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Old 10-27-09, 12:57 AM   #1
lovrin
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Speeding ticket...help me!

I was driving yesterday, about 40 miles away from home, first time on the highway, coming off into a town I've never been to to drop my friend off. I just got off the thruway, right into his town and passed a cop going 47 in a 30. Keep in mind I have absolutely no clue what the speed limit is, it's 12 in the morning, it's my first time riding on the thruway and I've never even been in this town. Now, I'm trying to keep this from my dad, of course he's the registered owner of the car, but I'm gonna try and hide it from him because I'm 18 and can go to court without him.

Now I'm thinking of pleading not guilty, and trying to talk to the judge, or whoever I'm assigned to talk to, and hopefully get off with a parking violation and no points on my record. Honestly, I DO the speed limit posted, and I never speed, I just didn't realize what the speed limit was because I just pulled off the highway and didn't see any signs. It's my first ticket too, so I'm hoping they reduce it. Any help or advice?
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Old 10-27-09, 01:13 AM   #2
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Well, tell them that you didn't see any signs and hope they believe you.
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Old 10-27-09, 01:53 AM   #3
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Only chance you have is to prove that there were no speeding signs between where you got off, and where you got the ticket.. I would bet there is one.. small hard to see.. classic speed trap
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Old 10-27-09, 02:43 AM   #4
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Cop probably took the signs down and put them back up after the ticket. If this is your first ticket just go to driving school and the points will go bye bye.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:12 AM   #5
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Hire a good attourney.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:23 AM   #6
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You may want to spend some time reading through the following thread - it has some useful general advice re: legal arguments, court appearances, etc. I happen to have related a specific experience with a speeding ticket.

headset/earplug law challenge

Keeping this from dad: not to burst your bubble, but (in CA, at least) I'm pretty sure a summons arrives in the mail regarding the incident/charge, how much the fine is, when to appear in court if you challenge it, etc. If you live at home - you would need to intercept all mail for a week or two. Ask a fellow NY dweller who has had a similar experience.

My recommendation - come clean w/ dad. You're new behind the wheel, the infraction seems pretty mild, and he probably had something similar happen when he started driving. The incident does sound like a typical speed trap. If dad is a macho guy, this could be a badge of honor - I know, I'm old school. Of course, only you can make this decision.

Moving violations and parking violations don't relate. The officer claimed there was a moving violation - that is the only thing that will be addressed - and possibly/hopefully dismissed.

If not, traffic school may be your friend re: insurance points.

Do return to the scene of the crime (sorry) and check out the speed limit signs. Think of reasonable arguments that support your innocence. If the position of the sign makes it difficult to read (tree branches in the way, etc.) take pictures to back your arguments up.

Good luck - and remember, sh*t like this happens to all of us.
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Old 10-27-09, 04:26 AM   #7
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First ticket they will probably drop it to something else to keep all the money instead of sharing it with the state. You will be better off telling your dad though just in case. The wrath of dad if you don't come clean can be much worse than what the courts can do.
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Old 10-27-09, 04:32 AM   #8
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I'm not even sure if the sign was hidden, it was midnight and I wasn't totally paying attention. I just figured after getting right off the thruway it couldn't be that much of a change. I found the Springville(town I was in) lawbook or whatever on the internet, and the speed throughout the entire small town is 30, so I'm screwed with that.

I can intercept the mail, the mail comes before hes home everyday. A few of my friends have had their speeding tickets reduced to parking violations so I know it's possible, only a $50 fine with no points, makes things a lot easier, but I don't know how that's gonna work out because it was never in Springville.

I really don't have a LEGITIMATE argument, and I probably won't have to TESTIFY against him, probably just go to the town prosecutor, explain what happened, why, when and all that, and hopefully just get it reduced then. I asked a few of my friends and that's what they've had happen to them, I can only hope the same happens to me, or even better, the cop doesn't show up and everything's dismissed. I'm just really pissed off because it's 40 miles away from my home...
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Old 10-27-09, 05:04 AM   #9
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Buck up,be a man,tell dad and pay the fine and get on with life,oh and don't speed.Hope the authorities in Springville don't read this site as you have admitted your guilt to us and possibly this site and admission could be used against you in court.
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Old 10-27-09, 06:51 AM   #10
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I'm not even sure if the sign was hidden, it was midnight and I wasn't totally paying attention. I just figured after getting right off the thruway it couldn't be that much of a change.
When you drive you need to always pay attention, always. And you can never assume. Never; no matter what else is going on in the car or around you.

