02 AM
That sucks major anus. They still might be able to cram it up your ass even though there wasnt anybody around due to the cones though.

ty_44_69
06-30-2006, 03:07 AM
I got a ticket for doing 111km/h in an 80 km/h zone. I'm currently fighting it, cop said people infront of me were doing 90km/h and I was following them for 10minutes......so impossible for me to be going that speed. FIGHT IT.

G-Zone
06-30-2006, 08:25 AM
If you are going to fight this, "GET A LAWYER".
Do not represent yourself because they'll go through the whole so-called "fair legal process" and still find you guilty and then your costs will double and it will go on your record.

My brother tried to fight a B.S. ticket about changing lanes without using turn signals but my brother did use it and their was a long distance between cars front and back with no cars beside him at around midnight. The cop was coming the opposite way and at court, my brother stumped the officer on the stand and he couldn't recall anything about the that night except "he didn't use his blinker".

The city wants the money from the poor, and they're gonna take it unless you have a lawyer to fight it.

-Chris G.

toyotatuner
06-30-2006, 02:51 PM
ok....all i know is that here in melbourne...the cops don't show up to court dates. this is for a multiple of reasons.
-its a pain in the ass for them....fill out forms showing where they are goin and why
-they have to make sure their radar gun is calabarated(sp) within a certain amount of time and provide paper work
-the date is about 60-90 days later and they have to try to remember the exact situtation and why exactly they pulled u over

in my experience (6 tickets) i have taken 4 to court and never had a cop show up. the other 2 i was actually speedin. all of them i never had a lawyer. its traffic court...definetly don't take a lawyer.

ToyotaSupra
06-30-2006, 06:33 PM
ok....all i know is that here in melbourne...the cops don't show up to court dates. this is for a multiple of reasons.
-its a pain in the ass for them....fill out forms showing where they are goin and why
-they have to make sure their radar gun is calabarated(sp) within a certain amount of time and provide paper work
-the date is about 60-90 days later and they have to try to remember the exact situtation and why exactly they pulled u over

in my experience (6 tickets) i have taken 4 to court and never had a cop show up. the other 2 i was actually speedin. all of them i never had a lawyer. its traffic court...definetly don't take a lawyer.

So did you win or were you still found guilty? My friend's sister told me that the ticket will be dismissed if the cop doesn't show up. My court date is July 14; in about 2 weeks or so. Did you plead not guilty?

2kSnakEater
06-30-2006, 07:18 PM
Did you know that if every driver that got a ticket went to court and fought it, the state[s] couldn't afford to give out tickets?

Check these guys out.
They are alot of help.

www.motorists.org


+1

alltracman78
07-01-2006, 08:42 PM
its traffic court...definetly don't take a lawyer.

If you find a lawyer that knows how to FIGHT a ticket, there is absolutely NO reason not to have them represent you.

If the cop doesn't show, charges have to be dismissed.
No accuser, no witness.

Blackcloud
07-01-2006, 09:53 PM
My friend's sister told me that the ticket will be dismissed if the cop doesn't show up.



:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

toyotatuner
07-02-2006, 02:40 AM
Well ya know, having lawyer costs kind of kills the whole point of fighting the 100 dollar ticket to begin with. Had I wanted to pay for a lawyer, I would just send a check in the mail for the ticket, and be done with it.

Figure paying for a lawyer is a lot more than 355 bucks.

And yes, the case was dismissed and I never had to plead. If you do plead, plead "no contest"

Stick it to the man

angryyoungnpoor
07-02-2006, 10:57 PM
You pay the ticket.. your insurance goes up also. Get a lawyer, they'll move it to a non moving violation where it'll cost you 150 bux or so, and you won't have an insurance increase.

MCcelica
07-03-2006, 07:52 AM
Ok, some states have laws that state on any given zone the speed limit is X in any zone unless otherwise posted. IE: residential = 30mph unless otherwise posted, 2 lane business = 45mph unless otherwise posted, and interstate = 75mph unless otherwise posted etc. Construction zones are included, so in CO (Where I am) if you're in a construction zone I believe it is automatically 10mph below the otherwise posted speed limit unless it's a really hazzardous construction zone, and the city or county it's in will lower the limit even more. So they'll tell you that even if you don't see any workers, you still have to drop the extra 10mph or whatever if you see even a single road cone, and you'll be screwed into paying the $355 ticket PLUS court costs.

