First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

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jbk
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First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by jbk » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:15 pm

Got the first moving violation of my life after 25 years of driving. I was coming off a highway and the officer said he clocked me at 32 MPH in a 15 MPH zone. (Yes, my first ticket is for allegedly doing 32 MPH.) If I plead guilty, it's four points on my license (taken off my license 18 months from the date of the ticket) and a $200 fine. (It was in one of the boroughs of NYC, so there is no plea bargaining. It's either guilty with full penalty, or not guilty with no penalty.) Here are the potential courses of action as I see them:

A) Plead guilty and I'm out $200 plus whatever insurance premium impact I might have for the next 18 months. Internet research is mixed on the insurance impact. Some sources say at my age (mid 40s) and with my clean record the insurance impact would be non-existent or negligible. Other sources say it could be about a 12% annual hit ($300 total). So, Option A will cost me at least $200 and possibly as much as $500.

B) Hire a lawyer and plead not guilty. The lawyer costs $450. If I win, I'm out $450. If I lose, I'm out $650 (fine plus lawyer fee). However, whatever insurance hit I could take would probably be minimized since the case would likely take close to a year to come to a hearing and the points still have to come off 18 months from the date of the ticket. Let's guess that the total downside to losing would be $750.

I have no interest in acting as my own lawyer.

The main unknowns here are my chances of winning (the lawyer thinks 75% but he's the lawyer) and the insurance impact. Fellow Bogleheads, what do you think is the best option? Anything I've missed in this analysis? Anything you'd like to add? Thanks for your time and brainpower.

John3754
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by John3754 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:28 pm

If you plead not guilty, what is you/your lawyer's rebuttal to the officer's testimony of "my laser speed gun showed that he was going 17 MPH over the limit"?

IlliniDave
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:33 pm

Pay the ticket, take your lumps, and try to be more careful going forward. I do find it remarkable you got a ticket in that situation (going 32 on an offramp). I've never seen an actual posted 15 mph zone. Unfortunate. Must be a revenue thing.
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john94549
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by john94549 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:35 pm

Here in California, if you have not had a moving violation for a number of years, you have the option of "traffic school." Upon completion = no points, no report to insurance, nada. Do you have such an option?

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BolderBoy
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:38 pm

Have you been with the insurance company for a while? They may not tag you for this. Easier to pay it and move on. I'm surprised there is no bargaining. You've got some hard cases back there.

In Colorado, almost all off-ramp speed signs are advisory (yellow) and not mandatory (white).

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by ab80 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:39 pm

I got my first (and only) speeding ticket a couple years ago. Nothing happened with my insurance. Paid a little under $200 I think and moved on with my life. The court date on my ticket was on a workday and a good 70-80 miles from where I live. I thought a fair number of people went to court for the cop not to show up and to get the charges dismissed. Of course, if the cop does show up, you risk looking like an idiot.

Ever since then, I've paid more attention to speeding. Getting pulled over never really occurred to me before that.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:42 pm

Are you willing to take a day off to go to traffic court?
Who wrote the ticket - precinct cops or highway patrol? Essentially, you are banking that they won't show up to court, so you can either plead down or get it thrown out. Here's the thing, the highway patrol really relish their job - if they show up, you'll be found guilty - out $200, out a day's pay, and 4 points on the license. You can take a driver's ed safety course to reduce the points on your record - once every 3 years, it will reduce your car insurance rates - insurance companies don't like to find out you've been convicted of speeding more than twice the speed limit - even if it was on an exit ramp - must have been a "slow" day at the office or they need to make quota.
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:46 pm

BolderBoy wrote:Have you been with the insurance company for a while? They may not tag you for this. Easier to pay it and move on. I'm surprised there is no bargaining. You've got some hard cases back there.

In Colorado, almost all off-ramp speed signs are advisory (yellow) and not mandatory (white).
In NYC, most off-ramp signs are white, because most of those ramps are short in distance from the highway exit to the local streets. They don't want people to not have enough time to stop the vehicle before crossing into opposing traffic. Driving the vehicle slower will allow for a controlled stop. It's likely the OP was not slowing the vehicle down upon exiting from the right lane - an easier way to slow it down is a) apply the brake gently or b) foot off the gas and applying the brake gently to get it down faster. For a cop to have nailed you for this infraction indicates he was trailing you on the highway and exited when you did - it's likely it was highway patrol, good luck fighting it. I'm curious to know which highway did the OP get nailed on. Some of those roads are famous for those posted vehicles.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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will98683
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by will98683 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:50 pm

I don't think those are your only 2 options. I know you said you don't want to act as your own lawyer. If you decide to schedule a court date, and for whatever reason the officer issuing the ticket doesn't show, the ticket will usually get dismissed and you are out only your time. If the officer shows, you can read a short statement of defense (knowing that you might not/probably won't win) but then you pay the same penalty you would have if you just mailed it in. I would say the cost range is then $0-500, and worth the risk of "looking like an idiot" (although I have no idea who would think anyone taking a chance like this is an idiot).

