Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

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Mastercone
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Mastercone » Tue May 14, 2019 9:50 pm

I hate this, but I'll bite. In the 80s, my sister gets a speeding ticket on the freeway for doing 67 mph in a 55 mph zone (yeah, those old days). I read the ticket and notice that the officer 'paced' her using his patrol vehicle to determine the speed(in other words, no radar was used). It indicated the patrol vehicle number so I went to the police department to look at the vehicle. I found the patrol car and an officer pointed out that all police vehicle speedometers are "Certified" as accurate directly from the manufacturer. Sure enough, on all of those Chrysler manufactured vehicles (and likely others) the speedometer has the word "CERTIFIED" on the speedometer panel. It seemed convincing but I knew better. I asked the police traffic division who calibrates their speedometers. They told me that the police garage does it once a week for each vehicle. I knew better. I called the police garage. The police garage supervisor explained to me that the city has a contract with a company that calibrates all of their speedometers. I thought to myself, "Wow, what a contract." I locate and visit the contractor. The ONLY guy working there is a guy named Sparky. I told him I knew about his speedometer calibration contract with the city and wanted to see the records on a certain patrol car. He opened a filing cabinet drawer and pulled out a nearly empty folder. He explained he had the speedometer calibration contract for 10 years but, in that time, had only calibrated the speedometers of three Elgin street sweepers from the airport.

In other words, the police never bother to calibrate their speedometers. Police using the pace method to cite vehicles for speeding is highly inaccurate but it helps if the vehicle speedometers are calibrated. The moral of this story is that as long as you are willing to dig through the smoke, you'll find the fire. Even RADAR units require calibration as well. More often than not, I would suspect an officer giving you a break on speed may not even have an actual RADAR unit in his vehicle. It's not like every vehicle has one. But people don't know that.

Back in high school in the 70s, a friend of mine got a ticket for speeding 49 mph in a 35 mph zone. But the officer wrote 49 mph in a 55 mph zone on the ticket. I went with him to see the judge and explained that 49 mph in a 55 mph zone isn't against the law. The first thing the judge asked was what the speed limit was and the reply was 35 mph which would be against the law. But I added that if the officer made a mistake on the higher speed then what other mistakes were made? He agreed and dismissed the ticket.

Oh, by the way, my sister's ticket was dismissed. But it wasn't because of all of the miraculous sleuthing on my part. Instead, the judge noted that he lived right down the street from us and would hate to fine a new neighbor.

While many think the officer in your story was being very generous by citing you for a lower speed to save you a few bucks, I see it as an opportunity to get your charge reduced or dismissed altogether. Even if you don't have time to do a little digging, if it were me I would see if the prosecutor would let you plead to a non-moving offense or even 'Failure to Appear' and a fine in lieu of the speeding citation.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue May 14, 2019 9:54 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:37 pm
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:05 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:01 pm
Sounds like you are guilty, so pay up.
Sound like the OP is in the USA, where you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Earl, it’s called taking responsibility for your own actions.
Nonsense. The government(s) have a duty to prove their contention. I don't need to help them.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Nowizard
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Nowizard » Wed May 15, 2019 7:18 am

One issue is the insurance report, of course. In our area, whether a report is made is often not made in rural areas or suburbs of larger cities. If no insurance issue, just pay and move on. Call your company or research the possible impact on insurance rates.

Tim

Dottie57
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed May 15, 2019 7:31 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:54 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:37 pm
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:05 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:01 pm
Sounds like you are guilty, so pay up.
Sound like the OP is in the USA, where you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Earl, it’s called taking responsibility for your own actions.
Nonsense. The government(s) have a duty to prove their contention. I don't need to help them.
I guess the difference is that I don’t see police as “them” or other. If I break a law and am found out.... consequences.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed May 15, 2019 11:06 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:31 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:54 pm
Nonsense. The government(s) have a duty to prove their contention. I don't need to help them.
I guess the difference is that I don’t see police as “them” or other. If I break a law and am found out.... consequences.
You don't get to define what taking responsibility is for me.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Dottie57
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed May 15, 2019 12:30 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 11:06 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:31 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:54 pm
Nonsense. The government(s) have a duty to prove their contention. I don't need to help them.
I guess the difference is that I don’t see police as “them” or other. If I break a law and am found out.... consequences.
You don't get to define what taking responsibility is for me.
It is a general concept which used to be taught in school.

