My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: Oregon.
I was recently driving home from class, and I was following a nice beige sedan, an newer car, but the type that a comfortable older person would drive. I was driving my parent's older, crappy car that has a large dent in the hood from my mum hitting a deer.
It was about 2pm, and we were both going about 27mph. It is a very short school zone, about a block, because it is the back of the school, behind the track and football field. On either side of the school zone it is 40+. We slowed down some, because there is a person walking towards the middle of the road. The person waves the car in front of me around, and then waves me into the cul-de-sac that is at the end of the school zone. I pull in to it, thinking that something has happened and they are diverting traffic (Oh, what a fool I am.) I realize that it is a cadet (or I think so, wasn't wearing any of the usual officer accoutrements) and an officer with a radar gun of some sort.
I roll down my window, and my brain freezes. I'm a fairly intelligent person. I have excellent grades, am over a year ahead in school, etc. I'm also quite strapped, financially. I'm helping support my family. I have no idea what I said to the officer, because all I could think was "this is not happening." I was nice, and polite, because politically correctness is my default. He takes my license from my shaking hands, and walks over to his cadet, and they spend fifteen minutes standing there and smiling.
He walks back with a $725 ticket, because he claims that I was going 50 in a 20 zone.
I just stared. I smiled at him and followed his directions to leave the area.
I didn't cry, nor did I get emotional. Would that have worked out better for me? I figured that if I got teary or begged, he would be more annoyed by what I had done, instead of taking pity on me. I've never been good at kissing behind.
My question is this: I was not going that fast, and I was going the same speed, if not slower than the car in front of me. It was a very gray day in Oregon, and by the time I was in the school zone he was walking into the road with the radar gun lowered. It is a very, very short school zone.
So what do I do? I have never been pulled over, ever. I'm an excellent driver, and my insurance rates dropped this year. I really can't afford this. Do I go to court? What do I say? I'm panicking, honestly.
I'm eighteen, and I know that my age alone will make me look bad in court. I am not a typical teen, I graduated at fourteen, managed a successful business at fifteen, and am now going to college, finishing off the prerequisites for three degrees. I'm not stupid, never partied, and I would not endanger lives by going that fast.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.