Ways to beat a speeding ticket?

A number of web sites offer advice–for a price–that they allege will increase the chances of beating a traffic ticket, particularly one issued on the basis of a radar or laser measurement. (No need to publicize them here.) One site contends that a speed limit is not enforceable unless a speed survey was made, and that if the officer doesn’t bring a copy of the survey to court the judge will dismiss the ticket. Another strategy seems to be based on the notion of questioning the officer about tiny details, and that if he can’t remember, say, the color of your shirt, his testimony about your speed becomes doubtful. Another site seems to say that if the officer doesn’t produce documents formally attesting to his training and the calibration of the unit, the ticket must be invalidated.

Does any of this make any sense? Or will going into court demanding a speed survey or a training certificate just piss off the judge? I’ll pay for good advice, but I don’t like to be a sucker.

Wouldn’t the best thing be not to speed in the first place?

I wouldn’t rely on any of those methods, personally. They sound dubious, to say the least. :dubious:

By the way, Reader99, there is a thread in MPSIMS which I feel is made for you:



That’s easy, when the man tries to pull you over, just hit the gas, ditch’em.

joking do not try this.

I think these tactics you mentioned would definitely annoy the judge. I just went to court (on Friday) to answer the charge of “Reckless Driving” that I got for going 86 in a 65 zone on I-66 in Northern Virginia. This is a serious charge that carries up to a $2500 fine or a year in jail. As you can imagine I was somewhat nervous.

When I got to the court room it was PACKED with dozens of others who were there for the same charge. The front row of the court had the cop who stopped me and the cops who stopped everyone else. I guess they were there just in case someone wanted to use one your tactics, but I’m not sure because no one tried it.

The judge was a no-nonsense blond who just wanted to get through the list as quickly as possible. She explained that she would call out each name and you had to reply if you were present; if so she would read the charge against you and ask how you plea: guilty, not guilty, or no contest. She then mentioned that you could also request to speak with the prosecutor who was sitting out in the waiting area.

As she read off each name I noticed that each person either pleaded guilty or requested to speak with the prosecutor. The one’s who pleaded guilty all got fined for their speeding (between $200 to $500) depending on their record. They also got a lot of points added to their record. When she called my name I requested to speak to the prosecutor. This was a good decision.

So I went into the waiting area and asked the prosecutor how I should plea. She explained to me the consequences of each plea and what it would mean. She then asked if I wanted to work out a plea agreement and I agreed to this. To make a long story short I bargained my way down to a lesser sharge of 74 in a 65 zone (from 86!) and I agreed to a $75 fine and 3 points. When I got back into the court room the prosecutor informed the judge of the plea bargain we made…the judge asked if I agreed with it and that was it…whew! what a relief that was!

JohanDane - the reason the cops were there was for witness reasons, I believe. Had the cop been there, you could’ve claimed he was drunk off his ass, he woudln’t be there to defend himself against your claim. But then again, that’s just my assumption.

Reader99, you didn’t say where you are, right? Your profile location field is empty too…

This topic seems to come up every spring....there are books you can read, BEAT THAT TICKET (what a surprise, eh?) Also, some on Nolo.com  which is a layperson's law site. All legal info, of course.

I don't have the stats on whether they work for ya.

Relatedly, I heard an NPR interview with a state trooper who talked about techniques they use for catching speeders. I remember him saying that they DO go after the bright-colored sportscars in most cases, that they usually don’t go after cars that are all in a group, and one trick they use is to exit the highway and go right across the overpass and re-enter the highway where they nab those who have sped-up after seeing the trooper’s car hit the exit.

The deal is, YES those tactics sometimes work. However, it’s sometimes…which means it’s ALL

The deal is, YES those tactics sometimes work. However, it’s sometimes…which means it’s ALL

…IT’S ALL UP TO THE JUDGE. They don’t have to throw anything out if they don’t want to. And if you come in acting like Mr. Attorney…they’re probably going to be harder on you.

Ok, I’ll give you what has worked for me, but don’t take this as an endorsement of speeding. Moving on, when my wife or I have gotten a speeding ticket we have followed these steps:

  1. Request a court hearing,
  2. Once a court hearing date is scheduled request a delay (continuance),
  3. Once a new court date is scheduled repeat step 2, depending on where you are you might be able to do this a couple of times or only once.
  4. Send in a defense affidavit essentially saying “I was not speeding, I told the officer I was not speeding, I have no idea why the officer would think that I was speeding I drive so slow little old ladies give me the finger”. Maybe not that last part but you get the idea, be nice, be respectful, and be brief, don’t offer explanations or excuses.
  5. Wait by your mailbox for the news, which will be a. guilty, pay a fine, or b. not guilty, thanks for playing.

The point of the continuances is to improve your chances that the cop who issued the ticket will not be there, in which case the case is dismissed. Of course, if you have a ton of speeding tickets in your past the chances of you being found guilty WILL go up.

You may be interested in this account


(NOT a porn site)

How about an endorsement of perjury?

If you were not speeding, of course, then your advice is perfectly fine. If you were, and you send in an affdavit saying you weren’t… why, that’s called perjury. Also illegal. And bad.

  • Rick

Of course, goes without saying, which is why I didn’t say it.

Er… I have to admit that I’m a little confused. Your post says:

Now, perhaps you meant to imply that every time you or your wife has gotten a speeding ticket it was in error - that is, you were not actually speeding - or perhaps you meant to say that the affidavit portion of your advice was only employed when it was possible to do so.

But reading your post didn’t leave me with that impression - I certainly apologize for my error.

  • Rick

Actually I made no claim whatsoever as to the validity of the speeding tickets, implied or otherwise. Your impressions are your own, or Rich Little’s, as the case may be.

Regarding the advice above:

You should be aware of your local laws. I know, from experience, that in my little part of Washington State, the officer that gives you the ticket does NOT have to show up at your court appearance; he or she just has to write a statement and ANY police officer can read it and the judge will take it as coming from the ticketing officer.

Sort of takes the fun out of being able to stand up against your accuser, but there you go.

It has been many years since I’ve been to traffic court, but in MD the judge will barely pay you any attention - there are no rules, well there are but the court doesn’t seem to care.

“…and one trick they use is to exit the highway and go right across the overpass and re-enter the highway where they nab those who have sped-up after seeing the trooper’s car hit the exit.”

That would mean that the offender is not paying attention to the road - even worse, much worse than speeding.

Actually, you did. By posting advice to file an affidavit denying speeding on a message board where you have agreed not to “post any material that is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate… or otherwise violative of any U.S. law” you are making an implied claim that the tickets are not valid.

Or, I certainly hope you are.