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:56 pm

will98683 wrote:I don't think those are your only 2 options. I know you said you don't want to act as your own lawyer. If you decide to schedule a court date, and for whatever reason the officer issuing the ticket doesn't show, the ticket will usually get dismissed and you are out only your time. If the officer shows, you can read a short statement of defense (knowing that you might not/probably won't win) but then you pay the same penalty you would have if you just mailed it in. I would say the cost range is then $0-500, and worth the risk of "looking like an idiot" (although I have no idea who would think anyone taking a chance like this is an idiot).
You haven't been to NYC traffic court, have you? The idiot gallery - the judge, the police officer, the court clerk, the peanut gallery.
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will98683
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by will98683 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:01 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
will98683 wrote:I don't think those are your only 2 options. I know you said you don't want to act as your own lawyer. If you decide to schedule a court date, and for whatever reason the officer issuing the ticket doesn't show, the ticket will usually get dismissed and you are out only your time. If the officer shows, you can read a short statement of defense (knowing that you might not/probably won't win) but then you pay the same penalty you would have if you just mailed it in. I would say the cost range is then $0-500, and worth the risk of "looking like an idiot" (although I have no idea who would think anyone taking a chance like this is an idiot).
You haven't been to NYC traffic court, have you? The idiot gallery - the judge, the police officer, the court clerk, the peanut gallery.
I don't know about you, but I personally wouldn't give a flip what any of them thought of me.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:04 pm

For a real scientific defense - do you remember or know how long the exit ramp is from the highway hash-marked lane next to the right lane to the street corner? Do you recall how fast you were going when you moved the vehicle into the exit lane?
It would help if you could obtain a digital picture of the exit ramp before the court date - if you can make the following claim - You could make the argument that their were cars on the exit ramp in front of you driving slower than 32 mph - if the ramp was short, there were other vehicles on it besides you - then physics would dictate your car was below 32 mph otherwise your car would have been in the lead car's backseat. I would try it a defense like this on your own - the cop would have to deny having seen any other vehicle in front of you or would claim they didn't remember - if they don't remember, the case will be tossed. Good Luck!
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:05 pm

will98683 wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
will98683 wrote:I don't think those are your only 2 options. I know you said you don't want to act as your own lawyer. If you decide to schedule a court date, and for whatever reason the officer issuing the ticket doesn't show, the ticket will usually get dismissed and you are out only your time. If the officer shows, you can read a short statement of defense (knowing that you might not/probably won't win) but then you pay the same penalty you would have if you just mailed it in. I would say the cost range is then $0-500, and worth the risk of "looking like an idiot" (although I have no idea who would think anyone taking a chance like this is an idiot).
You haven't been to NYC traffic court, have you? The idiot gallery - the judge, the police officer, the court clerk, the peanut gallery.
I don't know about you, but I personally wouldn't give a flip what any of them thought of me.
I agree with you. Take a look at my "how to get yourself out of this jam in court approach". It could very well work.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by basspond » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:06 pm

I can"t say if your insurance rates will go up but it looks like you can take a class so that they will not count 4 points against suspension. The state I live in allows you to erase up to one ticket a year by taking a defensive driving course and I think no street can have a speed limit of less than 30 mph unless in a school zone especially not an exit ramp. That's what we call a speed uh moseying trap.

jbk
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by jbk » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:13 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

John 3754, my understanding is that radar is not necessarily infallible and lawyers have ways of pointing that out.

John 94549, a defensive driving course will neutralize the four points and I'm eligible as I haven't taken one in the last three years. Still, I'd prefer to get a discount from what I'm paying now rather than hold off this possible hike. In any event, I will be taking the class regardless of what happens with this. Thanks.

