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View Full Version : Got my first speeding ticket in years--should I go to court?


Save Ferris
05-09-08, 09:32 AM
Not that I dont speed, I do all the time, for some reason though this is my first one in years. Should I pay the $95 or try to fight it in court? Whats involved in going to court over it? Do they make your life hell jumping through hoops?

SoSpacey
05-09-08, 09:44 AM
Only $95? Why so cheap? Did they get you for going 26 in a 25?

The advantage to going to court is usually the Prosecutor will offer you a plea in order to avoid taking up court time. The plea may be to something other than speeding and may avoid having points on your record, which I think is more important.

Nick Danger
05-09-08, 09:44 AM
I just treat tickets like a highway tax. I pay it and move on.

antennaball
05-09-08, 09:54 AM
Were you speeding? If so, why fight it? Pay the court costs, take defensive driving, and move on.

TheNightFlier
05-09-08, 10:08 AM
A $95 ticket? I'd just pay it.

Save Ferris
05-09-08, 10:16 AM
I was going 85 in a 55. That does seem awful low. I dont want to go to court if you have to spend the whole day there or they make it a big hassle. It wouldnt be worth it. But i dont know what to expect. If its easy ill go to court.

beesonosu
05-09-08, 10:16 AM
Don't sit in the seat if you can't take the heat.

beesonosu
05-09-08, 10:20 AM
Last year I was caught with a very similar range (84 in a 55, I believe) and it was something like $170. I screwed up so I paid and went on with my life.

Save Ferris
05-09-08, 10:27 AM
Does anyone know how to start up a website where people can donate money for my cause?

VinVega
05-09-08, 10:44 AM
85mph in a 55mph zone? How can you fight that? My speedometer broke?

Brian Shannon
05-09-08, 10:50 AM
I went once and it was basically a joke. The State Trooper lied on the stand, the judge didn't bat an eye when I told him so.

He gaveled the tickets through like it was a deli line, just so much revenue to them.

If you do not have to go I would just pay it and forget about it.

AGuyNamedMike
05-09-08, 10:54 AM
Were you speeding? If so, why fight it? Pay the court costs, take defensive driving, and move on.

Ditto.

jdodd
05-09-08, 11:19 AM
Where do you live where 30mph over the speed limit just gets you a $95 ticket?

superdeluxe
05-09-08, 11:25 AM
Go to court, eight times out of 10, the cop doesnt show up, if he doesnt show up, you get off.

The 95$ is not the killer, the killer is the increase of your insurance. Go to Court, you might even get option of taking a driving class, to get the ticket off your record.

Save Ferris
05-09-08, 11:34 AM
in chicago. technically he wrote 84 on the ticket to keep it under 30mph over the speed limit. on the back of the ticket theres some other penalty (undisclosed) for driving over 30mph over the speed limit.

I can pay $115 to get the online training class and keep the ticket off my record.

mbs
05-09-08, 11:44 AM
Go to court, eight times out of 10, the cop doesnt show up, if he doesnt show up, you get off.

Except you'll have to go to court twice: arraignment and then the actual court date. The cop won't be at the arraignment, but a reasonable chance he'll show at the actual trial. Unless you are planning on going to court to plead guilty in the hope of getting a lowered fine?

But ask yourself: is 5+ hours of sitting in court (for the arraignment alone) worth $95? It wouldn't be for me, especially given you admitted to speeding. My advice: pay the fine. Not having to spend all that time in court is (or should be) worth more than $95.

Save Ferris
05-09-08, 11:45 AM
its the PRINCIPLE of the matter!

unless it was closer to $50 then i wouldnt care.

mbs
05-09-08, 11:47 AM
its the PRINCIPLE of the matter!


I don't understand. You admitted to the speeding? You cannot be complaining about the ticket cost: $95 for going 30 over is very cheap. I paid $380 for a rolling right turn on red (in California, of course). So I'd say you got off very easy.

So what is the issue that goes against your principles?

4KRG
05-09-08, 11:49 AM
Go to court, admit you were speeding, ask for a deal where points are not issued against you.

Bargain the traffic school for ticket dismissal

This is not really about $95, it is about your record and possible insurance increases.