Maybe this ticket isn't such a bad thing after all, then? Better to learn your "wasn't paying attention" lesson with a ticket than an accident, right?
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Old 10-27-09, 07:21 AM   #11
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Your dad will find out sooner or later. Come clean. If you are found guilty of speeding, and your insurance gos up, I'm assuming your on the family policy, it will be indicated as a speeding ticket. You dad will say WTF? He will be more pissed because he didn't know it was comming. Explain the facts, chances are he was caught once in something similar. You'll be better off if he fiind out sooner rather than later.
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Old 10-27-09, 07:55 AM   #12
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Tell your dad. He may be able to help. My son got a speeding ticket which I was able to get reduced right over the phone. It was a small town in upstate NY. Sounds like the same thing that happened to you. Don't just plead guilty and pay it. That's the dumbest thing you could do.
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Old 10-27-09, 11:29 AM   #13
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Sorry to hear that. I believe I can help you put a strategy in action.

FOIA (freedom of information act) request all pertinent documents involving the stop. Directions for doing this can be found on the web. Tell them any notation in any medium, and any other evidence they have on you, you want to cross examine. Video(s), notes, radar gun records, everything they've got.

The best thing that can happen, and it's happened to me, is that the cop goes and runs his or her mouth like an idiot, and contradicts his or her own notes not even knowing you have your own copy. This is grounds to have the charges dismissed if that happens. But certainly it can't be relied on.

The other benefit of having that evidence is that you can compare it to the exact charges that are on the ticket. If the law sites something you weren't doing, and the notes even say you were doing something different, you can get the charges dropped that way too.

After doing that, you should go back with someone else and a video camera, and a regular camera. Take a video as well as a series of pictures as you drive through, in order to prove you didn't see a speed limit sign. Or, if there is one, and it is hard to see, you could also use that as a mitigating circumstance, at least to ask the judge or magistrate to lessen the charges.

Yes, your dad will find out. I would tell your dad, and ask for his help taking the pictures. If there is no sign, simply take the pics to the hearing, and show it to the judge or magistrate, and ask for the charges to be dropped in light of the fact it's clearly a vicious speed trap designed to extort money from innocent drivers. Or, if there is a sign, try to show good cause as to why you missed it and they unfairly targeted you.
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Old 10-27-09, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovrin View Post
I was driving yesterday, about 40 miles away from home, first time on the highway, coming off into a town I've never been to to drop my friend off. I just got off the thruway, right into his town and passed a cop going 47 in a 30. Keep in mind I have absolutely no clue what the speed limit is, it's 12 in the morning, it's my first time riding on the thruway and I've never even been in this town. Now, I'm trying to keep this from my dad, of course he's the registered owner of the car, but I'm gonna try and hide it from him because I'm 18 and can go to court without him.

Now I'm thinking of pleading not guilty, and trying to talk to the judge, or whoever I'm assigned to talk to, and hopefully get off with a parking violation and no points on my record. Honestly, I DO the speed limit posted, and I never speed, I just didn't realize what the speed limit was because I just pulled off the highway and didn't see any signs. It's my first ticket too, so I'm hoping they reduce it. Any help or advice?
Go to your local DMV office and return your license.
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Old 10-27-09, 12:10 PM   #15
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Join the nearest Lodge, then show up in court with you square and compass ring on. You will make at least two new friends (now brothers) and learn all about how it pays to be a member.

Or do like I did this past Jan and show up begging for mercy and hope the Judge has pity on you like he did me.
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Old 10-27-09, 12:17 PM   #16
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Tell your dad.

