Let’s face it; there’s every chance that you’ll get flagged down by a traffic cop for over speeding. It could be one of those mornings when you’re late for work or an important meeting. At times, you just don’t know that you’re stepping on the acceleration pedal so hard until a highway patrol cop asks you to pull over.
When you get flagged down, you don’t have to get booked. But, before we tell you how to avoid a speeding ticket, it is worth noting there are three different speed limits in all 50 states. These are presumed, basic, and absolute speed limits. Be sure to get well acquainted with these limits to allow you to present a solid defense when challenging your speeding ticket.
That said, we let you in on a couple of secrets to help you get out of a speeding ticket.
When you get pulled over for driving beyond the set speed limits, the first thing that you need to do is to behave by the law. The idea here is to “look good” to the cop. In fact, you shouldn’t spend more than thirty seconds trying to find a safe spot when the officer flags you down.
Engage your hazard lights as a sign that you’re respectful to the well-being of fellow motorists. Always keep your hands on the steering wheel or where the officer can see them. Provide your license and registration without a fuss. In simple terms, show the cop some respect, both by your words and action.
Discuss With the Officer About Your Violation
Let the cop know that he/she was right to pull you over – if you know that you have broken the law. You want the officer to see that he/she is doing their job right. When the policeman/woman feels “acknowledged,” he or she might let you off the hook with a warning.
But, in case the officer goes ahead to write a citation, be sure to gather some info at the scene including the officer’s license plate and anything he/she says. Gather as much information as you can to make you a credible witness in court.
Also, make sure that you sign the citation. It is worth noting here that signing the citation isn’t an admission of guilt. It is just an acknowledgment that you understand the reason behind the speeding ticket. Request the officer to schedule the court appearance to your county seat. Indeed, you want the hearing moved closer to avoid unnecessary inconveniences.
By now, it is apparent that you’ll have your day in court. Leave the scene without creating any unnecessary drama. Keep you calm and wait for the officer to pull out before driving away. Try not to get confrontational or use any abusive words aimed at the officer. Put differently: make sure that the cop doesn’t remember you as it might affect your trial negatively.
Know Your Options to Fight the Speeding Ticket
The first thing that you need to do when contesting a ticket is to enter a plea. When you plead guilty, it means that you’re accepting the ticket and are ready to pay the fines. Of course, doing so will increase your insurance premiums.
You can enter a “no contest” plea if you want to challenge the charges without pleading guilty. You should note, however, that this has similar consequences as pleading guilty. See, when you enter a no contest plea, you’re admitting to driving beyond the set speed limits, but at the same time, you’re asking the court to consider some factors.
The difference is that a no contest plea might result in your insurance premiums staying the same. It is essential to mention that the only time you should enter a “guilty with an explanation” plea is when you have a solid explanation as to why you were over speeding (mostly due to an emergency).
A “not guilty” plea means that you’re challenging the officer’s reasons for your speeding ticket or identification of your car. You could argue, for instance, that there were many similar vehicles on the road that day and that the cop flagged you down by mistake.
Tip – Always contact your insurance provider before deciding to fight a speeding ticket. You should know how much an unfavorable judgment will affect your insurance premiums. You want to know if the increase in premiums will be more or less than it would have if you acknowledge the ticket and pay the fine. Besides, you should be privy to the fact that only fifty percent of people who choose fight speeding tickets get their cases dismissed.
Mount a Solid Defense
Since you’ll appear at the court, it makes perfect sense to get your defense in order. You will need to have you evidence in order before you can present it before a judge. While you may appear in court alone to give your defense, it is always advisable to get a speeding ticket lawyer.
In fact, you should consider talking to a reputable attorney before deciding to enter a plea. The lawyer will look at your case and the available evidence. He or she will then tell you if you have what it takes to present a successful plea. Other than that, the attorney will help you arrange your evidence in a way that will guarantee you the best possible results. Most importantly, he or she will help you avoid the most common mistake motorists do when fighting a speeding ticket.
The Bottom Line
The thing is; getting a speeding ticket isn’t fun. Apart from putting you at the risk of paying higher insurance premiums, you also waste a lot of time going to court to answer your case. One of the best ways to help you avoid a ticket in the first place is to install a radar detector in your car. That way, you will know the locations with speed traps and slow down accordingly. State-of-the-art detectors can even pick signals from police radar guns/lasers a couple of miles away.