Has an officer of the law caught you speeding? Did you know that your next move impacts your punishment? Read on for the dos and don’ts of traffic tickets.
If a police officer has caught you speeding, then there are ways you can mediate the damage done. Before you agree to pay for the fine or to losing your points on your license, it is important that you know what can help you, and what will not help you. Both new and old drivers alike can benefit from brushing up on their knowledge in this area of the law. With 228.2 million drivers in the USA and counting, some of us are bound to get speeding tickets, now and then.
Let us talk about how you can defend yourself when the police stop you to give you a speeding ticket. Here is what to do.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Speeding Ticket Defense
If you are on the receiving end of a speeding ticket, here are the four do’s and three don’ts that will help you win your case.
1. Do: Be Calm and Respectful
No matter what happens, this police officer is just doing their day job. They do not deserve your understandable frustration and they cannot control that they caught you. If you do lose your temper, you could make things exponentially worse for yourself. You do not want to compound your error by adding assaulting a police officer or resisting arrest to your potential charges.
Be calm, be polite, and ask respectfully if you did something wrong. Sign the paper copy of the ticket to say that you received it and let everyone go on about their day. It is a simple process that should not escalate the situation.
2. Do: Hire a Good Lawyer
There is no reason to just accept that you were speeding. You were rushing to hospital or have other extenuating circumstances that made you break the law? A good lawyer can help argue your case and prevent you from taking either the fine or the time spent in defensive driving courses. If you are speeding in Richmond, we recommend Uptonlawrva.com, who can advise you on what to do next in accordance with their professional knowledge of the law.
If you pay for the speeding ticket without consulting a lawyer, you run the risk of increasing your insurance premiums for the rest of your driving life. On average, a person with a good driving history and good credit pays an extra $148 per annum in insurance fees after a speeding ticket. If you fight it in court, you can negotiate another fee, or you can have it rescinded completely if your defense is good enough. A good lawyer is the foundation for that good defense.
3. Do: Be Quiet
The more you say during your ticket stop, the more trouble into which you can get. Do make sure to ask the officer which techniques they used to determine that you were speeding. Did they have a speed gun or were they simply riding behind you? Write down what they tell you. Say as little as possible and, when they are gone, write down everything you can remember about the event. It might not hurt to take pictures of the road and conditions, too.
4. Do: Turn up to Court Correctly
If you do decide to fight your ticket – and you should – then you need to go to traffic court. There are ways you can make a first impression in traffic court that will help your case. Turn up in a suit or smart clothing, do not chew gum and do not back talk. Be respectful to all members of the court and come prepared with your notes in hand. Bring your attorney with you and pay attention to what they say to you. Do not lie and feel free to take notes.
You can learn more about correct behavior in court here. However, as a rule come smart and prepared, ready to cooperate.
1. Don’t: Cause a Scene
Again, we cannot state this strongly enough. When the police officer stops you, be respectful and calm. Keep both hands on the wheel until they approach your vehicle and ask for your license and registration. Cooperate, give them the documents, and do not raise your voice. Yes, it is frustrating, but yes, the officer does have a right to stop you if they think you were going too fast.
2. Don’t: Refuse to Pay
Although we advise anyone caught speeding to contest the ticket, we do not advise that you refuse to pay. You could go to court with a valid reason for speeding and still must pay a nominal fee for your ticket. Sometimes even the best defense for a speeding ticket is not good enough to appeal to a judge.
The important thing is that you do not refuse to pay your ticket. Every week that passes, the value on that ticket will keep increasing. Eventually, unpaid tickets can amount to enough cost to keep you in jail. You can pay for your Virginia traffic tickets here.
3. Don’t: Apologize
Apologizing after a car accident is like saying it was your fault. Do not do it. Do not apologize for your speeding ticket, either. Remain as anonymous as you can. If you feel the need to apologize so strongly that you cannot overcome it, say: “I’m sorry officer, did I do something wrong?” instead of saying that you are sorry for speeding.
An apology is an admission of guilt so avoid it at all costs. You should say as little as possible altogether. This limits how much you can incriminate yourself by the side of the road. The police officer will write down everything that you do say, so keep it simple and do not let your mouth run away with you.
Getting a speeding ticket is an upsetting affair that can lead to points on your license and increased insurance premiums forever afterwards. If you go to court, you can contest the ticket and get it waived or reduced. Either option is better than an ongoing extra fee to your insurers every month or year.