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Old 10-27-09, 05:30 PM   #26
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Take a video camera back to that location and film the route from the exit ramp. If you can demonstrate to the court that there is no speed limit sign between the exit ramp and where you were stopped, you MIGHT get leniency. However, depending upon your state, the speed limits for different types of roads may be codified, in which case you were technically responsible for knowing that, for example, the speed limit on a two-lane urban road shall be not greater than 30 miles per hour.
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Old 10-27-09, 05:58 PM   #27
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x1000000

I've been in court and watched people w/o attorneys try to defend themselves against a traffic charge and if the cop shows up, its more than even money that no matter WHAT you say, the judge is going to go with the cop, and you'll be stuck with the ticket AND court costs.
I have never, ever lost a ticket I took to court. Granted, I did end up paying one that was my fault and I had no objection to, but for something like this, it is defensible. Particularly if there is no sign. Frankly, the attitude of "give up, it's hopeless" is downright shameful. You CAN win in court on your own, and with the steps I laid out you CAN often make a cop look like a total idiot in court. Police who write stupid tickets often also write out stupid notes, if any.

When you have a moron cop who writes bogus tickets like this one might be, he or she often ends up having a bad reputation with judges and magistrates. This leads to bogus charges being dropped, because the word of a defendant is to be taken more seriously than the word of an imbecile officer.

If you aren't comfortable with taking your case on, go watch some cases yourself. Call a magistrate sir or ma'am, and call the judges your honor. Dress in the most down to business formal clothes you have. Lay your case out with your own report of what happened to reference, taking note of where your story might differ from the story of the cops notes, and have it with you in court with the video and pictures, ready to go. Plan out your statements in your head, almost obsessively striving to figure out how best to make the cop look stupid, and how to make yourself look like a victim. It IS doable, and you can do it. Again, particularly if there was no sign, or if there was some reason why you couldn't see it.
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Old 10-27-09, 06:25 PM   #28
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might want to read this before court...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/ny...22tickets.html
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Old 10-27-09, 07:19 PM   #29
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I have never, ever lost a ticket I took to court. Granted, I did end up paying one that was my fault and I had no objection to, but for something like this, it is defensible. Particularly if there is no sign. Frankly, the attitude of "give up, it's hopeless" is downright shameful. You CAN win in court on your own, and with the steps I laid out you CAN often make a cop look like a total idiot in court. Police who write stupid tickets often also write out stupid notes, if any.

When you have a moron cop who writes bogus tickets like this one might be, he or she often ends up having a bad reputation with judges and magistrates. This leads to bogus charges being dropped, because the word of a defendant is to be taken more seriously than the word of an imbecile officer.

If you aren't comfortable with taking your case on, go watch some cases yourself. Call a magistrate sir or ma'am, and call the judges your honor. Dress in the most down to business formal clothes you have. Lay your case out with your own report of what happened to reference, taking note of where your story might differ from the story of the cops notes, and have it with you in court with the video and pictures, ready to go. Plan out your statements in your head, almost obsessively striving to figure out how best to make the cop look stupid, and how to make yourself look like a victim. It IS doable, and you can do it. Again, particularly if there was no sign, or if there was some reason why you couldn't see it.
Like doing 47 in a 30 zone?

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Old 10-27-09, 07:37 PM   #30
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Like doing 47 in a 30 zone?

So what weight does a statute carry?

We said you're not to do this and you did so you owe us X dollars. Wouldn't a free country require there to be a damaged person or property before taking any of his money or liberty from him?
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Old 10-27-09, 08:11 PM   #31
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I'm just really pissed off because it's 40 miles away from my home...
Really? I mean seriously? 40 miles is quite far. I got a ticket about 2 miles if even away from home so don't even start. However it wasn't a speeding ticket but that is besides the point.
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Old 10-27-09, 08:14 PM   #32
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So what weight does a statute carry?

We said you're not to do this and you did so you owe us X dollars. Wouldn't a free country require there to be a damaged person or property before taking any of his money or liberty from him?
so if I shoot at you with a gun but I miss, that's ok since there wasn't any damage?
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Old 10-27-09, 08:25 PM   #33
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Like doing 47 in a 30 zone?

No, but I have helped people get out of sign related traps several times.

Setting up a trap because a cop knows people will miss a sign, or because they know there is none to inform them, seems to me to be incredibly vicious, and I would completely suggest that no one ever tolerate such abuse.

I can understand you saying someone should pay the fine and shut up in a circumstance such as this, because in your case in Arizona, an infinitely better state than Michigan or New York, the police are nice people who normally try to be as reasonable as they are friendly. Sadly, it isn't that way everywhere. The only way trouble like this can be fixed is to not stand for it.
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Old 10-27-09, 09:26 PM   #34
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so if I shoot at you with a gun but I miss, that's ok since there wasn't any damage?
Ahh...the "what if" game.