IlliniDave, I know! I've never seen a 15 MPH zone before. Even Googling "NYC 15 MPH Zone" only brings up 20 MPH zones! I think I walk faster than 15 MPH.

Grt2boutdoors, it was a precinct officer and I don't believe he followed me. I think he's planted there with his radar because a 15 MPH zone off a highway has to be extremely lucrative for the city.

No, I don't care how I look to people I will never see again.

Don't want to do it without a lawyer. I just think that increases my chances of actually winning, even if it's an ever so slight increase.

Looking at it solely from a worst-case scenario (I lose), I can lose right now without a lawyer and possibly lose $500 or I can lose a year from now with a lawyer and possibly lose $750. I'm leaning toward risking $250 and fighting it. But then I've never been a gambler so I'm not sure my leanings are correct. Need to sleep on it.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by denovo » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 pm

John 94549, a defensive driving course will neutralize the four points and I'm eligible as I haven't taken one in the last three years. Still, I'd prefer to get a discount from what I'm paying now rather than hold off this possible hike. In any event, I will be taking the class regardless of what happens with this. Thanks.
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by ab80 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:10 am

I wasn't suggesting you should care about looking like an idiot. I was only mentioning that when it happened to me, I knew I was speeding and would most likely win if and only if the cop didn't show up, and that skipping a day of work, driving to the court well over an hour away, and looking like an idiot if the cop did show up wouldn't be worth it. I suppose I could have gone and come up with some defense, but it didn't seem worth the cost to me at the time.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by pjstack » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:57 am

Pay the $200 and move on.
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westcoast
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by westcoast » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:59 am

I didn't see anything in the OP's post if he was actually speeding or not. If he was then take the day off and appear in court and plead guilty and you may get a reduction in the fine. Or plead guilty by mail and send in the fine and you may get some of the fine reimbursed. The officer more than likely took notes of the violation when he/she wrote you the citation and will testify to what you said at the time regarding your speed and the conditions of the roadway and traffic conditions. IMHO I would pay the ticket and call it good.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by qui » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:40 am

When I was 20, I got a ticket for 110 in a 65. Cost me like $350 and the privilege to visit Canada, but then my insurance dropped by about 25% next year. (shocking, I know)

I've had friends lawyer up. IMO, if you're not facing a suspension/revocation of your license, it's just not worth it. With such a clean driving history, and given your age, I can't see any substantial impact to your insurance.

If you're concerned about points/insurance, having mentioned living in NY, check out their Point Insurance Reduction Program (http://www.dmv.ny.gov/broch/c32a.htm) Skimming across some of the offerings, it looks like paying the fine and taking the course would cost you less than the lawyer (https://transact.dmv.ny.gov/pirp/)

I would pay it and move on. You'll get over being upset in about 2-3 months.

Just my $0.02..

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by VTXVX » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:48 am

Have you considered going to court to see what happens to others on these types of cases prior to making a decision on your ticket? It would cost you a vacation day but could provide some insight. FWIW, I'm a retired from law enforcement (Florida) and rarely saw a radar citation lost in court. I lost one in ten years with an attorney because I used the wrong statute number. You should be able to examine the radar certificate of calibration and the officer's log showing the radar unit was tested prior to and after the citation was issued. If it wasn't a radar ticket perhaps he paced you, then you can see if his vehicle's speedometer has a current certificate of calibration and see over what distance he paced you, sounds like an short off ramp, which may not be long enough. The police and the judges do this for a living so I think it would most unusual to win this case on something other than a technicality, or the officer not showing up in court. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by amitb00 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:04 am

In Florida I once paid a ticket for $110 when DW was issued a ticket for changing lanes without signal. Then I saw insurance rate will go up. Sometimes there are discounts which you won't get as your record is not clean. We paid 1 K in 3 years as increased insurance cost. I learnt the lesson. Since then whenever we got ticket, we hired an attorney. Always won and so record is clean. Remember when you take traffic class, even though you don't get points your record is not clean. Companies can't increase rate but they can deny discount. Go with attorney and have clean records.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by frugaltype » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:48 am

qui wrote:When I was 20, I got a ticket for 110 in a 65. Cost me like $350 and the privilege to visit Canada, but then my insurance dropped by about 25% next year. (shocking, I know)
How did the Canada thing happen? Are you prohibited from visiting forever?

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frugaltype
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by frugaltype » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:50 am

I got a ticket once for parking in a no parking area. Despite the fact that the No Parking sign was hidden by foliage and I brought in a picture, I still got fined. It was hundreds of dollars when I was quite poor, and they laughed at me when I said that. So much for our justice system.