You don't want tickets on your record if you can at all avoid them, they could always cause a problem for you down the road.

So you were speeding, so what? Traffic fines are all about the money and not about public safety, offer to pay the court what they want and make a deal. You will be that much better off in the future.

Save Ferris
05-09-08, 11:55 AM
well they said for the extra $20 to take the 4hour training class (online) would keep it off my record.

I just heard of people showing up and if the cop doesnt show then you're off scott free.

If you have to go two times, I admit its not worth it (and if he shows up im screwed).

Jericho
05-09-08, 11:58 AM
Go to court, admit you were speeding, ask for a deal where points are not issued against you.

Bargain the traffic school for ticket dismissal

This is not really about $95, it is about your record and possible insurance increases.

You don't want tickets on your record if you can at all avoid them, they could always cause a problem for you down the road.

So you were speeding, so what? Traffic fines are all about the money and not about public safety, offer to pay the court what they want and make a deal. You will be that much better off in the future.


I'd agree with this.

I speed a lot too and was pulled over for the first time since 1998 just recently, so this thread sparked my interest. I had two prior speeding tickets, went to Court for both, ended up with no points and probation, which leads to the fact I have a "clean" record. The cop, a state cop even, decided to just give me a warning due to my clean record. I was thrilled.

As for Court, each state is different. Here in Maryland, you can actually have a full trial or you can have a lesser type hearing. I've only done the latter, and just plead guilty with an explanation. The judges tend to rubber stamp these things, and if your record is pretty good, you usually get no points and just pay a fine/court costs. It's worth it in my book. If you're really lucky the cop won't show up and you can get it dismissed completely.

4KRG
05-09-08, 11:59 AM
well they said for the extra $20 to take the 4hour training class (online) would keep it off my record.



That is a no brainer, do it



I just heard of people showing up and if the cop doesnt show then you're off scott free.



actually, this rarely happens


If you have to go two times, I admit its not worth it (and if he shows up im screwed).

yep, just take the course and have it dismissed. Consider it a driving tax :) There is no way in hell some stupid course is ever going to change the way someone drives, so again, it's all about the money.

spainlinx0
05-09-08, 12:00 PM
I got off because I requested multiple times for discovery, and they never sent me anything. Three phone call reschedules later, and my case was dismissed. That was 83 in a 55. I only had to sit in court for one day. However my ticket would have been around 300 if I remember correctly.

Metrodub
05-09-08, 12:02 PM
Wow on two counts.

1. $95 for 30 over is really cheap, especially for a big city like Chicago. I just got caught going 17 over (62 in 45) in Boston and the ticket was $170.

2. I take it 30 over the speed limit is considered reckless driving in Illinois? In VA, where I lived until 4 years ago, if you drive 20 miles over or 80 mph+, you are automatically cited for reckless driving. If you can get the judge to send you to driving school, it's an anger management focused approach (because, you know, you were going fast because you were angry).

Pistol Pete
05-09-08, 12:08 PM
Were you speeding? If so, why fight it? Pay the court costs, take defensive driving, and move on.
Typical response from a cop.

Because most highway speeding tickets have almost nothing to do with safety and everything to do with raising money. If everyone who received a ticket bothered to contest it, the profit motive would be removed and municipalities would have to look elsewhere for money.

Case in point: I travel every day on a highway with a 55mph speed limit. I drive 70-80mph on this highway as does 95% of the traffic. Once in a while a person will drive at the 55mph speed limit. Invariably this causes other cars to unexpectantly change lanes or slam on their brakes. Accidents are the inevitable result.

In this case it is safer to break the law than it is to follow it. Cops and the courts know this; they are not stupid. But they will never admit it. The money is too easy.

If you really want to make the highways safer, start ticketing people for driving too slow in the left lanes, unsafe lane changes, following too closely, or not using turn signals to change lanes. Unfortunately these offenses are harder to quantify than speeding.

antennaball
05-09-08, 12:15 PM
Typical response from a cop.

Because most highway speeding tickets have almost nothing to do with safety and everything to do with raising money. If everyone who received a ticket bothered to contest it, the profit motive would be removed and municipalities would have to look elsewhere for money.

