Speeding Ticket Pocket Guide

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Speeding Ticket Pocket Guide Powered By Docstoc
					Pocket Guide To Preventing And Fighting
           Speeding Tickets

               6469 Doniphan Drive
                 El Paso, TX 79932

This booklet is not designed to offer legal advice but is
provided for information purposes only. The
suggestions and ideas contained herein can be used as
a good reference to help avoid needless tickets.

Speeding tickets are a costly fact of life and a financial hazard of
driving. Most people simply pay and go on with their lives. Some
will fight. Those that fight and win have empowered themselves
with knowledge and gained the confidence to do battle in our
legal system.

To win you have to know some basics. This booklet is detailed
enough to keep you out of trouble should you be pulled over and
provides guidance on what to do after the ticket is issued. It will
give you an overview on what to expect in court and it offers
good advice on how to avoid the ticket in the first place.

Who gets Speeding Tickets?

Everyone does. With over 41,000,000 speeding tickets issued
every year your chances are about one in four that this year you
will receive one. The speeding ticket business is a $37 billion
industry that brings in revenue to cash strapped communities.

You don‟t have to be guilty of speeding to get a ticket; you simply
have to be on the road. Up to one in three recipients get the
ticket even though they were not speeding. It is not uncommon to
get a ticket claiming that you were clocked

going a given speed with faulty radar equipment. Radar detectors
and scramblers are not failsafe but they do give you a distinctive
edge over those driving without one.

What to do if you are stopped:
        Be polite
        Sign the ticket
        Say nothing except Yes Sir and No Sir to his questions
        Never admit to a speed.

If the Officer asks: “How fast do you think you were going”?
Never admit a speed. This is a trick question and the officer will
note it down and in court testify that you said you admitted to
speeding. Everything you say can and will be held against you.

What you should ask:
       Officer what speed measuring equipment did you use
       (radar, laser, vascar etc.).
       Are you the officer that recorded my speed?

Don‟t correct the officer if he writes something wrong on the ticket
or fails to sign it. The Officer inadvertently may have written in a
fatal flaw and you don‟t want him to correct it. Make notes of what
the officer said, the weather conditions and if there were more
than one officer.

You have a ticket, now what?

You can pay the fine plus court costs. In most cases you can do this by
mail. Simply sign where it says you are guilty and send in the money.
98 percent of all tickets are settled this way.

You can fight the ticket without knowing the law and what defenses
work and be found guilty in court. This is a waste of your time.

You can hire an attorney who will have the ticket reduced to a non-
moving violation like a noisy muffler. The fine and court costs will
remain the same and you will have the added attorney costs. The
upside is that the ticket won‟t show up on the insurance database and
no points are issued.

You can fight the ticket yourself and win in most situations if you take
the time and make the effort to learn what works and what does not

Pleading guilty and opting for “Driving School” to avoid points. This
option should be reserved for a time where the ticket is crucial to you
keeping your drivers license. Although no points are assessed, the
ticket and your conviction still go to the insurance company database
and they classify it the same as a speeding conviction for adjusting your
rates, upward.

You have chosen to fight your ticket, now what?

First: Examine the ticket. It will explain what you have to do and
in some States what you must do to force the officer to appear in
court. Look for fatal flaws in the ticket itself. The misspelling of
your name or incorrect address is not a fatal flaw. Fatal flaws are
listing your car as the wrong color or where the type (not the
make of car) is significantly different (pick up truck rather than a
sedan). If the officer forgot to sign the ticket you can ask for a
dismissal based on the fact that the ticket is an “unsigned
swearing” and not admissible in court. The ticket must state the
type of speed measuring device used.

Speed measuring devices:

         PACE: Means the officer paced you with his car and
         determined your speed by his speedometer.
         RADAR: It can be stationary or moving radar. If it says
         moving radar you should know that no jurisdiction in the
         USA has taken “Judicial Notice” that moving radar is
         accurate. Moving radar is very inaccurate and plagued
         with problems.
         VASCAR: This is a timing device where your time
         across a pre-measured span of road is determined and
         a speed is assigned to that time.

         LIDAR, LASER: Both are the same in that a laser device
         was used. Remember laser is not accurate if any visible
         moisture is present. Visible moisture being fog, mist,
         rain or snow. It also is not accurate in smog or if the
         officer used the device from inside his car and targeted
         you through his window.
         AIRCRAFT: This is similar to VASCAR except an
         aircraft is used to mark your time between two points. In
         court both officers must appear as the officer issuing
         you the ticket cannot testify as to what the officer in the
         aircraft would say.

When two officers must testify:

Two officers must testify whenever the officer issuing you the
ticket is not the officer that measured the speed. This is always
the situation when aircraft are used or when two officers are
working as a team in running a high volume speed trap.