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wander
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by wander » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:02 am

Try to show up at the court and plead no contest; usually, you will pay fee and do community service but there will be no points.

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runner9
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by runner9 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:32 am

I'm curious about the length of the offramp as well. I learned to drive that you exit the right lane and enter the exit lane, or start of the ramp basically, before slowing down, so as not to make the cars that are staying in the right lane and not exit slow down.

So, how short or long is the distance from the start of the exit to a 15MPH sign? How fast of a slow down would that have to be?

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SteveNet
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by SteveNet » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:04 am

I got a ticket some 25 yrs ago north of NYC, Croton on the Hudson. Trooper shot me with radar doing 62 in a 55 zone, route 9.
I decided to Lawyer up, $400.
The Trooper (officer) not only has to show up, but also has to notify you in writing (mail) "Prior" to your due date of the charges (violation) as well as sending a copy to the court.

Trooper showed up in court :( but had not sent me OR the court a notification in advance of the court date via mail. Dismissed. He was pissed too. (Trooper).
He also lied that he sent it, till the Judge asked the clerk for their copy and the clerk said they didn't receive one. Evil eye to Trooper from Judge.
I never had to say a word during the whole process, Lawyer did all the talking.

Good Luck.
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by nirvines88 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:11 am

I vote for lawyer, those insurance premiums are awful!
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Mike Scott
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Mike Scott » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:13 am

How about the honest approach? If you were speeding then pay it. If you were not then contest it. It's not just a money/risk analysis.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by lws6772 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:24 am

If I knew I was in the wrong, I would pay up, if not I would fight it.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Traveler » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:26 am

You're seriously considering a lawyer for a minor traffic violation? Either show up and hope the officer doesn't (it should get dismissed), or pay the $200. I've had numerous speeding tickets and my insurance premiums didn't go up if it was the first ticket on a clean record. I even got a second once and the premiums didn't go up. With the lawyer idea, you're guaranteed to spend $450 so why not take your chance on the insurance not rising that much?

westie
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by westie » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:29 am

Pay it and move on. Hiring an attorney would be foolish. New York state instituted a a new $25 state surcharge for speeding motorists who plead down to the common lesser charge of “parking on pavement” this year.
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SteveNet
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by SteveNet » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:38 am

Mike Scott wrote:How about the honest approach? If you were speeding then pay it. If you were not then contest it. It's not just a money/risk analysis.
Not for nothing, but Hiring a Lawyer IS an honest approach.
The Officer and the Court have to provide certain documentation for the charge to hold up.
Calibration of the radar gun used, etc.

Implying that not just simply paying the ticket is not honest is very incorrect, there is a process, following it is everyone's right for their day in court.

After all have you ever gone over the speed limit in your life? Even accidentally?
In all "honesty" you should report yourself. Pay the fine to society and all that.
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by carolinaman » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:49 am

My son was laid off from his job 3 years ago because his company's insurance company could not insure him due to his traffic record which included several charges over a multiple year period. In desperation he hired a traffic lawyer who was able to get the charges either removed from his record or reduced to non moving violation. In one instance, he got a refund of fine he had paid 3 years earlier. It was amazing to see how this lawyer was able to talk with judges, prosecutors, and DMV to clean up his record. It involved charges in 3 counties, so it was not an easy feat. I think he paid about $500, but was soon reinstated in his job.

The few tickets I have received, I just paid the fine and moved on. But after seeing this, I will probably get a traffic lawyer if there is another one. In our state, one ticket in a 3 year period usually does not affect insurance. However, if there is a second one, it gets real expensive quickly.

Also, you can usually take a safety course which will reduce the charge and not affect insurance if the charge is not too serious. At least it works that way in NC.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:19 am

Where I live, traffic tickets are well known to be purely & simply a revenue game for the cities and you cannot use normal logic to win. Many cities here use shady tactics to keep this revenue stream going, almost to the point of it being corrupt/shady/just-not-right. Once ticketed, your options are basically: Plead not guilty w/ a letter explanation -- your only reply will be 'guilty' and a bill, as well as hours wasted writing the letter. If you plead guilty, then you're just owning the points & fines and making life easy for the city. The only way to have a chance in winning is to plead not guilty and ask for a court date. There's a 1% chance the PO won't show up. If that fails and you have a good driving record, then there's a 95% chance that the magistrate will offer a deal to plead guilty to a lesser infraction (non-moving, no points) that has a slightly larger fine without you saying a word. And that's normally the way to go if you're guilty.