Case in point: I travel every day on a highway with a 55mph speed limit. I drive 70-80mph on this highway as does 95% of the traffic. Once in a while a person will drive at the 55mph speed limit. Invariably this causes other cars to unexpectantly change lanes or slam on their brakes. Accidents are the inevitable result.

In this case it is safer to break the law than it is to follow it. Cops and the courts know this; they are not stupid. But they will never admit it. The money is too easy.

If you really want to make the highways safer, start ticketing people for driving too slow in the left lanes, unsafe lane changes, following too closely, or not using turn signals to change lanes. Unfortunately these offenses are harder to quantify than speeding.

IT WAS 30 MPH OVER THE LIMIT.

Look, I'm not a big traffic guy. I won't even pull somebody over unless they get up to 15 over...will rarely ticket for anything under 20 over. But, 85 in a 55 is ridiculous. You can rail against the revenue-generating all you want, but at some point speeding really does become a safety problem. I know in my jurisdiction, we have some roads where the posted limit is 55 and driving 85 on them would get people killed with the slightest of outside influences (distractions in the vehicle, an animal running out into the road). Speeding tickets are sometimes legitimate...I'd say 30 over qualifies.

Edited to add: I'm not saying that Save Ferris was driving on a road that would necessarily be dangerous to drive 85 on. I'm just saying that 30 over isn't something that I would turn into a crusade against unfair ticketing.

Save Ferris
05-09-08, 12:25 PM
I always drive around 75 for long stretches of expressway where everyone is going about the same. I do commute 64 miles a day so its a pretty comfortable routine. I think I was higher speed today to get around some congestion and just kept going that speed longer than normal.

beesonosu
05-09-08, 12:26 PM
Typical response from a cop.

Because most highway speeding tickets have almost nothing to do with safety and everything to do with raising money. If everyone who received a ticket bothered to contest it, the profit motive would be removed and municipalities would have to look elsewhere for money.

Case in point: I travel every day on a highway with a 55mph speed limit. I drive 70-80mph on this highway as does 95% of the traffic. Once in a while a person will drive at the 55mph speed limit. Invariably this causes other cars to unexpectantly change lanes or slam on their brakes. Accidents are the inevitable result.

In this case it is safer to break the law than it is to follow it. Cops and the courts know this; they are not stupid. But they will never admit it. The money is too easy.

If you really want to make the highways safer, start ticketing people for driving too slow in the left lanes, unsafe lane changes, following too closely, or not using turn signals to change lanes. Unfortunately these offenses are harder to quantify than speeding.

I agree with just about everything you posted but the speed limit is posted. It's not some recommended speed - it is the set limit. If you don't follow it, you risk getting a ticket. The cops might even agree with you on many of these points but they still have to do their job. Your opinions, or mine, really are worthless when we knowingly drive over the speed limit.

He was speeding, he got a ticket, he should pay it because he broke the law. If he is offered some sort of training class to avoid points on his license, that should be the way to go. What's hard to comprehend about that? Quit trying to find fault or loopholes in the law, man up and take responsibility for your actions.

Jericho
05-09-08, 12:28 PM
To be fair, what is a "safe" speed depends on the ability of the driver, the conditions, the type of car involved and its condition, the amount of traffic, the type of road, and so forth.

Jericho
05-09-08, 12:30 PM
I agree with just about everything you posted but the speed limit is posted. It's not some recommended speed - it is the set limit. If you don't follow it, you risk getting a ticket. The cops might even agree with you on many of these points but they still have to do their job. Your opinions, or mine, really are worthless when we knowingly drive over the speed limit.

He was speeding, he got a ticket, he should pay it because he broke the law. If he is offered some sort of training class to avoid points on his license, that should be the way to go. What's hard to comprehend about that? Quit trying to find fault or loopholes in the law, man up and take responsibility for your actions.


I'd agree with this too. Anyone who speeds, myself included, know what the possibilities are. And I'm prepared to pay the consequences if needed. Although I'm not sure he's looking for loopholes as much as pointing out the problems in the system.