I hope many a fee and fine comes your way....because you owe society for the privilege of living here.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:00 PM   #35
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Same thing happened to me on Ridge Road in Lackawanna. I had my cousin with me in my mom's car. I was 18 at the time and the cop got me for 50 in a 30. I fessed up and told my parents. They were pissed but then again they knew the area and they weren't too surprised. (Two lanes each way, no traffic, and a 30 mph limit? Geez!)

I paid the ticket, sucked up the points. If traffic school is an option, go for that. But definitely... tell your parents.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 10-27-09, 10:09 PM   #36
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I talked to a bunch of my friends who have had tickets going MORE than 17 over and still have got it reduced to, YES, as much as some of you says it can't happen...a parking violation. $50, $75, $100, what have you dollar fine, but still no points on my license and no boost in insurance rates, which is mainly what I'm worried about.

Either way I'm still going to plead not guilty, because it IS my first ticket offense and around here, at least, they sometimes let you off with a parking violation or something of that sort. Wouldn't I rather have a violation smaller than going 17mph over? There are better chances that it does get reduced if I fight it than if I don't. And it's my first one, I don't think I'll be needing a lawyer for a speeding ticket. Literally ALL of the stories I've heard end up as a reduced fine for the first one, hoping mine goes the same way. I'm still worried and pretty pissed off though, and probably will be until I go to court and get it figured out.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:15 PM   #37
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Same thing happened to me on Ridge Road in Lackawanna. I had my cousin with me in my mom's car. I was 18 at the time and the cop got me for 50 in a 30. I fessed up and told my parents. They were pissed but then again they knew the area and they weren't too surprised. (Two lanes each way, no traffic, and a 30 mph limit? Geez!)

I paid the ticket, sucked up the points. If traffic school is an option, go for that. But definitely... tell your parents.
Ridge Road is definitely a tricky one when it comes to speed. I think, mainly because it was my first time on the highway and I had just gotten off of it, I still had that "highway mentality," and was so used to going 65 for 40 miles that I had totally forgotten about it, not to mention the added on darkness and unknown area. I do often keep a look out for speed limit signs.

I went to Google Maps and while it isn't what I would call a speed trap(i.e signs aren't really HIDDEN), it was slightly dumb of the cop to say that I "passed two signs" when the one I passed was the second one where he pulled me over. I passed the sign, saw the speed limit and asked my friend(who lived in the area) what the speed limit was and bam, there was the cop as I passed the second one. And I DID slow down after seeing that second one, but it was too late as he had already radared me and pulled me over.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:18 PM   #38
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Wait... isn't traffic school an option? You know, that's a sure way to keep the points off your license, versus rolling the dice in court.

Also, think about it this way: Your friends who got their tickets reduced in court will eagerly tell you all about it. What about others that ended up paying the full ticket plus court costs? Do you think they're going around telling stories about how they FAILed in court? They probably just keep it to themselves. So all the anecdotes that you hear about where friends have their fines reduced may be misrepresenting your real chances in court.

As a parent of two young drivers myself, let me tell you: Your parents would much rather find out about your ticket BEFORE you go to court. Heck, they may even pay for a lawyer for you if you're on their insurance and they don't want their rates to go up. Your parents are placing a lot of trust in you by letting you drive their car. If you mess up and get a ticket, you owe it to them to let them know.

Be a stand-up guy, at least to your parents. Otherwise you're not very deserving of the trust they place in you when they give you the keys.

Have some integrity.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 10-27-09, 10:26 PM   #39
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Wait... isn't traffic school an option? You know, that's a sure way to keep the points off your license, versus rolling the dice in court.

Also, think about it this way: Your friends who got their tickets reduced in court will eagerly tell you all about it. What about others that ended up paying the full ticket plus court costs? Do you think they're going around telling stories about how they FAILed in court? They probably just keep it to themselves. So all the anecdotes that you hear about where friends have their fines reduced may be misrepresenting your real chances in court.

As a parent of two young drivers myself, let me tell you: Your parents would much rather find out about your ticket BEFORE you go to court. Heck, they may even pay for a lawyer for you if you're on their insurance and they don't want their rates to go up. Your parents are placing a lot of trust in you by letting you drive their car. If you mess up and get a ticket, you owe it to them to let them know.

Be a stand-up guy, at least to your parents. Otherwise you're not very deserving of the trust they place in you when they give you the keys.

Have some integrity.
I told my mom, I knew she'd support me about it instead of putting me down about it like my dad would. And I've also heard stories about people failing in court and having to pay larger fines, but never for a speeding ticket. Trust me, I've asked most of them because of what I'm going through now.