To the couple people that state 'how about be honest', this approach should suffice... since all you're really doing is asking for a face-to-face discussion on the matter. Worse comes to worse and no offers come, you just tell the judge that you're guilty and ask for leniency based on your record. But it's probably worth your time to ask for a court date to "discuss" it - worst outcome is wasting your time. I also have to chuckle a bit at the "be honest" approach - you guys have never sped? Never looked at your phone while driving? Never failed to indicate? Did you drive down to the PD and self-report yourselves? Get real - driving isn't a 1/0 game. Don't lie, but I also don't see anything wrong with challenging the ticket knowing you're guilty, if only to have your 2 minutes of discussion with 'the man'.

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Pajamas
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Pajamas » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:22 pm

I have had a speeding ticket dismissed because the police officer wasn't there to testify and another time the judge rescheduled the court date so that the police officer would be there.

If the police officer is present, you are going to be found guilty unless there was an error made and you would probably have to pay for a lawyer to find that out.

I suggest going to court, watching what happens in cases prior to yours, and if the police officer isn't there and the cases aren't rescheduled, plead "not guilty" and have it dismissed.

If the police officer is there, then ask the judge if you could have the charges dismissed or lessened as it is your first offense, or barring that, plead "nolo contendere." Then pay the fine and don't get any more tickets. The points should be irrelevant unless you get more tickets.

There is no use making it more expensive by hiring a lawyer with so little at stake.

If you are worried about your insurance, call your agent and ask if they would raise your rates if you hypothetically got a speeding ticket. I don't see that happening for a first offense unless you are doing something crazy like going 120 mph or driving drunk.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Twins Fan » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:45 pm

Mike Scott wrote:How about the honest approach? If you were speeding then pay it. If you were not then contest it. It's not just a money/risk analysis.
This ^^... OP, you have yet to say how fast you were going. :confused

If this is a "fishing hole", as the OP thinks, it was likely a traffic officer parked there, has his radar certs, and has pre-written tickets for that exact location. Highly unlikely that you or a lawyer are going to beat it. So, if hiring a lawyer and hoping for a technicality seems worth it to you...

I'd say pay it and forget it. But, if you wanted, you could go to court meet with the prosecutor, tell them it is your first ticket in 25 years, you won't do it again, yada yada, and they would probably reduce it to a lesser fine/points.

I may know a thing or two about a thing or two here. :wink:

Hiring a lawyer for a traffic ticket... NOT a boglehead move.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by 100acrewood » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:50 pm

My first traffic ticket was going 55mph in a 40mph zone. I didn't care about the fine as much as the points (worrying it would increase insurance rates). So I went to court. The officer did show, and I plead "guilty with explanation". I simply stated that this was a first offense and asked if there could be a reduction in the points due to it being the first, and having an otherwise clean record. She agreed and dropped the points completely.

You already know the worst case scenario (points + fines), so you might as well give it a shot and see if the officer doesn't show, or if you can get a reduction in penalties.

RobInCT
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by RobInCT » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:57 pm

Seriously, don't hire a lawyer, show up in court, if the cop shows up, plead no contest. If he doesn't, you lucked out and get off. Before you go to court, make sure the ticket was filled out correctly--date, time, location, officer's name, etc. If it wasn't, even if the cop shows up you can point out the technical error on the ticket and it may be dismissed that way. You don't have to be or pay a lawyer to do this.

MichaelM24
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by MichaelM24 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:01 pm

One ticket in 25 years? Your rates are going to skyrocket.

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RyeWhiskey
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by RyeWhiskey » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:02 pm

I've had three different speeding tickets which equaled a total of five points on my record. They were spread out over the course of five years. Here's what I can tell you:

1) Go to traffic school. It should wipe the points from your record and takes a day to complete. Easy.

2) Go to your insurance company and ask them what the hit will be on your premiums. Then you'll know for sure and can make a better decision. You should be able to call your agent and simply as "I got a speeding ticket which will add 4 points to my record, what is the insurance impact of this?" You can also ask him/her how they think you should proceed - they may know of a better traffic school.