4KRG
05-09-08, 12:42 PM
I'd agree with this too. Anyone who speeds, myself included, know what the possibilities are. And I'm prepared to pay the consequences if needed. Although I'm not sure he's looking for loopholes as much as pointing out the problems in the system.

:thumbsup:

or he is trying to figure out how the system works and use that to his benefit instead of just taking whatever comes to him without questioning it like a sheep.

Speeding has been demonized and is an easy target - oh look at the evil speeder, death penalty I say! he speeded, he must be the devil! burn him

:lol:

Sure 30mph over is a lot, but in the right conditions it isn't a big deal, I wouldn't do it in a school zone, but on a highway, every chance I get! :D

beesonosu
05-09-08, 12:55 PM
Case in point: I travel every day on a highway with a 55mph speed limit. I speed excessively on this highway as does 95% of the traffic. Once in a while a person will follow the speed limit. Invariably this causes other cars to unexpectantly change lanes or slam on their brakes. Accidents are the inevitable result due to people tailgating.

FIXED.

You also have to put yourself in the position of others. For instance, I do a lot of driving for my job (not a truck driver!) - sometimes 800-1000 miles/week. Many times to areas/cities where I have never been before. Sure I have a GPS that allows me to drive at a decent pace but I have no idea how strict law enforcement is around these foreign areas. I usually try to follow the pace of traffic.

I'm driving a 06 Silverado that can "get up and go" but I'm also carrying 1/2 ton or more product in the back of truck at all times. It is my company's truck (they pay insurance) and my company's product. The product is pesticide, ranging from very safe to not safe at all and probably costs about $8,000-$10,000. Granted, I don't drive in the left lanes unless I plan on hauling ass.

So I've learned to be very tolerable of people on the road and I realize that if I am in an accident and I'm driving 20-25 over the speed limit, it is my fault and my company will be livid.

Groucho
05-09-08, 01:00 PM
Go to court, eight times out of 10, the cop doesnt show up, if he doesnt show up, you get off.This rule of thumb isn't true any more in many places. Court dates are scheduled around the cop just because of this "trick."

Nick Danger
05-09-08, 01:20 PM
I went to court once and was ordered to traffic class. It was worthwhile. Not because of the content of the class, but because I got to see the breathtaking arrogance and selfishness of the other attendees. I've never been in such a group of self-centered pricks in my life. It caused me to do some self-examination.

Here's a couple of anecdotes. The class was in two 4-hour sessions on Saturdays mornings.

One guy cheerfully said that his headlight was out, so he just drove on high beams all the time. I hate that, and almost offered to take him to Autozone, pay the $5 for a replacement bulb, and fix his car. He obviously wasn't going to do it. The next week, he was all angry because he'd been ticketed for failing to lower his high beams to a cop. But he still hadn't fixed his headlight.

Then there was a woman who was in class because she was one point from losing her license. The next week, she'd been driving with her kids in the car, and she got pulled over for speeding. She said, "I was crying! I told the cop that if he gave me a ticket, I'd lose my license. He gave me one anyway!"

I didn't want to be like that.

Groucho
05-09-08, 01:26 PM
I've never been in such a group of self-centered pricks in my life.Until this thread, anyway. ;)

grrrah
05-09-08, 01:44 PM
don't want to read everything posted thus far but here in CA:

yes, takes going to court twice. first is plea arraignment (cop doesn't need to show up), second is court case.

When I got a ticket, because it was more than 15mph over the limit (or something like that), the notice didn't have a traffic school option. Either pay $290 or go to court. I went to the arraignment, the judge asked if I wanted to go to traffic school, I did, no ticket on my "public" record.

In CA, you can have one ticket hidden from your public record (via traffic school) for 18 months. If you get a second within that time, then it shows you have 1 (if you went to school for the first), but insurance automatically assumes you have 1 hidden also if there is one showing (so 2 total), and your insurance goes up.

Pistol Pete
05-09-08, 04:36 PM
FIXED.

You also have to put yourself in the position of others. For instance, I do a lot of driving for my job (not a truck driver!) - sometimes 800-1000 miles/week. Many times to areas/cities where I have never been before. Sure I have a GPS that allows me to drive at a decent pace but I have no idea how strict law enforcement is around these foreign areas. I usually try to follow the pace of traffic.

