Got my first speeding ticket

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Was dropping off someone at the airport and I didn't slow down enough for the CHP officer waiting right there on shoulder. Said I was seen going 62 in a 45 via radar. Probably true, but he said he was cutting me a break by reporting it as 55. And the ticket does say approximately 55, but the writeup in the code section specifically says 62. So I'm probably going to request a reduction in penalty, as the court has some sort of form to do so if one is pleading guilty or no-contest. I looked at the form and it doesn't have a check box or anything - just that one is pleading guilty or no-contest. Plus traffic school plus whatever administrative fee for that (I think the $82 for that is more than the cost of traffic school). I am not going to San Mateo County Superior Court to handle this.

It did occur to me that I could try and get out of this since the officer's handwriting is atrocious (surprised the CHP doesn't use an electronic device to print out citations) and I couldn't read the appearance date. But then I suppose I'm supposed to contact the court to see what it was. But then I looked it up by citation number and apparently someone there could figure it out (or it's automatically assigned). But they didn't have the appearance time, and I have a hard time reading that too.

Still wondering why they're still using handwritten citations when they had tested electronic systems before.


Still - the appear date is more than 3 months into the future. I suppose if I really want to draw this out I could just go there in person, not request a trial date, and just plead no-contest. Not sure if I'd qualify for the reduction in penalty. The information doesn't even say what the process is for paying the penalty if I appear - whether it's due on the appearance of I have such and such time to pay. Everything on the citation is about paying the bail or requesting a trial.
 
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Back in the 1990s Nolo press (https://www.nolo.com) had a book called "Fight Your Ticket". It walks you through all the legal procedures. There are so many steps, usually your case gets dismissed before you have to show up in court. You don't need a lawyer. Following this book's advice, when I used to live in CA my record was 4 for 5 over the years - pretty good.

Or, you can keep it simple and write a letter to the court requesting traffic school. You pay the fine and fees, but it doesn't go on your record so your insurance doesn't go up.
 
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In NJ it's 2 points on your license for 1 to 14 mph over the limit and 4 points if it's 16 to 30 mph over the limit. Cop gave me a ticket for 16 over the limit. I asked him nicely if he could lower it to 14 over. He told me he could lower it 1 mph but not 2 mph. So I went to court. Five court dates with adjournments and extensions and me trying to get it lowered down to 14 mph without success. The cop, prosecutor, and judge all mad at me asking for adjournments and delaying things. I flat out told the judge that I'd plead guilty to 14 over but the prosecutor and cop wouldn't budge. Was at a party and ran into an attorney friend of the family and consulted with him. He told me he'd take care of it. He said the tolerance on radar was recently established by some millionaire guy in the same situation as me that spent a lot of money on subject matter experts to establish the error in radar in actual use. He wrote the court a letter on my behalf saying that he was going to quote this court case. Next time I showed up at court it was a totally different story. The prosecutor was all friendly. The judge was happy. The cop was still a jerk.

I accompanied my mother to municipal court when she had a ticket and the prosecutor was wheeling and dealing. Plea bargains for everyone.
 
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I heard on the morning news politicians complaining about speeders so I'm glad the Illinois state police will start cracking down cause now everyone goes 80 or more on the interstate
 
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I got pulled over about 10 years ago doing 92 in a 70, State Trooper wrote the ticket for 82 since I immediately pulled over and didn’t play dumb.

Ticket Clinic type of law firms are popular here in Florida.
 
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Laws do vary by state. In CA you can fight it yourself but NY is different. My daughter got a speeding ticket in New York where she attends college (we live in WA state) - 75 in a 55! I helped her draft a letter we sent to the county DA office asking for a reduction in charges. The DA offered pleading guilty to "parking on the pavement", which is parking ticket, not even a moving violation, and a fee of $150. Done. No points, nothing on the record, etc.

So it doesn't hurt to ask nicely...
 
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south dakota
I have not had a speeding ticket or traffic violation for about 5 years. The last one I had was for going 10mph over and I just paid the fine. It didn't go on my record because it's in one of those little towns that just want the money and don't want to hurt your record.
The old saying about speeding is "8 your GREAT and 9 your MINE! Meaning 8 or 9 mph over the limit.
 
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Southern Vermont
Invest in a good radar detector. I have a Uniden R7 in each car (3 cars). To save money, buy refurbs. If you avoid 1 ticket, it has paid for itself and you have avoided much personal hassle.
 
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NH State Police are having a speeding drive this week in the southern part of the state and getting 90 and getting100 MPH speeders. Was in that area a couple months ago and found traffic fast but otherwise mostly safe.
 

CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
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Utah
If you want out of the ticket, pay a lawyer.

If you want points and increased insurance premiums, pay the ticket.
California considers a speeding ticket (less than excessive speed or reckless driving) an "infraction", and as such it's a complete waste of time (not to mention money) to hire a lawyer. OP's best bet is too pay the fine and ask for traffic school to keep it off his record. And yes in California you have to pay the fine and pay for traffic school.
 
Joined
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Where I got my first ticket for officially 75 in an 55 (actual was 86 in an 55) also gave me the option to pay a bribe…. I mean deferral. Takes a $160 to $250, but if you stay out of trouble for a year it just disappears, no points and stays off your record. My wife got it as well for a 62 in a 35 (country road, nothin’ but corn and bean fields), cop wrote it as a simple speeding ticket not as reckless, same cost.

But yeah… my radar detector has more than paid for itself.
 
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