I am done with this thread as OP has stated his lawyer said not to go to court, the Judge might very well reverse the police easing of violation.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=281055#p4543472

JackoC
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by JackoC » Wed May 15, 2019 1:12 pm

batpot wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:09 am
Always worth talking to a lawyer. Sometimes a few.
They'll give you a few minutes on the phone for free.

Lots depends on jurisdiction, but whatever hundreds of dollars you pay is probably worth keeping it off your driving record, and keeping your insurance rates down.
I agree. Depends a lot on the legal specifics of the case and jurisdiction...and traffic ticket lawyers are in business to know that. Vs. the offender trying to look it up on the internet or ask on forums, which will inevitably yield some misinformation which you can't always identify (the BS pseudo-moralizing can be annoying but at least it's easy to recognize and ignore :D ). It's a risk management issue. It *might* cost you a lot in insurance not to challenge a ticket. It could in general, though doesn't seem so in this case, turn into a bigger legal problem. Or, a lawyer might be able to tell you if it's the wrong decision, for your own interests, to challenge. And as you say a lawyer might well give you some useful, and reliable, jurisdiction-specific info for free.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed May 15, 2019 4:07 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:30 pm

It is a general concept which used to be taught in school.
How about what I was taught? "You have rights as an American. That includes innocent until proven guilty." In my view, it is NEVER wrong to insist on your Constitutional rights.

This isn't a moral instruction or law and order forum. Last I checked, it was financial. That's what the OP asked.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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willthrill81
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed May 15, 2019 5:23 pm

JackoC wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 1:12 pm
batpot wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:09 am
Always worth talking to a lawyer. Sometimes a few.
They'll give you a few minutes on the phone for free.

Lots depends on jurisdiction, but whatever hundreds of dollars you pay is probably worth keeping it off your driving record, and keeping your insurance rates down.
I agree. Depends a lot on the legal specifics of the case and jurisdiction...and traffic ticket lawyers are in business to know that. Vs. the offender trying to look it up on the internet or ask on forums, which will inevitably yield some misinformation which you can't always identify (the BS pseudo-moralizing can be annoying but at least it's easy to recognize and ignore :D ). It's a risk management issue. It *might* cost you a lot in insurance not to challenge a ticket. It could in general, though doesn't seem so in this case, turn into a bigger legal problem. Or, a lawyer might be able to tell you if it's the wrong decision, for your own interests, to challenge. And as you say a lawyer might well give you some useful, and reliable, jurisdiction-specific info for free.
+1

I wouldn't personally lie about this issue, but as I noted already, it might be completely unnecessary. The prosecutor may be willing to make you a deal that would result in a lower fine and/or would not impact your insurance premiums, the latter of which is usually the really big expense with moving violations. I know someone who had a moving violation recently, and the fine was $150 but the higher insurance premiums will cost closer to $2k. It's definitely worth showing up in court and 'throwing yourself on their mercy', which may be more effective if you have an otherwise clean record.
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mpnret
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by mpnret » Wed May 15, 2019 6:21 pm

