My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: IL
I was pulled over driving my in-laws' company car from the airport in IL. The officer stated I was going 67 in a 45 and gave the ticket as such, despite 21 over being the limit for a higher offense (obviously ok if that was in fact the case, but perhaps indicative of his "mood" as I said virtually nothing and just answered his questions and had my documents ready - a very minor point). I do not believe I was traveling that speed where he said I was (if at all).
The errors: He list the vehicle as a Saab, when it was an Audi. He dated the statement to the effect "I attest all is true and accurate..." the day before I got the ticket (though the offense has the correct date). He also stated in front of me and my wife that he had pulled me over "in a 50mph zone, though it was 45 back where I was going 67". He actually pulled me over in a 55mph zone, so he was wrong about that if that is any indication of his awareness of the speed limits.
The 50mph speed limit sign was laying almost completely flat to the ground; when we went back to look it was nearly impossible to see; my wife didn't see it when I stopped right in front of it (on our third trip back trying to figure out what happened I finally noticed it). It doesn't really help the case of generally speeding over the limit, but it does change whether I was going 22 or 17 over and the penalty. I would have assumed it was at least 55mph though it was impossible to read when driving by, and I took a photo.
He pulled me over 2+ miles past the point he said I was speeding. Although I couldn't believe I was ever going that fast, I thought I must I have just completely missed a 45mph segment somewhere within the 55mph zone and assumed that if had radar/clocked me going that fast it was true. Since I couldn't figure out what happened we drove back later that night and that's when I realized how far past the point he pulled me over the 45mph zone was; I didn't miss anything, it was just more than 2 miles back. It was also in a "developed" area that I am absolutely certain I was not going 67mph in. My wife absolutely agrees (and would tell me if she didn't).
1) Did he get the wrong car? Especially considering he didn't "catch up" until 2 miles down the road and had the wrong make of car?
2) Was he aware of the 45/50/55 mph zones considering the sign was down? Did he think he got me going 67 in a 45 when it was a 55 zone?
As pure commentary, his tone was aggressive and accusatory from the start, particularly when he asked "Why do you have a California license?". My wife had colorful language about his demeanor once he was back in his car.
Am I wasting my time considering fighting this? Should I just go to traffic school? Do any of the above errors on the tickets, misstatements about 50/55mph zones, or the downed sign give me something credible to fight this with? Will the fact it was 22 over when 21 is the cutoff for a lesser penalty make it likely it could be "plead down" to a lesser offense? Although I'm living in CA now, I'm in the area working a contract job so I'll be around for court (though my wife won't).
Finally, if I go to court, can I still go to traffic school and have it expunged? or is that impossible at that point?
Thanks everyone. This is my fist ticket in 18 years driving, but hopefully I'll be an expert on these matters the next time this happens.
...I intended to bullet point this and keep it short... so much for that idea...