I wouldn't waste my time or money on a lawyer for this. The only real reason to get a lawyer is if you get a DUI or something of that nature. I would try and ask the judge for a defferred sentence, which will not assess the fine for the citation or points against your license provided that you do not get pulled over within a year and a day of that incident.

As for "If the cops don't show up, the case gets dismissed"... WRONG! Many things Vary from state to state. If it is that way in one state it might be exactly the opposite in the neighboring state. I've gotten a few tickets where the cop didn't show and I got nailed anyway.

Go to the DMV and pick up a traffic laws handbook, they will have them there because of new student drivers. The info on speed limits will be in there.

COLDAX
07-06-2006, 03:12 PM
Below is from vwvortex.com. I suggest you read all of it and follow it exactly, and then cut and paste it and save it for future use. This works. I have used it, my coworkers and friends use it. 2 years ago I got pulled over for doing 80 in a 55 and used the system to only pay a $180 non-moving violation. No points. No insurance surcharges. Case closed.
- COLDAX
__________________________________________________ ___________________________________
Now we come to category two, the most common reason for a ticket, LEAD FOOT.
OK, first lets dispense with the illusions. If you are reading this, you are most likely reading it at VWVORTEX.COM and that means you're a car enthusiast. Car enthusiasts speed. Pretty much all the time. Some more than others of course and some faster than others, but if you're a car guy (or girl) you drive faster than you're supposed to on pretty much a routine basis. What does that mean? It means that unless you stop driving, this will not be your last ticket.

Now why is that important, you ask?
Because you cannot afford to think in terms of beating THIS ticket. You must take a long view and have a strategy. Your goal is to avoid accumulating enough points to lose your license. THAT'S IT. You have no other mission. Remember one thing: Speeding fines are the fee you pay for the privilege of driving as fast as you want.
If you do not agree with that premise then stop reading this FAQ right now, because everything that follows is based on that premise.
One quick disclaimer here...
This is NOT legal advice. This me reporting to you how the system actually functions in the real world and how you can work the system.

Why should you buy into my advice?
Because I have been doing this for 20 years. I've lost track of how many tickets I've received but I do know it's in excess of 100 and I have NEVER been suspended for points. Came close a couple of times, but never crossed the line.
I've argued in cases in both trial and appellate court, I generally win, and I've even beaten the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles in court, which is only slightly less difficult than what O.J. did a few years ago. In short, I've been there and done that.

OK, step one... You have the ticket. Hopefully you didn't act the fool when you got the ticket and the cop won't have any reason to remember you unkindly. Don't change that now by requesting a supporting deposition. Let me repeat that. Do NOT ask for a supporting deposition.
For those who don't know, a supporting deposition is a written statement from the cop that sums up the events leading up to the ticket. The theory behind this is that if the cop's testimony varies under cross-examination, you can get the ticket thrown out. Well forget it. You ain't Johnny Cochran and all you're going to do is annoy the cop by making him do paperwork. You might wonder why that matters if you already have the ticket. Well it does, and I'll come back to that.

Now, most tickets have a section on the back that allows you to enter a not guilty plea by mail. Do this. If it doesn't, or if the ticket says that you must come to court, that first visit is going to be an arraignment. You'll be entering a plea. That's ALL you're going to do. Don't try to hand the judge your explanation or sob story because he don't want to hear it.

Quick note on NOLO CONTENDRE pleas. Hopefully I spelled that right, but either way it's the famous "No Contest" plea. This is a very nice plea. It basically means that you don't admit guilt but you won't object to being punished. If your ticket arises from a traffic accident, make SURE you plead NO CONTEST. In most cases someone official at the court, possibly even the Judge will actually tell you that. It has to do with liability and the possibility you might get sued. Also, in most cases, the court won't let you enter a plea of NO CONTEST unless you were in an accident. Furthermore, if you were in an accident, don't play around. Put in your NO CONTEST plea, pay your fine and get the hell out of there. You don't want this to come back to haunt you later and a plea of guilty when you have been in a traffic accident is considered to be an admission of fault in civil court. Don't take my word for it, ask a lawyer. If there was no accident involved, plea NOT GUILTY and go home. You will usually be mailed a court date. Sometimes they will give it to you on the spot. Either way, go home and don't sweat it.

OK, so you've entered a plea of NOT GUILTY.

First thing is... don't agonize over this. You're charged with speeding, not murder, OK? The absolute worst thing that can happen to you is you lose some money and you get a couple of points.