I'm driving a 06 Silverado that can "get up and go" but I'm also carrying 1/2 ton or more product in the back of truck at all times. It is my company's truck (they pay insurance) and my company's product. The product is pesticide, ranging from very safe to not safe at all and probably costs about $8,000-$10,000. Granted, I don't drive in the left lanes unless I plan on hauling ass.

So I've learned to be very tolerable of people on the road and I realize that if I am in an accident and I'm driving 20-25 over the speed limit, it is my fault and my company will be livid.
Stay to the right away from the faster traffic and we won't have a problem. I have no complaint with drivers who are driving safely for their conditions. I have a problem with vehicles in the left lane driving at the speed limit in a self-rightous manner while the rest of traffic swerves to avoid them. They are being unsafe by impeding the flow of traffic.

Pistol Pete
05-09-08, 04:49 PM
IT WAS 30 MPH OVER THE LIMIT.

Look, I'm not a big traffic guy. I won't even pull somebody over unless they get up to 15 over...will rarely ticket for anything under 20 over. But, 85 in a 55 is ridiculous. You can rail against the revenue-generating all you want, but at some point speeding really does become a safety problem. I know in my jurisdiction, we have some roads where the posted limit is 55 and driving 85 on them would get people killed with the slightest of outside influences (distractions in the vehicle, an animal running out into the road). Speeding tickets are sometimes legitimate...I'd say 30 over qualifies.

Edited to add: I'm not saying that Save Ferris was driving on a road that would necessarily be dangerous to drive 85 on. I'm just saying that 30 over isn't something that I would turn into a crusade against unfair ticketing.
It may be a legitimate but I would still contest it. Much of the traffic court system in this country is dependant upon individuals admitting fault and paying a fine without taking advantage of due process. Nowhere else in the system do you find people being told to just pay the fine and shut up. Even here you can call in and pay over the telephone with a credit card.

It is too easy. That is why I have always gone to court the few times I have received a ticket. Sometimes I win, sometimes not, but at least I force those charged with enforcing the law to actually prove I have broken it. If nothing else, I get a few hours of amusement watching th proceedings.

Having driven in Italy and Germany I have to say that excessive speed is not the demon we make it out to be. The problem is dumbass drivers.

bunkaroo
05-09-08, 04:50 PM
I can pay $115 to get the online training class and keep the ticket off my record.

Ahh this brings back memories. Good 'ole Cook County.

I had three speeding tickets in 1996, and for the first two to be removed from my record I had to go to 4-hour driving school and 8-hour driving school respectively. No online back then - ass in a chair the whole time.

Got a speeding ticket early last year in DuPage. 42 in a 25. $75 and 90 days without another offense kept it off my record. No school required. :)

bunkaroo
05-09-08, 04:55 PM
Ferris, where you in the city at the time? If so, was it State police? I didn't think CPD patrolled the expressways, and I can't think of anywhere in the city outside of the expressways where the speed limit is 55 except maybe Lake Shore Drive.

Save Ferris
05-09-08, 04:59 PM
I-294 unmarked grey cruiser, ticket says state police.

bunkaroo
05-09-08, 05:11 PM
I-294 unmarked grey cruiser, ticket says state police.

That's what I thought. 294 was the site of several tickets for me in the 90's. Thankfully I don't have to drive it anymore.

Kittydreamer
05-09-08, 05:52 PM
Does anyone know how to start up a website where people can donate money for my cause?
*points and laughs at Ferris* :lol: I've never had a ticket. :p

Save Ferris
05-09-08, 06:13 PM
:( sniffle

bwvanh114
05-09-08, 06:17 PM
I'd definitely go to court. No one should have to pay $95 for going 85 in a 55 zone. Fight it! If it were more reasonable like $20, pay it. But for $95, I'd take a day off from earning money and spend the whole day in court. You know, because it's the principle of the thing: No one should have to pay $95 for going 85 in a 55 zone.

devilshalo
05-09-08, 08:22 PM
I don't even bother with going to court. I request a trial by writ.