Getting Out Of A Speeding Ticket

Getting Out Of A Speeding TicketI’ve seen this subject come up on more than one occassion on the best way to get out of a speeding ticket. While I don’t have any direct experience in this area, I know that a speeding ticket can cost a fair amount of money. While most people look only at the actual fine of the speeding ticket as the cost, there is often an additional cost that isn’t usually considered. There’s a good chance that the ticket will trigger a rate increases in your car insurance and this rate increase will last several years. Therefore, if it is possible to avoid having the ticket go on your record, then it makes financial sense to try.

Most of the time when I’ve seen these discussions, the advice to try and get out is often kind of sleazy and borderline lawful. That is why I really enjoyed an article from lifehacker because it was written from the perspective that the police, prosecutors and judges are all human beings and if you are courteous, persistent and helpful you have a good chance of having the ticket removed from your record. Here are the 18 points that the article makes:

  • Get your attitude right.
  • Turn your car off, and turn the interior lights of your car on.
  • Be very polite and do exactly what the nice cop with the big gun says.
  • Once the officer has gotten your information, ask him politely if you may speak to him about your violation.
  • Ask to see the radar then ask a few questions.
  • Plead your case.
  • Leave the scene as a non-memorable, nice person.

    You’ve gotten a ticket, but you still want out

  • Call the officer at work.
  • Write a letter to the officer.
  • Repeat calls and letters to the judge and/or the prosecutor.
  • Follow all court guidelines.
  • Delay.
  • Ask for alternative punishment.
  • Understand your trial and your rights.
  • Show up to your first court date and plead anything but guilty.
  • Go to court and duke it out.
  • Suck it up, or fight on.
  • Suck up… err, I mean write more letters.
  • Beyond being good advice for trying to beat a traffic ticket, it’s good advice for many of the confrontations you will have in life that have money involved. Stay courtesy, but persistent and your finances will likely look a whole lot better than most people’s.

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    14 Responses to Getting Out Of A Speeding Ticket

    1. samerwriter says:

      I wouldn’t consider myself particularly adept at getting out of speeding tickets, but I do seem to have a higher warning/ratio ticket than many people I know.

      Like the advice given above, I just make it a point to put the officer at complete ease. There’s always a 1-2 minute wait after the officer pulls you over before he comes to the door (I guess he’s running your plates). In that time, I take off my sunglasses and put on my regular glasses, hide anything that might grab his attention like a cell phone, iPod, or trash, and retrieve my license and proof of insurance from my wallet.

      Of course you want to do this very subtly, so the officer behind you doesn’t notice the activity.

      When he comes up to the window, keep your hands on the steering wheel until he asks for your license. Address him as ‘sir’, and don’t complain about anything. Don’t admit any culpability.

      I find that as long as the violation isn’t too blatant, this usually gets me off the hook. If the officer was in a speedtrap, it usually doesn’t work. Because then, they’re just sitting there waiting to give out tickets. I’ve never fought a ticket in court.

    2. Phil says:

      I’ve successfully gotten out of numerous speeding tickets by hiring a lawyer. Yes it is more expensive, but it is worth it to me. My lawyer charges a $350 flat fee which includes all her time, travel, and preparation. She’s currently batting 1000 for me and a number of my colleagues.

    3. Andy says:

      It has been a while since I have received a speeding ticket but I was able to get the last one fixed. I just paid a small amount($50 I think)and they changed the ticket to a parking ticket. That way I didn’t get any points on my license and my insurance didn’t go up. It depends on where you live whether this is an option or not.

    4. Steve Torso says:

      In Australia, if you want to get out of a speeding ticket, you can send a letter to the police to assist in getting out of it.

      Of course it is a sales process, and your tools you need to help you are a) A previously good record b) admission of your mistake and c) Luck.

      May work in the US as well.

    5. twins15 says:

      Don’t speed! 😀

    6. jodi says:

      I have never gotten a ticket (but I have been stopped for speeding three times). I am always very polite and courteous. I have an excellent driving record, so in my three stops, I have had one warning, one ticket for “obstructed view” (had to pay a fine, but no points) and one for “driving without a license” (I didn’t have it on me, so the officer instructed me to send a copy of my license in and the ticket would be dropped – it was). I find it helpful to apologize and explain why I was speeding, although many people would argue against admitting guilt. I figure it’s hard to deny it when he has a radar gun. For example, twice I thought I was in a higher speed zone than I was, so I explained this honestly. I was genuinely surprised one time to find out I was in a 35 MPH zone when I thought it was 55! Big oops.
      DH, on the other hand, has gotten a ticket EVERY time he has been stopped. I guess he got one the first time, then every time after since they saw his record. It’s been about 4 or 5 tickets or so over ten years. Twice he has written to the District Attorney and gotten the charges reduced to “Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device” – the fine is a little smaller and the points are less. The one time he went into court and admitted guilt, telling his story honestly, the judge refused to even consider any reductions and he was slapeed with the fine and points. I guess their hands are tied if you fess up in court.

