Fighting Speeding Tickets: Is it Worth it?
A study from Princeton Survey Research Associates International found that within a five-year period, about 20 percent of U.S. drivers were assessed moving violation traffic tickets. Speeding is by far the most common reason for these tickets.
Have you recently been ticketed for speeding?
If so, are you like most Americans who quickly pay the ticket and move on with life? Or is the impact of pleading guilty – especially when you’re not convinced the charges were fair or reasonable – serious enough that you believe you should challenge the ticket in court? That could make sense, especially if pleading guilty means higher auto insurance rates, traffic school, points on your license, and/or loss of your license.
Before you make final decisions about whether to challenge the ticket in court, you should explore all your options, including whether hiring an experienced traffic attorney is best for you.
- If you do choose to contest the ticket in court, what should you expect?
- You’ll need to show up in court on the date marked on your speeding ticket.
- An attorney for the county or jurisdiction in which you were ticketed must prove that you were speeding.
- Typically, the officer who ticketed you will be there and serve as the primary witness. The officer will likely describe the method or device used to record your speed (e.g., a radar gun) and share any other observations that may help the prosecution’s case.
- You will be sworn in and the judge will tell you when it’s your turn to speak.
- You can call your own witnesses, question the accuracy of the radar gun, and interview the officer.
If found guilty, you will be required to pay court fees and will receive a harsher penalty than if you had pleaded guilty.
Why hire an attorney?
- The odds of beating a speeding ticket in court are extremely low – unless the officer fails to appear in court.
- In almost all cases, an experienced traffic law attorney is not only familiar with standard courtroom procedures, but with the judge and prosecuting.
- Your attorney can help conduct background research, investigate the validity of the charges, question the accuracy of the speed-detecting device, and offer settlement solutions that keep the case out of court and reduce the charges against you.
If you’ve had speeding tickets in the past, it especially makes sense to secure legal help. There are many options to consider when contesting a speeding ticket, as the attorneys at a traffic violation law firm in Fairfax, VA like those at May Law, LLP, can explain.