Here are some of the steps to take if you are pulled over for a speeding ticket.
Speeding is one of the most reckless and unnecessary bad driving habits out there. If you choose to speed, not only are you putting everyone on the road at risk, but you are also increasing your risk of getting a ticket. Should this ever happen to you, here’s what you need to do to handle the situation.
When You Get Pulled Over
- Ask which method the officer used to determine that you were speeding. Document this information.
- Say as little as possible and do not talk back; everything you say can be used against you if you go to court.
- Be polite, the last thing you want to do is exacerbate the situation by acting aggressively or being uncooperative.
- After the incident, write down all the details that you remember, including the time of day, location, and any other circumstances that might have affected the situation, such as a missing or obscured speed limit sign.
Once you are issued a ticket, you do have some options. The easiest thing to do is simply pay the ticket; however, this could result in increased insurance rates. You can also choose to fight the ticket in court or negotiate the penalty.
Going to Court
If you decide to take the ticket to court, a prosecutor will have to prove that you were indeed speeding. While you might think that the ticket was unjustified, it is notably difficult to fight speeding violations. If the officer decides not to attend the hearing, you may be off the hook. However, don’t bank on that. You may still have to stand before a judge and undergo questioning. Here are some of the steps that you should take to prepare.
- Gather evidence: The best way to have the ticket dismissed is by providing physical proof that you weren’t speeding. Things like footage from a dashcam or photographic evidence that a speed limit sign was obscured will work.
- Research the speed equipment: You should also look up the method that the officer used to determine your speed. Specifically focus on the weaknesses of this method so you can present them to the judge.
- Arrange witnesses: You can also call in witnesses to testify on your behalf.
- Organize questions: You may also have the chance to question the officer, so plan which questions you will ask. You can use your questions to illustrate faulty memory or lack of training with speed-clocking equipment. Stick to questions with short answers and avoid questions that lead to elaboration.
If all of this sounds like a lot to handle, you can always hire a lawyer to act on your behalf.
Negotiating the Penalty
“Mitigation” is the practice of making a deal with the court. This allows you to avoid a hearing while negotiating a lower penalty. You may be able to request mitigation before or during your hearing, but whether or not the court agrees is up to them. During mitigation, you must admit your guilt and offer information that would inspire leniency. Possible outcomes of mitigation include the following:
- Paying the ticket without it affecting your driving record.
- Taking a driving course instead of paying the ticket.
- Having the ticket reduced.
- Receiving more time to pay off the ticket.
These are some of the steps you can take following a speeding ticket. Remember, speeding is never permissible and is needlessly reckless. To keep yourself and other drivers safe, avoid speeding and make sure you have the right auto insurance protections in place. For assistance with your car coverage needs, contact the experts at Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks, California today.