I can only tell you the way this works in NJ, all the time, over and over again for everybody. Other states may or may not be the same. You get a speeding ticket. An apperance may or may not be required. You call in to let them know you are pleading not guilty. They set a date. When you get to court you first meet with the prosecutor. His job is to reduce the judges time and maximize the revenue the muncipality receives. You first meet with him and ask if there is anything he can do so you can avoid points on your license. This has nothing to do with being guilty or not. He offers a non-moving no point violation and asks if you will plead guilty to that. He cautions that it cost more than the speeding ticket and also involves court costs. Then he says "it's not too late to go up to the window just pay the speeding ticket without court costs. My last time he even said that he would just pay the ticket being I haven't had a violation in over 20 years. But I wanted to avoid points on my license. It's a win/win. Muncipality makes more money. You pay more that night but avoid points and insurance increase so you also come out ahead. A lawyer knows the drill and does this over and over again and having one can make the process much smoother for you. Also a lawyer usually gets you to the front of the line which sometimes can be very long.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by tennisplyr » Thu May 16, 2019 6:57 am

If you were wrong, what's your point?
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu May 16, 2019 8:08 am

tennisplyr wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:57 am
If you were wrong, what's your point?
I can't speak for OP, but one valid point would be that given the infraction, there are multiple perfectly legal ways to deal with it. One way has an immediate known costs, and future costs that while unknown might be substantial. Other ways could have similar or lower immediate costs, but lower or zero future costs. This is a financial forum. People have offered financial advice. The life coaching forums on guilt and punishment are on Reddit.

Just like people are required to take RMDs from their retirement accounts at a certain age, but sometimes forget. No one on this forum ever suggests "Pay the IRS all the penalties, you messed up you are morally obligated to pay." Instead, people recommend "Explain your mistake and give a reasonable excuse for it, take the distributions, and request a waiver for the penalties." Because this is a financial forum.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 16, 2019 8:19 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 8:36 am
BJJ nerd wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 8:26 am
Thanks all. To be clear, I don't have a problem paying the court / citation fees. Was exploring the lawyer option to minimize impact on my insurance.
One speeding ticket shouldn't have an impact on your insurance.
You clearly don't live in Massachusetts. The first ticket is "free" meaning no points. But you lose your safe driving credit for 6 years. For me, that's $1000. Perhaps $1000 doesn't mean anything to you, but I've got other things I'd rather spend that kind of money on.
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Smoke
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by Smoke » Thu May 16, 2019 9:25 am

Yes, you should have your day in court.
Years ago in NY I was ticketed by a State Trooper for being over the limit.
YES I was over the limit, I do not normally speed but the cruse control didn't work and I had not noticed my speed at the time.
Nonetheless, the Police/trooper has additional responsibilities in the legal system besides issuing a ticket.
Depending on your state laws, at the time My incident the Trooper had to send a document of the offense to ME and to the Court within a certain date prior to the court case. AND also show up for the court case. If he did not do either of these it would get thrown out.

In my case the Trooper showed up, but did not send out the paperwork to me.
Then he lied to the judge in court that he did send them out. Judge ripped him a new one after finding out that the court did not get the paperwork either.
And the case was thrown out.

If you feel morally obligated to pay for the infraction, that's up to you.
If you wish to avail yourself to your protections in the same justice system that the process is followed, that is up to you as well.

At the time my lawyer told me that 50% of the time Troopers don't bother to show up. And 50% of the time they do not do the paperwork.
And as it was my first infraction ever it would most likely get reduced, if it went that far.

mpnret
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Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Post by mpnret » Thu May 16, 2019 9:25 am

CoastalWinds wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:00 am
ddurrett896 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 8:36 am
BJJ nerd wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 8:26 am
Thanks all. To be clear, I don't have a problem paying the court / citation fees. Was exploring the lawyer option to minimize impact on my insurance.
One speeding ticket shouldn't have an impact on your insurance.
It shouldn’t, but it absolutely does!
Even if it didn't, it's worth it to do everything you can to keep that speeding ticket off your record. I went over 20 years without a ticket and the prosecutor was quick to point that out saying tht it should be easy for me to go another 20 years and he would just pay the ticket. Once you have one ticket on your record that second one can often pop up when you least expect it. Like a speed trap on vacation or something else. Now you have 2 speeding tickets. I negotiated mine down to a non-moving no point ticket with the prosecutor. Well worth it to me.

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