The Trial:

There are 50 States in the USA and 12 Provinces in Canada.
The laws and trial format vary considerably. If you decide to fight
you should contact the court and sit in on some speeding ticket
trials before your court date. This will give you some idea on what
to expect.
The trial can be in front of a Judge, a Magistrate or a
Commissioner. Magistrates and Commissioners are appointed by
Judges and need not have ever set foot into a Law School. If you
are tried by anyone other than a Judge you may appeal for a new
trial in front of a Judge in the event you lose (they will never tell
you this in court). Most speeding ticket trials are not held by
Judges, but rather by people appointed to hear cases of little

In general you will have to appear twice. Once to plead not guilty
at which time a trial date is set and once for the trial. In some
places they will hold the trial on the same day you make your

In general the people are represented by a prosecutor. However
in cost cutting measures around the country many defendants
face a Judge acting as both Judge and prosecutor. Although this
is contrary to the US constitution these are exceptions that are
exploited by some communities.

In some States a speeding ticket is a criminal offense and others
speeding up to a certain speed has been decriminalized. In some
towns it has become an ordinance violation for the purpose of
producing an inexpensive trial at your expense.

In most situations the trial will proceed in this manner. Someone
will call your case and you will go to the front of the courtroom.
Someone will read the charge against you and the prosecutor will
call the officer to testify.

The officer will state that your car was the only car on the road
and that there was no possibility of a mistake. He will testify that
he calibrated the measuring device used and that it was
functioning correctly when he measured your speed. He will state
that he has attended classes and been thoroughly trained on the
device used. The prosecutor will ask the officer if you said
anything concerning the speed when he issued you your ticket. If
you said anything at all the officer will tell the court that you
admitted to him that you were speeding.

Now it is your turn to ask the officer questions. Expect the officer
to lie. If you are finished with the officer you may call your
witnesses. It is not recommended that you take the stand

Defenses that work:

         If the officer does not appear for trial you can ask for
         dismissal provided you have not previously motioned for
         a trial date extension. You must make the motion for
         dismissal otherwise the Judge

or Magistrate will issue a new trial date. In the event two
officers are required and only one appears in court a
similar dismissal is in order. You have a legitimate 30%
chance that the officer or all the required officers not
appearing for trial. This is why it is important to read the
ticket and do what is necessary to force the officer to

Request documentation as to the Federal Road Speed
Survey for the section of road you were clocked on. In
California and many other States, depending on the
Judge you will win if the documentation can not be
presented or is more than five years old.

Request specific documentation as to the certification of
the speed-measuring device used. For PACE, request
the last time the officer‟s speedometer was calibrated
and certified by a qualified speedometer repair station.
For radar the last time the tuning forks were calibrated
and certified and in vascar the certification when the
chronometer (fancy name for watch) was calibrated and
certified by an approved facility. If they can‟t produce the
documentation the evidence becomes inadmissible and
your motion for dismissal should be granted. If you do
not ask for this documentation, it implies that you have
         problems with the evidence against you. This
         questioning goes to „foundation‟ of the evidence. You
         only have to break one link in the foundation and the
         entire evidence becomes inadmissible. The caveat is
         that you must ask for it.

         Impeach the officer‟s testimony by contradictions from
         the ticket. For example: The officer testifies to tuning
         and testing his radar but the ticket says he used laser or
         the officer testifying that your vehicle and the vehicle he
         clocked was a pickup truck when in fact your were in a

How to avoid a speeding ticket:

Obviously the best strategy is to never have gotten that ticket in
the first place. To avoid this here are a few points to help you
avoid becoming another contributor to the general operating
funds of your State or municipality.

         Obviously, don‟t speed!
         If you do speed never become the fastest car on the
         road. Let a car pass you and then follow that car. He will
         be your ticket catcher. This works well unless you enter
         a multiple officer speed trap.
         Don‟t weave in and out of traffic attracting attention to
         yourself. You might not be speeding

          when the officer sees you but he will still pull you over
          and give you a ticket.
          If an oncoming car or truck flashes its headlights it is
          generally a warning that there is a speed trap ahead.
          You can give other drivers a heads up by flashing your
          headlights to oncoming traffic if you see a speed trap.
          Be cautious around small towns.
          Never speed cresting a hill, even if you have a radar
          detector. A favorite speed trap location is just after the
          crest of a hill. Radar beams don‟t bend and by the time
          you see the officer it is often too late.
          Don‟t speed up going down hill. Cars have a natural
          tendency to do this.
          Don‟t pass a police car on any road. No matter how
          slow he is going.
          Get a good radar detector or detector and scrambler
          combination. This is your best defense.
Buying a good radar detector is an important first step in
preventing getting a ticket. You don‟t want one that will cost more
than the aggregate cost of the tickets you would anticipate
receiving without one. On the other hand you don‟t want one that
will cost you more in tickets than it‟s aggregate worth. You can
find good detectors in the $150 to $250 range.

The detector should be able to catch POP radar and Instant On
radar. Only Rocky Mountain Radar offers detectors with
adequate POP radar detection and virtually no false alarms.

Advanced information on beating a speeding ticket:

To properly learn to defend yourself in a speeding ticket trial you
will have to do some work. You don‟t have to be an attorney to
beat a ticket but you have to do some serious study to
understand what to do and how to do it.

In the pages allotted it is not possible to get into lengthy legal
issues or thoroughly explore a proper speeding ticket defense.
To win you will have to learn some legal principals like the
different degrees of proof and admissibility of evidence. Should
you happen to get a ticket this booklet can provide essential
information necessary to prevent you from making mistakes that
can come back and haunt you should you decide to fight your

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