I want to inject something into this FAQ now, based on an issue that arose with another poster on this board. What this person did was to contact the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) before the trial and try to work out a deal.
This certainly seems like a good idea but unfortunately it usually only works for other attorneys.

Know this: ADAs are human. Humans are lazy. When an ADA shows up in court he has only one goal. Getting the hell out of there as quickly as possible. This is actually true of everybody there, espescially the people who are being paid to be there. You see, you only have to be there once. They have to be there all the time.

If you go calling that ADA at the office where they have easy access to the offender database and time on their hands, you lose the leverage that their inherent laziness and dislike of their job brings.

Wait until court, when they are MOST likely to be in a mood to cut a deal just to get you, and by extension them, the hell out of there as quickly as possible. Does this make a deal a sure thing? Well, no... it doesn't. But it increases your odds and when you're playing a number game that's crucial.

So, your trial date rolls around. By now somebody has told you to see about getting something that's sometimes called "Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal" or some such fancy title. The deal is, nothing happens with your ticket. If you stay clean for a certain number of months, usually 12-18, your ticket gets dismissed. Sounds great, right?
The only problem is that if you get another ticket the OTHER one comes back. Now you have TWO tickets and TWO fines. ooops.

Basically, unless you're about to join the Army or go abroad for a year, it's a bad gamble. Like I already said, this isn't your last ticket. The question isn't IF you get another, the question is when and 12-18 months is a long time to drive like your grandmother.

So what do you do? You engage in that honorable American institution known as The Plea Bargain. On the day of your trial, before you go in front of the Judge, you will be approached by either the Cop who wrote the ticket or by an ADA. This pretty much depends on the population density where you got the ticket.

Now is where you tell them, in quite simple language, that you know you were doing wrong and you're mostly worried about the points. Ask them if it's possible to plead guilty to a non-points charge instead and pay the fine.
Now, remember when I said you shouldn't annoy the cop by asking for a supporting deposition? This is where it pays off.
Basically, if you didn't do anything to annoy the cop either at the original stop or later on along the way, he's pretty much not going to care. If you have an ADA then he's going to ask the cop if he's OK with any deal.

Now, sometimes you can't get the deal you want. OK, try for what you can get.
If they ADA says that he can't let off the hook with no points, ask him if there is anything he CAN do for you. What's the worst he can say, no?

I have encountered exactly TWO courts in 20 years that simply will not allow plea bargains of any kind and they are both in suburbs of Cleveland, so unless you're there, don't worry about it.

OK, so there are two possibilities now.
a) You struck a bargain
b) You struck out

90% of the time you'll have struck a bargain, and you can almost always get rid of the points. At this time you'll go back into the courtroom and wait to be called. When you are, walk to the front of the courtroom, say "I'm <insert name> your honor." and shut up. The cop or ADA will do the talking for you, there will come a moment when the Judge will ask if you agree to the plea bargain. You say: "Yes, your honor" and shut up. The Judge tells you what the fine is and hands you off to the court clerk. By the way, you REALLY should have your fine money with you already. This is NOT the moment to be asking for time to pay, but if for some reason you don't, then you better speak up before you walk over to the clerk. Make sure you know how long you need and I strongly advise you to make sure sure it's not longer than a couple of weeks. Pay what you can on the spot.

Now, let's say that you were not able to strike a bargain. Well, you have two choices. You can try to cross-examine the cop during your trial, hoping to trip him up. Trust me when I say that this is pretty much a waste of time and will annoy the Judge, especially if you're clumsy about it. They HATE wannabee lawyers.
OR, you can take that sob story you've been saving and tell it to the Judge. Keep it short though, and don't insult the man's intelligence. Ask for a reduction in fine if you want. Ask whatever. You've really got nothing to lose at this point. Unless you do something stupid like argue with him or smart off of course...
Now you're done. Pay your fine or ask for time to pay and go home.

