Most people have received speeding tickets at one time or another. Some have gone on to calmly pay their fines while others have made their problems worse by failing to pay, but there are a select few that have managed to escape both scenarios. So what is it that makes the difference? For starters, even though the law can be tough at times, a little tact and good behavior can help you avoid getting a speeding ticket and with it a nasty blemish on your driving history. If you learn how to fight a ticket properly, you will be surprised at how simple the process can be. Here are some useful tips:
Get Your Attitude Right
Your attitude is one of the easiest to control variables. How you react to the police will determine where you spend the night and the outcome of your case. The officer that pulls you over may take notes about your comments, so avoid saying anything rude or derogatory that can be used against you. You must be polite when you are approached by an officer. Airy jokes must be avoided, and do not refer to the officer by their first name. The initial conversation will no doubt be awkward, but avoid pleading or coming off as a nuisance in any way. Avoid sarcasm or anything that can be considered argumentative. The last thing you want is to offend the officer, so make sure your attitude is fully in check.
Know Your Rights
Different states apply different rules. In some states you can use deferred adjudication to get your way around the system and avoid tainting your police record with any type of traffic offenses.
You should ask to see the radar to ensure that you were not pulled over unfairly. If the officer refuses, do not insist, but make note of this for your defense in court.
Don’t be complicated. If you are pulled over in the night, don’t expect the police officer to use x-ray vision to see you. Take the initiative to wind down your windows and turn on the interior lights within the car. Cops hate the idea of having to tap on your window when you know very well what you did. Try to remain calm and stay seated. You must ensure that they can see your hands at all times, and you should only leave the car if you are asked to do so.
Avoid Sexually Suggestive Moves
Avoid doing anything that can be deemed sexually inappropriate. This tactic may have a way of working in the movies, but in real life it’s quite a different matter. In fact, sexually suggestive acts will only make the officer uncomfortable, and if you’re especially unsubtle the officer may note your actions in their report. Again, such acts will only undermine your case if you choose to fight your ticket in court.
Defend Yourself, But Be Humble
If you know you made a mistake, admit it. Don’t try to argue your way out of the situation, and do not be the boot licking sycophant. This does not mean that you must be rude or arrogant, but humility can leave a lasting impression in your favor. You must maintain some degree of honor for the cop to take you seriously. Do not offer bribes to the officer. This is a serious offense and your situation can leap from just a simple speeding ticket to years behind bars in those split seconds.
At the end of the encounter, either you get a ticket or you don’t. If you are lucky enough not to get a ticket, then be polite and show your gratitude. However, if the scales of justice have not swung in your favor, then you will have to either talk to the cop some more or see it out in court. If the officer is not up for talking then you must prepare your defense for court. Drive off with proper posture and avoid any temptation to use abusive names, point fingers, or use inappropriate language.
Know How To Argue In Court
The courtroom can be a frightening place to be; however, you cannot allow yourself to be intimidated. You must prepare your arguments to carefully identify points in your favor and also areas where you were wrong. You will need to reconstruct the entire scene to identify any reason that could make the judge lenient.
If you believe that the officer’s judgment was incorrect and that there was room for leniency, then make this known to the judge. Avoid aggressive remarks towards the officer of questioning their competency as a professional. You can cast doubt on the officer’s judgment without attempting to pass judgment on the officer. If you can justify your actions with real evidence such as testimonies and photographs, then you should make every effort to use these to your favor.
Your defense should be one that is based on the surrounding situations the instant you decided to speed up. Maybe you were in a rush to get to the hospital, or to pick up your children from school. Make these clear to the judge, but try avoiding making excuses that make it appear that breaking the law is a trivial issue.
While a speeding ticket is a sign of reckless driving, you can turn this around. The judge will be more bent on knowing that you were conscious of your actions and not speeding recklessly and endangering the lives of others. In other words, make it known that despite the lapse, you are a responsible driver that is fully aware of your actions.