It takes just an instant…you’re driving on unfamiliar roads or you’re thinking about something else while behind the wheel. Suddenly, you see flashing lights in your mirror and realize that you’ve been traveling above the speed limit. A speeding ticket can be costly—you can incur substantial fines and there’s a chance that your automobile insurance rates will go up. Maybe you were driving a new car or you simply weren’t aware of the posted speed. Is there any way to challenge or minimize the consequences of a speeding ticket?
It’s important to understand up front that successfully challenging a speeding ticket is extremely difficult and can depend on a variety of circumstance, some of which will be beyond your control and some of which you might be able to impact. Here are some tips for getting the best outcome:
- Don’t get into a debate or confrontation with the officer—Even though you may think the police officer was wrong, you won’t accomplish much by arguing or challenging what he or she saw. If there are extenuation circumstances—you’re driving a rental car, for instance, and you are unfamiliar with its power or cruise control—carefully and courteously explain that to the officer. You may get off with a warning, or the officer may simply choose not to show up if you challenge the ticket in court.
- Write a letter—If you don’t feel comfortable talking to the officer at the time of the traffic stop, don’t worry. It can be nerve-wracking to try to remain calm when you’ve been pulled over. When you calm down, write the officer a letter, outlining any unusual or extenuating circumstances that contributed to or caused you to exceed the speed limit.
- See if the prosecutor will strike a deal—You can talk to the prosecutor before the scheduled date of trial to see if a plea bargain can be negotiated. You may be able to escape any points on your record by pleading to a lesser offense.
- Gather your evidence—If you do end up in court, you’ll have to convince the judge that your version of the facts is more likely than that of a police officer. To do that, you’ll need compelling evidence. Take pictures of anything that’s relevant—speed limit signs blocked by trees, for example—and be prepared to have eyewitnesses give testimony in court.
CONTACT OUR OFFICE
At Jack Venturi Law, we bring considerable skill, knowledge, experience and resources to criminal defendants across New Jersey. To schedule a private meeting, contact our office by e-mail or call us toll free at 866-339-7801. We represent clients throughout Middlesex County, Union County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Essex County and Somerset County.