Using this method you will almost always be able to avoid the points. That also has an effect on your insurance. The few times you don't manage to get a favorable plea are just that, FEW.
Over the long term this will keep your points down, your insurance costs down and cost you only the occasional fine.
And remember; Fines are the fee you pay for the privilege of driving as fast as you want

ToyotaSupra
07-06-2006, 08:19 PM
Below is from vwvortex.com. I suggest you read all of it and follow it exactly, and then cut and paste it and save it for future use. This works. I have used it, my coworkers and friends use it. 2 years ago I got pulled over for doing 80 in a 55 and used the system to only pay a $180 non-moving violation. No points. No insurance surcharges. Case closed.
- COLDAX
__________________________________________________ ___________________________________
Now we come to category two, the most common reason for a ticket, LEAD FOOT.
OK, first lets dispense with the illusions. If you are reading this, you are most likely reading it at VWVORTEX.COM and that means you're a car enthusiast. Car enthusiasts speed. Pretty much all the time. Some more than others of course and some faster than others, but if you're a car guy (or girl) you drive faster than you're supposed to on pretty much a routine basis. What does that mean? It means that unless you stop driving, this will not be your last ticket.

Now why is that important, you ask?
Because you cannot afford to think in terms of beating THIS ticket. You must take a long view and have a strategy. Your goal is to avoid accumulating enough points to lose your license. THAT'S IT. You have no other mission. Remember one thing: Speeding fines are the fee you pay for the privilege of driving as fast as you want.
If you do not agree with that premise then stop reading this FAQ right now, because everything that follows is based on that premise.
One quick disclaimer here...
This is NOT legal advice. This me reporting to you how the system actually functions in the real world and how you can work the system.

Why should you buy into my advice?
Because I have been doing this for 20 years. I've lost track of how many tickets I've received but I do know it's in excess of 100 and I have NEVER been suspended for points. Came close a couple of times, but never crossed the line.
I've argued in cases in both trial and appellate court, I generally win, and I've even beaten the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles in court, which is only slightly less difficult than what O.J. did a few years ago. In short, I've been there and done that.

OK, step one... You have the ticket. Hopefully you didn't act the fool when you got the ticket and the cop won't have any reason to remember you unkindly. Don't change that now by requesting a supporting deposition. Let me repeat that. Do NOT ask for a supporting deposition.
For those who don't know, a supporting deposition is a written statement from the cop that sums up the events leading up to the ticket. The theory behind this is that if the cop's testimony varies under cross-examination, you can get the ticket thrown out. Well forget it. You ain't Johnny Cochran and all you're going to do is annoy the cop by making him do paperwork. You might wonder why that matters if you already have the ticket. Well it does, and I'll come back to that.

Now, most tickets have a section on the back that allows you to enter a not guilty plea by mail. Do this. If it doesn't, or if the ticket says that you must come to court, that first visit is going to be an arraignment. You'll be entering a plea. That's ALL you're going to do. Don't try to hand the judge your explanation or sob story because he don't want to hear it.

Quick note on NOLO CONTENDRE pleas. Hopefully I spelled that right, but either way it's the famous "No Contest" plea. This is a very nice plea. It basically means that you don't admit guilt but you won't object to being punished. If your ticket arises from a traffic accident, make SURE you plead NO CONTEST. In most cases someone official at the court, possibly even the Judge will actually tell you that. It has to do with liability and the possibility you might get sued. Also, in most cases, the court won't let you enter a plea of NO CONTEST unless you were in an accident. Furthermore, if you were in an accident, don't play around. Put in your NO CONTEST plea, pay your fine and get the hell out of there. You don't want this to come back to haunt you later and a plea of guilty when you have been in a traffic accident is considered to be an admission of fault in civil court. Don't take my word for it, ask a lawyer. If there was no accident involved, plea NOT GUILTY and go home. You will usually be mailed a court date. Sometimes they will give it to you on the spot. Either way, go home and don't sweat it.

OK, so you've entered a plea of NOT GUILTY.

First thing is... don't agonize over this. You're charged with speeding, not murder, OK? The absolute worst thing that can happen to you is you lose some money and you get a couple of points.

I want to inject something into this FAQ now, based on an issue that arose with another poster on this board. What this person did was to contact the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) before the trial and try to work out a deal.
This certainly seems like a good idea but unfortunately it usually only works for other attorneys.

Know this: ADAs are human. Humans are lazy. When an ADA shows up in court he has only one goal. Getting the hell out of there as quickly as possible. This is actually true of everybody there, espescially the people who are being paid to be there. You see, you only have to be there once. They have to be there all the time.

If you go calling that ADA at the office where they have easy access to the offender database and time on their hands, you lose the leverage that their inherent laziness and dislike of their job brings.