    7. GrimJack says:

      I have been issued about 10 moving violations since 1970 (New Year’s morning – about 25 seconds after midnight) and none of them appeared on my record. I gone to the hearings and mostly they will allow you to plead to 9 miles over the limit which will keep your record clean and not show up on insurance. I have, with all honesty and sincerity, plead that I have a moving violation since 1970. In North Carolina, I told the judge/magistrate that I grew up in Montana (I did) where there was no speed limit (true until recently) and that I depended on my cruise control to keep to the speed limit but it broke on my way back from this trip. The judge just looked at me and said “Hunh? um, er — I have no way to consider that – so if you have no moving violations in the next 6 months, we will clean your record”. I was expecting to plead to faulty equipment but I took that.


      ps while in Montana just prior to that trip (1995, I tink), I found that my car would go 123 mph – but that was down hill. I think I drove from Montana to Raleigh cruising at about 90-95 but I have aged since and stick to 12 over the limit now.

      pps The reason, of course, that I use 1970 is that I got a lot of speeding, reckless driving, etc tickets and lost my license 3 or 4 times. But it was a small montana town and all the cops hated me! Once I moved to Seattle in 1972, I seldom had a car until the mid-80’s – the bus is not bad here

    8. Aniela says:

      I’m a master at this. I’ve never gotten a ticket yet. I just stay calm and act like nothing happened, and the worst thing that ever happened was I got a warning 🙂

    9. Randy says:

      You are correct the best way to beat a speeding ticket is not to get one at all, however staying calm and respecful throughout the traffic stop also many times will result in you getting off. Of course some of us are luckier than others.

    10. john says:

      It’s about money. Cities and states acrue allot of revenue via tickets and the way to handle this is not to get mad, but to get even. Everyticket you receive is redeamable for one NOT Guilty verdict the next time you serve on a jury. You will never see the other eleven people again and it costs the state a fortune, definitely more than your ticket, to re-try the case. The lost revenue cuts into the raises the police receive and upgrades to equipment required to do the job. When you are on a jury you have more power than anyone else in the courtroom INCLUDING the judge.
      Use that power and spread the idea.

    11. Scott says:

      John–this is not a good idea. Fight it in court? What about someone that is 100% guilty, with the blood stains on their hands? Does that serve justice to the victims? And then the idea of keeping the police from getting better equipment to fight crime? Spoken like a true criminal. And NO, you do not have more power than the Judge – he/she can overturn your verdict in a criminal case – it is called: “Judgment notwithstanding the verdict” (JNOV) and is used when no reasonable jury presented with the evidence at bar could come up with the verdict with the evidence presented. Of course, the party that “won” the decision of the jury may appeal the JNOV.

      It is all about the preservation of the 6th Amendment (which is protected by a Due Process clause in the 14th Amendment).

      And yes, John, your damn right about the money part. It sure is. But don’t fight it on jury duty, that’s just plain illegal and immoral.

      As far as getting out of a ticket? Be polite, courteous, admit fault, turn off the car, turn on the light, hands on the steering wheel – remember he/she is just as nervous as you are. If you cant get out of it, pay a lawyer and move on, slower…lol.

    12. A random attorney says:

      As an attorney, I’d like to clarify a couple of things.

      1) PP suggested that the judge could do a JNOV if a random juror refused to convict although the evidence warranted it. This is simply not true. The constitution prohibits a JNOV in this circumstance. While the judge could overturn an errant guilty verdict, or a runaway jury award in a civil case, it doesn’t work in this circumstance. A person can only be found guilty if the jury finds him guilty. If it were a murder, it would be a mistrial and retrial. Like PP said, it would just lead to a giant waste of state resources, and all of our taxes go up.

      2) On to the matter at hand. The article suggests that you ask to see the radar. There is rumor that law requires officers to show the radar/laser device. In most states, this is simply not true. If you are in a jurisdiction where they don’t have to show it, requesting to see it often comes off as attempting to argue, and they are less likely to let you off with a warning. Check your state’s law before you follow that instruction.

    13. Erik says:

      Be polite at this situation and act like nothing happened.

    14. Craig says:

      It has been a while since I have received a speeding ticket but I was able to get the last one fixed.

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