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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    1

    Default Does it Make Sense to Contest a Speeding Ticket After Admitting to Speeding

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of Ohio.

    This past weekend I was driving some friends to a winery via some rural roads southeast of Columbus. Traffic was light, the day was clear, and I was driving between 55-60 mph on a two-lane road in a 55 mph zone. I was not using cruise control, and my speed possibly drifted as low as 48 or as high as 62 at certain points. I wasn't paying close attention to my specific speed, just mainly ensuring that I didn't fall too far over or under the limit. For the majority of the drive there were no other cars in sight ahead of me or behind me.

    Less than a mile from my destination, an officer driving in the other oncoming lane drove past me, pulled a U-turn, and pulled me over. Because I wasn't realistically doing more than 5 over, I assumed he was being extra-vigilant for intoxicated drivers during the 4th of July weekend. He was friendly and cordial, and he asked if I knew I was "going a bit over the limit." Being the moron that I am, I agreed and apologized to the officer. In my past experiences and by talking to friends about theirs, I've found that being polite and open with officers usually leads to a better chance of receiving a warning than by playing dumb, especially when the cop is being respectful and the stakes are low. He asked if I've ever had any previous tickets, and I said I had not. At no point did he say what he clocked me at.

    After taking my information and going to his car for a while, he returned and almost apologetically handed me my first speeding ticket. I was surprised, but he said to be extra cautious on the holiday weekend and to have a good rest of my day. I looked at my ticket and saw that he had written me up for going 70 in a 55 mph zone. I saw no reason to argue with the officer at this stage - I clearly missed my chance to do that before he went to his car to run my information.

    On my ticket, it reports a cloudy sky, dry road, and light traffic. The speed is reported as 70/55. His method of speed detection was radar, while he was driving in the opposite direction as me. In his notes, he has it written that the driver "knew he was speeding." My question is this: because I agreed with the officer that I was driving over the limit, does that equate to "admitting" the speed that the officer wrote on my ticket? Is any possible defense, or any potential deal with the prosecutor or appeal to a judge, dead on arrival because of that written note? He did not write that I knew how much I was speeding, just that I knew I was over the limit.

    Obviously my best-case scenario is to have the ticket dismissed, but I would also be more than happy to end up paying the fine without the points being added to my driving record. I am on a grad school budget, and am hoping to avoid raised insurance premiums. The court in question has no official option to take a defensive driving course in lieu of receiving the ticket, but the clerk told me it's sometimes possible to request that leniency from the judge during my hearing. Having no prior experience in a courtroom setting, I am wondering whether anyone might be able to offer any helpful advice.

    Thanks in advance!
    -Gat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Does it Make Sense to Contest a Speeding Ticket After Admitting to Speeding

    Read this.

    You weren't paying attention to your speed, and the officer has no reason to misrepresent your speed, so odds are you were measured at 70 MPH exactly as the officer has described.

    If you contest the ticket, you can contact the prosecutor's office to see if they'll discuss the ticket and potential options for its disposition with you. Sometimes they'll do that in advance of a court date, at other times they'll wait until the date of the hearing. You have the option of going to court and seeking leniency from the judge -- but the judge can only offer leniency after you plead guilty, while the prosecutor can potentially offer a deal.

    I've recently seen a cash-strapped county (in a different state than yours) reach out to the recipient of a speeding ticket and offer a really good deal, simply to avoid having to pay the officer to appear in court. No promises that you'll be that lucky, but you won't know what's on the table until you ask.

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