Wait until court, when they are MOST likely to be in a mood to cut a deal just to get you, and by extension them, the hell out of there as quickly as possible. Does this make a deal a sure thing? Well, no... it doesn't. But it increases your odds and when you're playing a number game that's crucial.

So, your trial date rolls around. By now somebody has told you to see about getting something that's sometimes called "Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal" or some such fancy title. The deal is, nothing happens with your ticket. If you stay clean for a certain number of months, usually 12-18, your ticket gets dismissed. Sounds great, right?
The only problem is that if you get another ticket the OTHER one comes back. Now you have TWO tickets and TWO fines. ooops.

Basically, unless you're about to join the Army or go abroad for a year, it's a bad gamble. Like I already said, this isn't your last ticket. The question isn't IF you get another, the question is when and 12-18 months is a long time to drive like your grandmother.

So what do you do? You engage in that honorable American institution known as The Plea Bargain. On the day of your trial, before you go in front of the Judge, you will be approached by either the Cop who wrote the ticket or by an ADA. This pretty much depends on the population density where you got the ticket.

Now is where you tell them, in quite simple language, that you know you were doing wrong and you're mostly worried about the points. Ask them if it's possible to plead guilty to a non-points charge instead and pay the fine.
Now, remember when I said you shouldn't annoy the cop by asking for a supporting deposition? This is where it pays off.
Basically, if you didn't do anything to annoy the cop either at the original stop or later on along the way, he's pretty much not going to care. If you have an ADA then he's going to ask the cop if he's OK with any deal.

Now, sometimes you can't get the deal you want. OK, try for what you can get.
If they ADA says that he can't let off the hook with no points, ask him if there is anything he CAN do for you. What's the worst he can say, no?

I have encountered exactly TWO courts in 20 years that simply will not allow plea bargains of any kind and they are both in suburbs of Cleveland, so unless you're there, don't worry about it.

OK, so there are two possibilities now.
a) You struck a bargain
b) You struck out

90% of the time you'll have struck a bargain, and you can almost always get rid of the points. At this time you'll go back into the courtroom and wait to be called. When you are, walk to the front of the courtroom, say "I'm <insert name> your honor." and shut up. The cop or ADA will do the talking for you, there will come a moment when the Judge will ask if you agree to the plea bargain. You say: "Yes, your honor" and shut up. The Judge tells you what the fine is and hands you off to the court clerk. By the way, you REALLY should have your fine money with you already. This is NOT the moment to be asking for time to pay, but if for some reason you don't, then you better speak up before you walk over to the clerk. Make sure you know how long you need and I strongly advise you to make sure sure it's not longer than a couple of weeks. Pay what you can on the spot.

Now, let's say that you were not able to strike a bargain. Well, you have two choices. You can try to cross-examine the cop during your trial, hoping to trip him up. Trust me when I say that this is pretty much a waste of time and will annoy the Judge, especially if you're clumsy about it. They HATE wannabee lawyers.
OR, you can take that sob story you've been saving and tell it to the Judge. Keep it short though, and don't insult the man's intelligence. Ask for a reduction in fine if you want. Ask whatever. You've really got nothing to lose at this point. Unless you do something stupid like argue with him or smart off of course...
Now you're done. Pay your fine or ask for time to pay and go home.

Using this method you will almost always be able to avoid the points. That also has an effect on your insurance. The few times you don't manage to get a favorable plea are just that, FEW.
Over the long term this will keep your points down, your insurance costs down and cost you only the occasional fine.
And remember; Fines are the fee you pay for the privilege of driving as fast as you want



Sounds good to me.

aballz
07-06-2006, 09:51 PM
Thats good stuff.

COLDAX
07-07-2006, 04:00 AM
What I also like to do after a court date has been assigned is to call the court clerk several days later and tell them I can't make that date can it be rescheduled? I try to have a really good excuse. Why is this important? The court will usually try to schedule all of one cop's tickets on the same date so he only has to appear that once time. With you requesting a new date, the likelihood of the cop not appearing on the new date is very good. This is extra incentive for the ADA to drop you to a non-moving violation.

Here in New Jersey, the local courts on speeding ticket night are a meat grinder with dozens of people waiting to see the ADA or prosecutor. Last time I went I didn't even have to open my mouth to him. He calls me in, looks at my speeding ticket, asks me if I have a clean driving record. I nod, he says "how does $180 sound if I drop it down to the non moving?". I nod again, leave, and appear before the judge and agree. Piece of cake.