This might come as no surprise, but states don’t make it easy to get out speeding ticket!
After all, speeding tickets aren’t just about protecting people on the road.
They’re also a major source of revenue!
The National Motorists Association has estimated the number of traffic tickets issued annually at between 25 and 50 million. That includes speeding tickets as well as a full range of other infractions, not counting parking tickets. Total upfront profit from those tickets may range anywhere from $3.75 to $7.5 billion dollars.
Plus, those convicted of speeding can expect to add about $300 to annual car insurance costs. Qualifying infractions usually influence your monthly car insurance premiums for about three years. The result can be an increase of anywhere from 5% to 30%. That really adds up!Needless to say, it’s in your best interest to avoid a speeding ticket!
Is It Really True That You Can Get Out of a Speeding Ticket?
Let’s face it: No one, from the police to the judge to the DMV, wants you to get out speeding ticket.
But you can do it!
How hard it is to actually get out of a speeding ticket depends on local and state laws where the offense allegedly took place. It is definitely easier to get out of a speeding ticket in some places than in others. Some states are notorious for their strict enforcement of speeding rules.
It is much harder to get out speeding ticket in these states:
Delaware is the strictest state of all when it comes to a combination of speeding enforcement and reckless driving enforcement. “Reckless driving” is a charge often left to the discretion of police officers that can be added when someone is stopped for speeding, although it can also stand on its own.
By most estimates, Virginia is #1 when it comes to speeding enforcement. Its proximity to Washington, DC creates an extra incentive for strict observation of traffic rules. In recent years, the state legislature has continued to relax restrictions on speed cameras.
3. New Mexico
New Mexico is second only to Virginia when it comes to its speeding enforcement program. It is also much more welcoming toward speeding and red light cameras, although some cities have banned them. On the other hand, the state has some of the lowest traffic ticket costs for speeding and reckless driving.
California subjects its motorists to a double whammy, being both one of the strictest in speeding enforcement and one of the most expensive places to get car insurance. California’s busy court system can make it harder to get your traffic ticket appeal heard, but could also lead to some tickets being thrown out.
By comparison, these states have been found to be relatively lenient in traffic enforcement:
- Texas, which is also home to the highest speed limit in the United States
- New Jersey
How Can You Contest a Speeding Ticket?
Nearly three quarters of states recognize an “absolute” speed limit. In practice, this means that exceeding the speed limit is, on its own, enough for a conviction. About a quarter of state leave room for interpretation. Under what’s called prima facie laws, you could argue that your speed was perfectly reasonable.
Contesting a speeding ticket might seem like a lot of trouble to go to. In most cases, however, it’s absolutely worth it. If you are found responsible for speeding in a state that uses a “point system” for traffic violations, you will be, on average, 30% closer to having your driver’s licensed suspended.
What’s more, you could find yourself acquiescing to a much more severe charge, reckless driving.
It’s pretty intuitive what speeding means: Going over the posted speed limit. Not all speed limits are logical, but at least you can never go far without a reminder of what the speed limit is. On the other hand, reckless driving is a much more nebulous category. Speed may or may not be a factor in these charges.
Reckless driving can be very vague, and in plenty of states it’s up to the discretion of the responding officer.
Since it is strictly a judgment call, a reckless driving charge is one more reason to contest a speeding ticket.
In general, you contest a speeding ticket by going to traffic court on the assigned day and arguing your case before a judge. You should never protest a traffic ticket of any kind by refusing to sign it: Signing your ticket is not an admission of guilt, only proof of receipt, and not signing leaves you open to even harsher penalties.
Steps That Can Get You Out of a Speeding Ticket
While there is no guaranteed way to get out speeding ticket, these may help:
1. Do Not Admit Wrongdoing
First and foremost, do not admit to speeding. It’s easy to do this by accident! If a police officer asks “Do you know why I stopped you?” the safest answer is “no.” If you tell the officer you believe you were going too fast, even “a little,” it will be much harder to contest your speeding ticket.
2. Contest Any Errors on Your Ticket
Errors on the officer’s part can render a ticket invalid. Always examine your ticket to be sure that facts like your name, the make and model of your car, and the time and date are accurate. If not, it is much easier to make the argument that your speed was recorded incorrectly, too.
3. Argue the Speed Gun Was Faulty
If electronic equipment such as a speed gun was used during the incident, you can argue that the equipment was faulty and contest the reading. This may compel the officer to prove that the equipment is working as intended, which is often very difficult to do in hindsight.
4. Always Show Up to Court
No matter what, always attend your court dates. No, it is not true that your ticket will automatically be thrown out if the responding officer does not show up to testify. But when he or she isn’t present, it becomes much easier to assert your side of the story. Without an officer’s testimony, a judge may throw the case out.
5. Get a Traffic Ticket Lawyer
If you are committed to fighting a traffic ticket, it may be a good idea to get a traffic court lawyer on your side. A traffic law attorney can do things such as arrange for witnesses and cross-examine the responding officer that would be very difficult for you to do alone.
6. Appeal Your Ticket
If you are found guilty of speeding by the judge in your initial court hearing, you have a right of appeal. The appeals process varies by state and can be complicated. But it demonstrates you sincerely feel you are in the right and aren’t just trying to get out of a fine!
Speeding tickets will cost you, so it’s important to start with the best cheap car insurance you can find. Here at Cheap Insurance, you can compare car insurance quotes from dozens of insurance companies all over your state. Get started now or contact our team for more details.