Traffic school is an option, and if they offer that, I'm definitely willing to take it to keep the points off my license.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:32 PM   #40
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And the more you talk about your experience, the more it sounds like what happened to me on Ridge Road. At the time I was going to college out of the area, so I didn't see traffic school as an option (I believe to get traffic school you still had to go to court in those days, not sure what NY requires now).

If you tell any of that story at all, you admit your guilt. If you tell another story, you're lying in court (aka perjury). If the cop shows up, it sounds like you don't have much of a leg to stand on legally. So what you're left with is depending on the judge being a "nice guy" and being in a good mood that day.

First of all, tell your parents. [edit: okay, you told mom.... trust me, dad knows too]

Then if you decide to fight it in court, do this: If they give you a time to appear, show up an hour or so before hand and just sit in the court and watch how things proceed. If you see some people that are getting satisfactory outcomes and other that aren't, you need to do what the successful ones are doing.

When I was living in Michigan, I got a ticket and decided to argue it in court. I showed up early. The cop who wrote my ticket was getting all his cases handled that morning, so I got to see what worked and what didn't. In Michigan, there is a plea callled "Guilty with an Explanation" or something like that. When pleading that way, the person admits guilt, then explains to the judge what the extenuating circumstances are. In every single case, the person who pleaded this way paid their fine as court costs, but the ticket itself was dismissed.

The one exception was a lady who insisted on pleading Not Guilty. The judge asked if she was sure she wanted to plead that way. She said yes. The judge swore in the lady and swore in the cop. He asked the lady to give her side of the story, which was basically, "I really can't believe I was going that fast. I don't think I could have been going that fast." The judge turned to the cop and asked, "When was the radar gun last calibrated? When were you last trained in its operation? How fast was the defendant going, according to the radar gun?" The cop rattled off answers immediately. The judge turned to the lady and said, "On the one hand, you say, 'I can't believe' and 'I don't think'; on the other hand, I have a trained officer of the law who measured your speed with a duly calibrated instrument. I'm sorry, ma'am, but I have no choice than to find you guilty of the charge."

Because I went early, I learned that pleading Not Guilty was the surest way to walk out of there with points on my license.
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Old 10-27-09, 11:48 PM   #41
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Just call the clerk and find out how it works. For example, in my municipality if you plead not guilty it gets set for a "pretrial" with me (the prosecutor). If we can't work out an agreement, then it gets set for trial at a later date.

In Wisconsin at least, it ALWAYS makes sense to plead not guilty -- every prosecutor I know will offer you some sort of deal. How good of deal depends on the location, but you get a deal nonetheless.

As for showing up in Court, if you talk to the prosecutor (or judge) as part of the process, just play it straight. A lot of places here (me included) have standard offers for everything (e.g., a 15 over violation gets amended to a defective speedometer). One of the main reasons I deviate from my standard and impose higher penalties is when a defendant tries to screw with me. Especially at 18, if you come in by yourself, speak for yourself, be polite and honest, you'll get the best deal I can offer. If you come in and start with excuses and have a bad attitude, you'll get nowhere fast. Even worse (in my book at least) is when you come in with mom or dad and they do all the talking -- especially when they have the attitude.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:29 AM   #42
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Just call the clerk and find out how it works. For example, in my municipality if you plead not guilty it gets set for a "pretrial" with me (the prosecutor). If we can't work out an agreement, then it gets set for trial at a later date.

In Wisconsin at least, it ALWAYS makes sense to plead not guilty -- every prosecutor I know will offer you some sort of deal. How good of deal depends on the location, but you get a deal nonetheless.

As for showing up in Court, if you talk to the prosecutor (or judge) as part of the process, just play it straight. A lot of places here (me included) have standard offers for everything (e.g., a 15 over violation gets amended to a defective speedometer). One of the main reasons I deviate from my standard and impose higher penalties is when a defendant tries to screw with me. Especially at 18, if you come in by yourself, speak for yourself, be polite and honest, you'll get the best deal I can offer. If you come in and start with excuses and have a bad attitude, you'll get nowhere fast. Even worse (in my book at least) is when you come in with mom or dad and they do all the talking -- especially when they have the attitude.
Yeah I've heard they give good deals, like I said, non-moving violations, seeing the town will get the money instead of the state. I'm just gonna go in there and when I talk to the prosecutor, and he asks me to explain myself, I'll tell him my story of how I'm in a very unfamiliar zone with my first time coming right off of the thruway in the dark. I'm pretty new to having a license, so I don't know if that's going to work with or against me here. I've been told to dress pretty formally, so I'm going to, I'm not trying to risk anything here.
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