Got a speeding ticket. Pay it, or go to court?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yg17, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #1
    I found out the hard way that the cops had a speed trap set up on one of our highways this morning....got nabbed for a 77 in a 60 (ouch, I know). I can just mail in a check for the fine, or I can appear in court. I'm not going to try to fight it. I know I was speeding, I know I'm an idiot, and I take full responsibility for it. But I heard that sometimes, the judge will be nice, especially to first-time-offenders like me and offer a defensive driving class in lieu of points on your license and increased insurance. Is this usually true, or should I just mail in the fine and save myself an evening of sitting in court?
     
  2. TJunkers macrumors 6502a

    TJunkers

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    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #2
    I got pulled over doing 85 in a 60 and once doing 53 in a 45. Both times I went to the court without a lawyer. the 53 was dropped and the 85 was lowered and i lost 0 points. Just showing up and talking to the guy can help. Worst case scenario you pay the fee that you would be doing any how.
     
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    It depends on how much your time is worth? How much was the fine? Will you have to take off work, miss class, etc. to go to court?

    Personally, I've gotten 5-6 tickets in my life, I'm 42. Every time I have just paid the fine and not bothered with court.
    Just don't be like this guy and try and string along the court. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=590586

    Good luck and let us know what happens.
     
  4. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #4

    The fine is 88 bucks and the court date is in the evening so I wouldn't need to take off work, so I'm considering going. Worst case scenario, I pay the same fine and get the points, but if I can avoid the points, I'd like to.

    I'm not about to hire the lawyer though. I'm not that desperate to get the ticket reduced.
     
  5. web_god61 macrumors regular

    web_god61

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    #5
    when i got my ticket, i set a court date just to buy myself some time to get my full license. Which worked out well but to my surprise, when you loose in court they tack on another $130 something dollars, for me anyways. Yea that's fair, some kind of screw you in the ass even harder fine.

    Moral of the story, get all the facts.
     
  6. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #6
    Always go to court! FWIW in California that ticket would have been $285.

    If the officer doesn't appear your case is dismissed. Always get a lower fine. Court can be entertaining. It's your right as a citizen.
     
  7. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    Location:
    Pandora, Home Tree
    #7
    As long as you under 20 miles over the speed, it won't hurt your insurance. 70 in a 50, would hurt, but 67 in a 50 would only hurt in fine, not points. One reason it pays to be nice to the cop.
     
  8. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816

    XnavxeMiyyep

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #8
    I got a "slowing" ticket when I was driving a U-Haul van. The cop didn't show up, and I ended up getting it cut from $100 to $50. I was surprised that they didn't throw it out, but since I don't really plan on owning a car, it wasn't worth my time to pursue it further. (an option which I apparently had because the cop didn't show up)
     
  9. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

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    #9
    If you have the time, might as well go. Sometimes the Judge might cut you a deal. just be respectful
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
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    #10
    I hate when people go to court in order to fight a ticket they know they deserved to get.


    There was no "speed trap". That's just a term to vilify the actions of police when they sit there and catch speeders, even if it was in a way that's not deceiving. They catch speeders that choose to speed. That's not a "trap".

    Now, I'd consider it a speed trap if they were hiding along the side of a 7 km road that runs down a mountain (or steep hill), where controlling your speed is nearly impossible. THAT is a trap because they know everyone is going to speed unless they ride their brake all the way down the hill (which wears it out), or they use a lower gear (which wears out the transmission).
     
  11. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #11
    If you have more time than money... go to court and fight it.
    If you have more money than time... just pay the ticket.
     
  12. vorkorsigan macrumors member

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    Toronto
  13. parrothead macrumors 6502a

    parrothead

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    #13
    If you decide to go to court make darn sure that you show up. If you don't, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
     
  14. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    Sorry, but I must defend myself here on both points:

    First point, I know I was an idiot and I deserve the ticket. I admit that. But in some cases, if you go to court, the judge will offer to let you take a safe driving course instead of get points on your license (points on your license can raise your insurance rate) and typically, you still have to pay the fine. I'm not trying to fight anything or get out of the ticket, but if it's possible I can avoid the points, I'll take it.

    The second point, about the speed trap, I'm not sure where you're from (but by the use of kilometers instead of miles, I can assume it's not the US) but here, that's just what we call them. In my case, there was a cop on an overpass with a laser gun, clocking cars passing on the highway beneath, and when he found someone speeding, he radioed to cars on the side of the highway to tell them who to get. I was one of the people caught, among others. In the US, that is a textbook definition of a speed trap. There's no real trap here, this was your standard highway running through an urban area. No 7km long hills, nothing. Just flat, open road. But that's simply just what we call them. I'm not vilifying the cop. I was a dumbass and he was doing his job.
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    Fair enough.
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    Where do you get that idea? Most insurance companies have a preferred rate for drivers with no current violations.
     
  17. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #17
    Check your state laws. Texas for example lets you take defensive driving to remove one ticket a year.
     
  18. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    May 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #18
    Usually it pays to go to court and try to get the points reduced, in the long run it may be worth it to take a driving class vs the insurance rate hike you'll need to live with for several years.
     
  19. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #19
    Only $88 for the fine? That's not bad at all...
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Location:
    Palookaville
    #20
    Which could easily cost you ten times that much in higher insurance premiums.

    Call your insurance agent and ask how this ticket will impact your rates. From that answer you'll probably want to try to get the ticket off your record by taking driving school, if at all possible.

    Then, don't speed anymore.
     
  21. LeahM macrumors 6502a

    LeahM

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    Mar 18, 2008
    #21
    If you go to court and the judge doesn't want to cut you any slack, your stuck with the $88 fine AND court costs, which are usually around the $50 mark.

    I had a failure to stop at a stop sign ticket and I went to court, because well, I didn't get my letter out in time, so the charge was 30 but I had to pay 80 in the end for court costs.

    I would say just pay it, you were speeding, its really your own fault. Because more then likely, if you want to challenge the ticket then they will set up another court date, and it might be during the day, so you'd be screwed over.
     
  22. NightFlight macrumors 6502

    NightFlight

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  23. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
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    #23
    I got the info from a cop, one who kindly dropped my speed of 68 in a 45 to 59.

    He told me it would help to avoid points taken off. I was doing 68 by the way, it was a country road. And, It had no effect on my insurance. My fine was $68. This was about 2 years ago.
     
  24. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #24
    If you go to court and the cop does show up, he'll be annoyed for having to go and your balls will be busted. However, I've noticed that they try to cut deals sometimes with people waiting their turn so they can clear the place out and not have to go through with all of the proceedings.

    If you make a decent wage, court is a huge time suck and not worth. They make you feel like a douche bag on top of it.
     
  25. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #25
    Sorry, that's not really a "trap." It's more of a"big net" approach. For example, In California traffic law, evidence obtained from speed traps is not admissible. It sounds from your description like the officer was in plain sight. They weren't hiding, you just weren't observant enough. No biggie, you'll learn (like I had to ;)). The only thing "trapped" was an inexperienced driver. :D It's so easy to miss things, and that's what they're counting on. No subterfuge, just our own inattention.

    Once you get "the scan," you won't be fooled again! (Apologies to The Who)

    If you can afford the time, I suggest trying the court. It can't get any worse than it is, and it may end up better. You'll learn something about the process in the bargain. Definitely worth your while.

    Not really true in most locales. The officer's court days are their days off, and they get overtime for court appearances. The whole point is to remove any coloring of testimony because of emotional or personal issues related to the appearance.
     

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