3) No need to hire a lawyer for a minor infraction like you mentioned. If you decide that you want to go to court, you can go to court on your own and see if the officer shows up. You should check over the ticket for errors. If he does show up and you were not speeding, say so. If he argues, pay the fine and move on. In my experience, if he does show up and has followed through with the letters, etc... then you will have to pay the fine and won't be able to argue your way out of it.

4) Finally, if you're going to speed, get a radar detector. Good ones cost between 150-400 bucks and they pay for themselves. They are totally legal within the continental US and merely inform you when police radar is being used nearby. As I mentioned, I had three speeding tickets within five years. Then I got a radar detector. I have not been pulled over by a cop since other than my tail light being out. :beer
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IowaFarmBoy
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:38 pm

Insurance companies may vary in how often they pull motor vehicle reports on existing policyholders. The reports cost and they may only do it if there is another reason driving it, like claims. We moved to a different state and our insurance company didn't ask for our new driver's license numbers for over 20 years even with some small claims, umbrella purchase, etc. I think they finally asked when we bought a new umbrella after not having one for a few years.

Other companies may be different.

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Sheepdog
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:45 pm

I have never had a ticket except parking in my 60 years of driving ....except, I once received a mailed notice that there was an outstanding moving violation ticket in Miami on such and such a date and I had not appeared in court to pay the fine. At that time, I had never been to Miami, so, of course, how could I have received one. I wrote a letter explaining that I had not been there so I should not be liable. I only wrote where I was that day and gave a description of my car and could supply proof, if necessary. For whatever reason, I never received another letter or summons.I never figured that one out.

Anyway, to comment to the op, If i was guilty of speeding, I would just pay it. If not, I would attempt to fight it.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

John3754
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by John3754 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:51 pm

westcoast wrote:I didn't see anything in the OP's post if he was actually speeding or not.
In the second sentence of the post he said he was clocked going 32 in a 15.

GaryEsq
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by GaryEsq » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:04 pm

I'm not sure how it works in New York but here in Connecticut you would never have your matter adjudicated at your first appearance. If N.Y. is anything like here, plan on attending at least 2 or 3 "pretrials" if you choose to plead not guilty. If I were you I'd double-check this before I made my final decision.

John3754
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by John3754 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:07 pm

jbk wrote:John 3754, my understanding is that radar is not necessarily infallible and lawyers have ways of pointing that out.
Nothing is infallible, but the cops and courts have heard these arguments 10,000 times. I have a friend who tried this exact defense...."When was the last time you calibrated your speed detector? How did you calibrate it? Did you follow the manufacturers recommendations? Are you properly trained to use this device?".

The cop had an answer for everything, my friend lost and had to pay the fine. Anecdotal yes, but the point remains that if your only defense is trying to game the system then don't be surprised if you lose.

Jack
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Jack » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:20 pm

RyeWhiskey wrote:4) Finally, if you're going to speed, get a radar detector. Good ones cost between 150-400 bucks and they pay for themselves. They are totally legal within the continental US and merely inform you when police radar is being used nearby.
Radar detectors are illegal in Virginia and Washington, DC. In most places they are illegal for trucks and commercial vehicles.

FRANK2009
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by FRANK2009 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:28 pm

Assuming the police officer that issued the summons is assigned to a highway district, your chance of having the judge dismiss the case are negligible. Those guys issue that type of summons all day every day. More importantly in your case, they spend a lot of time in court and are expert at giving testimony. I'm not really sure how the lawyer is able to put his chances of getting the summons dismissed at 75%. Is that something he says so that you hire him?

That said, I know you don't want to be your own lawyer, but that may be your best option. If the officer fails to appear your case may be automatically dismissed. The officer may have an off day and forget to state key elements of testimony.

I have some experience in this area (retired NYPD) so PM me if you have questions.

Clumsum
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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by Clumsum » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:21 pm

I have hired lawyers. Charges have always been reduced to non moving violation. Get the lawyer in the same county you got the ticket so they know the ins and outs of that county. Seems like the judges or state attorney are fine with that because they still get the revenue. Several had been settled by the states attorney before the court date. You might call the dates attorney directly and see if they will offer you a deal. Have also done traffic classmate keep tickets off my record. I keep my driving record clean.

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Re: First Speeding Ticket: What Would You Do?

Post by placeholder » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:25 am

I was intrigued by the OP's comments about NYC so I did some searching and it looks as though it is different there than many places: http://www.speedingticketcentral.com/Ne ... icket.html

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