As an attorney, I know these recommendations can save you time and money or worse… These methods are tried and true. After defending clients in numerous municipalities including New York, I listen to the officers and the court and here is the down low! Some of the advice below is meant to avoid the ticket altogether but some advice is for beating the ticket in court or prior to court. Read on!! Discuss with your teen drivers!
1. Be nice to the police officer: When the officer approaches your car, please do not ask what you did wrong. The police hate this question and it just encourages them to issue you a ticket. Simply hand over your license, registration and insurance card. Also, rather than make him stand outside your card while you fumble to find your documents-have them in hand when he approaches. They like that!
2. Admit fault: When asked if you know why you were pulled over, simply say something like this: I do Officer (his name) . I know I may have been going a little over the limit and for that I apologize. I’m on my way (somewhere important) and running a little late. I’m sorry officer. Sounds like ass kissing but most officers will simply hand you back your documents and tell you to slow it down!
3. Write a letter to the officer: If you end up with a ticket, a simple, polite letter explaining your side of the story to the police officer might convince him/her to drop the matter before you have to go to court. Type the letter and simply ask if he would agree to drop the matter and inform the prosecutor. Sometimes that won’t work, and you’ll find yourself in court anyway. If that’s the case…
3. Come prepared with knowledge and evidence: Your first court appearance is merely an arraignment where you plead guilty or not guilty. Never plead guilty!!! –even if you know you were speeding. Not guilty gets you a second day in court to make deals and hire a lawyer if necessary. Ask the prosecutor for the method used in determining your speed. Any device must have been calibrated within the last few months and the officer must have been certified to use the device in the last 12 months. This is a matter of the prosecutor making a phone call asking the police agency for the calibration certificate for the device and the officer’s certificate of use. Fifty percent (50%) of the time- the officer is not qualified to use machine or the machine has not been calibrated recently. If so, CASE DISMISSED. Likewise, if you saw a sign saying speed limit was 50 and the police gave you a ticket for going 45 in a 25 mph zone, bring pictures of the sign stating 50 mph and know the exact location of the sign. Police make mistakes all the time. If a sign is obscured or damaged, your ticket might get dropped as well if you could not see the sign. See http://www.motorists.org/speed-limits/articles for more info on why speed limits do matter.
4. Talk to the prosecutor before court is in session: If you’re willing, you might be able to strike a deal where you can pay a fine for a lesser offense without getting the points. Paying a fine beats incurring points, which in the long run will cost you more.
5. Hire a lawyer. Simply put, the law enables lawyers to get better deals for their clients than if the offender went to court alone.
6. The obvious! Don’t speed. Check out this article on the dangers of teen driving and speeding. http://ezinearticles.com/?Speeding-Accidents-and-Fatalities&id=3771320
Hope this blog was helpful! Safe driving!
As always, live your best life!
Kecia Clarke #talkboss