By John Oleander -
Maybe it’s your first time, maybe it’s your nth time – but just the same, a speeding ticket is a bitter pill to swallow. If you’re a few notches over the legal speed limit and you feel like you were not the only one at it but you have a ticket – that would be bitterer. Your first impulse is to sign a check to pay the fine, but don’t do that yet. Ask for a trial so you can defend yourself. This will give you a better part of the deal since you have a chance to have that ticket dismissed. If you are going to court for a speeding ticket, here are things you should keep in mind.
What to plead if keen in going to court for a speeding ticket
There are four pleas you can use in a trial court when you have a road traffic-related citation: guilty, guilty with explanation, nolo contendere, and not guilty.
Guilty is as good as paying the fine, letting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) put negative points on your license, and paying at least 50% more on your insurance premiums for the next three years. That is just like committing suicide.
Guilty with Explanation is if you have one really, really valid reason to be speeding. Nolo Contendere is Latin term for “no contest”. It’s simply being guilty but not saying it and just willing to pay the fine and suffer the financial consequences.
Not Guilty is the one to aim for here. This is the plea of the 2.5% who saw time in court and got dismissed. Another 2.5% got really unlucky but they got lower sanctions. The 95% majority are the lazy ones who would just issue the check and wait for the consequences.
Do you need a lawyer for this?
In the traffic court, you can defend yourself so you really have no need for a traffic lawyer unless your violations involve any of the following:
- Driving while Intoxicated (DWI)
- Driving under the Influence (DUI)
- Hit & run accident
- Grave felonies like drug or weapons possession, manslaughter, robbery, etc.)
If you do not fall under any of the mentioned violations or crimes, you don’t have to spend $50 to $100 for legal services. Although there are real advantages to hiring one since most of the time they can have the tickets dismissed easily. You don’t even have to be present during hearing.
Now that you’re going to court for a speeding ticket, you should know how to follow the rules. Depending on which state, many trial courts will weird you out with some of their senseless rules and regulations. Just be nice to the clerks all the time because they can assist you with the process. They can also help you reschedule the schedule if needed.
Dress nicely as if you’re going to a job interview. Create a very good first impression with the way you look. This will have a bearing on the judge since you disay respect for the court.
Be extra prepared with your defense strategies. Bring all the necessary information that can strengthen your case of not guilty. You should have made a thorough research before you appeared in court and you should really be armed with all the necessary rebuttals.
If you are going to court for a speeding ticket, remember all these but you should also know that if the police officer who wrote the ticket is absent – your case totally gets dismissed instantly. Now, that would really be awesome!