You’re generally a safe driver, but you’re in a hurry and running late. Or, you’re jamming out to your favorite song on the radio and don’t have a care in the world… until you look in your rearview mirror and see those dreaded flashing lights.
No matter what the reason, getting a speeding ticket can ruin your day! Depending on how fast you were going, it’ll likely cost you several hundred dollars in fines and you’ll have to worry about your insurance rates going up.
If you’re facing this prospect, you’ll definitely want to learn how to beat a speeding ticket. While there are no guarantees, having this basic knowledge may help improve your chances. Here’s are five simple strategies you need to know.
Strategy #1: Improve Your Chances Before You Get the Ticket
Doing the right things when you get pulled over is critical. In some cases, you might be able to avoid the headache of fighting a speeding ticket by not getting one in the first place.
If you get pulled over, make sure you follow these important tips:
- Check Your Attitude – if you get cocky or start to argue with the officer, your chance of getting out of a ticket goes to almost zero.
- Make the Officer Comfortable – avoid creating a tense situation by removing your sunglasses, turning off the radio, and placing your hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them. Don’t get out of the car unless the officer instructs you to do so.
- Use Your Right to Remain Silent – anything you say can be used against you, so keep your mouth shut. Politely answer the questions that are asked of you, but don’t say anything more than is absolutely necessary. If you were speeding and had a good reason, don’t tell the officer as that could be considered an admission of guilt.
- Pay Close Attention – if you weren’t speeding, don’t argue with the officer. However, pay close attention to the procedure the officer follows and the things he or she says during the interaction. Also, make note of any other evidence that may help you get out of the ticket later.
If you follow these steps, there’s a chance that the officer may decide to let you off with a warning. If not, you’ll need to keep reading!
No Luck? Here’s How to Beat a Speeding Ticket After the Fact
While it’s great if you can avoid getting a ticket in the first place, luck may not be on your side. In this case, a good attorney may still be able to use some basic legal strategies to help you beat your ticket. Here are four of the most effective.
1. Traffic School
One of the best ways to get out of a speeding ticket is to ask for a dismissal with traffic school. If your infraction was minor and you don’t have a history of driving violations, the judge may agree. In this case, your ticket will be dismissed after you finish the required classes.
While you don’t have to hire an attorney to do this, doing so may increase the chances that things will go your way.
2. Technical Defenses
This is strategy involves arguing that there was a problem with the method the officer used to track your speed. This could be radar, pacing, or the use of a laser. Generally, your attorney will focus on facts like when the equipment was last calibrated, how well it was maintained, and whether the officer was close enough to get an accurate reading.
Since the rules for maintaining and calibrating this type of equipment are fairly strict and well-documented, it’s difficult to win a dismissal based on this argument. However, if there aren’t any other strategies that are likely to work, the attorney may decide to give it a shot.
3. Obstruction of Speed Limit
Another possible defense is that the speed limit sign was hidden or otherwise obstructed. It’s important to note that this is only a viable argument if you weren’t driving faster than the maximum speed limit set for the road. This is typically defined on the state level.
In Louisiana, the maximum speed limit is 55 miles per hour on highways. The exception is multi-lane divided highways (65 mph) and interstate or controlled-access highways (70 mph).
4. Necessity Defense
Your attorney can also argue the “necessity defense.” Essentially, this says that you had to speed due to an emergency that wasn’t caused by your own doing. For example, this could apply if you needed to briefly speed up to avoid getting into an accident or being rear-ended by a tailgater.
It’s important to note that the necessity defense doesn’t apply to personal situations. If you go in front of a judge and say that you were speeding because you had to get to the bathroom or because you were late for work, you’re unlikely to get much sympathy.
Defenses to Avoid
Other speeding ticket defenses that are unlikely to work include:
- Arguing that the officer is lying
- Stating that you’re a victim of “selective enforcement”
- Arguing that your actions “didn’t hurt anyone”
- Claiming that you didn’t know what the speed limit was
A good attorney will know better than to use these defenses!
Hire a Pro to Fight Your Speeding Ticket
Now that you know how to beat a speeding ticket, it’s time to put the most important piece of advice to work – call a qualified speeding ticket lawyer right away!
Trying to fight your own ticket is almost always a losing battle. Don’t leave something this important up to chance. Contact us today to learn how we can help.