Fighting a Speeding Ticket

Getting a speeding ticket can mean a big rise in the cost of your car insurance, as well as the actual fine. An estimated 41 million tickets for speeding are issued every year, and while many of them are fair, not all of them are.

Fighting a speeding ticket is well worth doing if you feel you were unjustly targeted, or if there were some exceptional circumstances to consider. About 50 percent of speeding tickets are eventually dismissed.

If you were pulled over for speeding, make sure you do everything appropriately, including answering the questions accurately but without actually admitting you were speeding. You should also get as much information as you can from the officer and about the situation, including time of day, weather and road conditions, whether you had a passenger with you, and the identifying information for that officer.

It’s also worth simply pleading your case to the officer, especially if you have a legitimate reason such as being late for work or no speed limit signs being visible. If possible, try to have your court date as far ahead as possible: The more time that elapses, the fewer details the police officer is likely to remember, and their uncertain recollection of pulling you over may help your case.

Pleading your case in court is the next step in fighting a speeding ticket, and it pays to be as prepared as possible for the process, including retaining a top traffic attorney.

Different states have different regulations and you should also contact your state’s DMV to have the process clearly explained. Of course, you want to plead “not guilty,” and if doing so, you should be prepared to clearly give your account of what happened and question the validity of the speed-measuring method that was used.

Having one or more witnesses is also recommended. Get together as much information as you can to help your case; you may have to track down witnesses, revisit the location where you were pulled over, or supply evidence that the speed limit sign was obscured or not easy to see. Make sure that you were actually stopped for the right violation by asking to review the vehicle code in the area where you were stopped for speeding.

Your attitude in the courtroom is almost as important as anything else when it comes to fighting a speeding ticket. Make sure you arrive on time and on the designated day; are well dressed; and always act politely, professionally, and honestly.

Focus on trying to present your case without becoming frustrated or upset. Sometimes simply asking nicely to have the charges dismissed can work, especially if you come across as being apologetic, not understanding the rules, or there was a genuine misunderstanding.

The court may be prepared to drop the speeding charge if you are prepared to provide some hours of community service or attend a driving school, and both options are preferable to having a speeding ticket on your record.

It’s well worth taking the time to be prepared, gather as much information and evidence as you can, and make a point of understanding how the process works.