Go to court if you want to try to beat it, but be prepared to lose, unless the cop doesn't show up.

Tell your dad (did I mention Tell your dad?).
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Old 10-27-09, 12:34 PM   #17
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All the people that say "never" and "always" when referring to driving are "always" hypocrites. Remember that when the preachin' gets preachy.

With that out of the way, just go in and try to fight it. If it doesn't work out, pay up and move on. As for telling your pops: that's up to you, but you're probably better off with the truthful route.
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Old 10-27-09, 01:19 PM   #18
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Tell your dad.

Go to court if you want to try to beat it, but be prepared to lose, unless the cop doesn't show up.

Tell your dad (did I mention Tell your dad?).
Here in Austin, if the cop doesn't show up, the judge just reschedules the case on the docket. Its no longer an automatic acquittal.

Towns want the speeding ticket revenue badly.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:07 PM   #19
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Oh boy, been down this road.

Yeah you sped, but in interest of not getting raped on insurance surcharges for the next 3-7 years, do your best to fight it.

But most importantly, please learn a lesson. If you come upon a small town from a highway... any highway, roll through at 30mph at most regardless of how easy the sign is to see. Lot of these towns are speed traps, but even so, keeping the speed down through down also has safety implications for the people there.

Lastly tell your father. He's probably dealt with something similar too.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:14 PM   #20
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I highly recommend taking defensive driving and paying their admin fee and just getting done with it. Small towns hope you just drop the cash in the mail in the pre-addressed envelope, but it doesn't just rack up the insurance premiums and score points.

Employers can be very choosy now, and having traffic convictions (which are public record) can get you denied a job.

So, fight the ticket, or take a comedy defensive driving course.
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Old 10-27-09, 04:28 PM   #21
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FYI: never go too fast on the 219. There is usually a speed trap between buffalo and springville. (sometimes on the on ramps so you don't see them)
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Old 10-27-09, 04:30 PM   #22
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You'd better not buy a carbon bike, then, or you'll end up REALLY screwed.

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Old 10-27-09, 04:33 PM   #23
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Hire a good attourney.
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've even seen a couple of people get carted off for a weekend because they mouthed off to the judge arguing with the cop.

With an attorney, you probably won't have to get up to the bench; s/he'll go up and handle the entire thing for you. You just have to show up; make SURE you wear (or borrow) a decent shirt, tie, and pants. A jacket doesn't hurt either.

Even in the most backwoods court, dressing decent makes a difference because the judge will see that you take the court seriously and respect the institution.

Its worth spending the money for a few hours' of lawyer time; it will save you 1000s in the long run on car insurance.
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Old 10-27-09, 04:57 PM   #24
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Here's what you do, since you likely don't have the cash for an attorney. Ready? You won't like it, but tough.

Tell your dad. Pay the ticket (you were speeding after all, and have admitted it. No chance to plead not-guilty now). Take your lumps. Learn from the experience.

Why do kids always want to get out of their responsibility? You don't learn by dodging your responsibility. You learn by stepping up and taking your lumps. Do it and learn your lesson. You'll be glad when you're older.
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Old 10-27-09, 05:07 PM   #25
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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 beat one without a lawyer, for an expired tag. I tried to pay it the same day, being from out of town, and the clerk told me that it was a jailable offense, so I had to go to court. Thinking that did not make sense, I looked up the exact offense, and it said "tag expired more than 12 months"(it wasn't even 12 days!). The cop wrote down the wrong code. So, since they could not prove the charge on the ticket, I felt like I could beat it.

To top it off, I explained to the judge that I had to take a day off work and drive 200 miles to Miami. The judge said sternly, to the prosecutor "Are you hearing all this?!?" To me, "Case dismissed, thank you for your time". The prosecutor seemed truly overwhelmed, and clearly made no effort to check their case against me--the DMV is in the same freakin' building!

In this case, I doubt it would be so easy to beat. You could always take a shot that the cop would not show. I think most states will let you go to school to drop the points on your first ticket, which seems like the wise course. I don't see how a lawyer could get you a better deal for less, but maybe.
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