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Moving Violations
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The Perfect World >> Social Policy >> Moving Violations

Moving Violations

CalGal -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:27:47 PM

AKA: Your state's other revenue source. How does it work where you live? What's the best way to minimize your damage?

This thread is tagged: ticket, police
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JayKay -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:55 PM -- 3 of 784

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

Yeah, CJ you're pretty much screwed.

I'd roll the dice and see whether the cop shows up, and then try J-Ro's (1) not unsafe speed argument, and (2) contriteness, lots of things on your mind excuse, and (3) no whining.

That's a lot of dough, though. Is it because you weren't wearing a seatbelt?

cj griffin -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:55 PM -- 4 of 784
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

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No, it's because Maine boosted all the speeding fines as of May 1. My ticket was on May 3. Yes, I knew about this. Yes, I am a moron.

Enid -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:55 PM -- 5 of 784

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cj, if they got you with a radar gun, you can ask in court to see the officer's radar gun calibration records. If he didn't bring them, you could be in luck; I know someone who got off completely a speeding ticket over $300 this way.

cj griffin -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:55 PM -- 6 of 784
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

Oooh! Good one!

Enid -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 7 of 784

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

But ask the officer if he has them or not five or ten minutes before you have to go into court; if he does have them, it would look bad if you ask to see them and there they are!

Mistress Manners -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 8 of 784
Still in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

Just showing up gives you a 50/50 chance of a better outcome. Often, the cops don't show. I agree with the groveling approach.

gsand -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 9 of 784

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Also, check all the information on the ticket. I once got off because the officer had written the wrong city down on the ticket. If any of that information is incorrect, the judge has to dismiss it.

CalGal -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 10 of 784
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

In California, you have three choices: pay the ticket, go to court and tell the judge your story and agree to take whatever you're given, or plead not guilty and have a full trial.

Like J-Ro, I went to court once about 12 years ago because I was annoyed at getting a ticket for "running a red light" when I was making a left turn from a one-way into a one way on a red light. To me, that was a whole different ballgame than running a red light, which is why the ticket was so high.

I took the option of telling the judge my story, and like J-Ro, I saw the various excuses that worked and didn't work, and by the time it was my turn I had completely changed my strategy and recited with rote and duty, "It was yellow when I went through the intersection, I was definitely more than 3/4 of the way through before the light changed" and the ticket was dismissed.

Since that time, I just paid the fine until I was once forced to go to court because I'd been driving over 90. This was a miracle in disguise. I got that ticket knocked down and was sent to traffic school. I hadn't known I could go to traffic school, and that was when I learned that traffic school was not about "you can only go for tickets every 18 months" but "you can only go to traffic school every 18 months". By this time, I was paying $500/month for insurance despite no accidents, no claims, and oh by the way no coverage to speak of, which meant I had been paying ungodly insurance for a long time while accepting tickets that I could have wiped off my record. I also learned that it pays to go tell the judge your story no matter what, since I have since wiped out another ticket through traffic school, also by going to traffic court, even though it was originally ineligible.

I have now been--PRAISE JESUS--nearly two years without a ticket--PRAISE JESUS--and that means I have only one ticket on my record for the past 3 years--PRAISE JESUS--and if I get a ticket I can wipe it out with traffic school--PRAISE JESUS--and pretty soon I might have a totally clean record, thank all the kismet and karma that finally came back to me.

But the long and the short of this story is, CJ, that due to my considerable experience with traffic court and tickets, and despite the fact that I am clearly a moron for just paying rather than exploring all the options, I can tell you that your reasons are utterly without any merit whatsoever, not even the one about the speed being silly for the area--in fact, that's the most dubious of all, because who the hell are you to decide the limit is unreasonable?

If you have the option of telling your tale to the judge without a trial, then do it. If you take the trouble to show up, your fee will almost certainly be knocked down, and you might have the ability to go to traffic school and get it knocked off completely. There is also the bare possibility that you'll get off scot free, if you come up with a good story (hint: your current story sucks dead rocks).

If you don't have the option of telling your tale to the judge, that means you either pay the fine or demand a trial. Think very fucking carefully about whether or not you want to go to court, because while you might luck out on a technicality, you also might not, and if you don't, they will do whatever the hell they can to punish you for making them go to the trouble and expense of a trial when it was just a ticket, because otherwise every aggravated dumbfuck would come to court and increase the cost of writing tickets and they don't want that, because that's a key source of revenue. They are therefore quick to beat the living shit out of any hapless idiot who thinks they have the right to eat away at their profit margins and isn't lucky enough to have a cop fail to show up. And in these times of budget cutbacks, they will not be letting many technicalities through.

You don't have a good case, and your reasons for being upset at the ticket are moronic. Telling a judge your sad tale for a reduced fine is one thing. Telling anything other than an extremely good tale for dismissal at a trial is a recipe for disaster, including the potential for a bigger fine.

genaverage -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 11 of 784

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

Sometimes you get offered a deal with the poor schmuck misdemeanor DA just for pleading not guilty and asking for a court date. Either way, it does not hurt you to plead not guilty and at least initiate fighting it.

Cal's right that the unreasonable speed limit defense usually does not work (sometimes it does if it's a known speed trap) but in some states you can argue the 85% rule; if the public traffic engineers have determined that 85% of the traffic (or whatever the local percentage may be) speeds through that area, you can sometimes get the ticket dismissed.

Speedtrap.org has some links to some useful info.

CalGal -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 12 of 784
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

Either way, it does not hurt you to plead not guilty and at least initiate fighting it.

This is spectacularly untrue, particularly in California.

genaverage -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 13 of 784

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By "initiate fighting it" I don't mean getting all the way to having your day in court. Pleading not guilty and getting a court date is initiating fighting it. You can change the plea any time up to and including the moment you appear before the judge and it's not going to change things. It can be worthwhile to see if you're going to get an offer to keep you from going to court.

CalGal -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 14 of 784
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

In California, there is no advantage to asking for a court date. They give you excellent reasons not to do so. Once you've asked for one, you've put them to inordinate expense and you must pay. No one is going to give you an offer.

genaverage -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 15 of 784

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What do they do?

CalGal -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 16 of 784
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

What do you mean, what do they do? I described it, above.

catling -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 17 of 784
The best wedding sparklers are the long-lasting #14 Gold. They are also very effective in exorcisms. All sparklers are wonderful for bringing and ridding curses.- sparkler sales web site

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In Florida if you ask for a court date, you have a tendency to end up with court costs and fines being exactly what the ticket is, if you lose, but most of the time the points don't go on your license if you do court.

More Sunshine State weirdness, I guess.

cj griffin -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 18 of 784
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

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You don't have a good case, and your reasons for being upset at the ticket are moronic.

I totally agree! FWIW, we don't have traffic school here, just an appeal to a judge. If I get there and see my cop, I can just say "I no longer contest the charge and will pay the fine right now." If nothing else, I've bought myself two months to pay.

CalGal -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 19 of 784
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

No traffic school? You must have really low insurance rates.

cj griffin -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 20 of 784
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

I pay $1300 a year for me (2000 Honda) and DH ('94 Hyundai). Is that low? It doesn't seem that way to me!

CalGal -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 21 of 784
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

(Message has been moved from The Bar Association of the Perfect World)

Did you happen to notice the number that I mentioned earlier? Granted, they were using my ability to get lots of tickets as an excuse to get me to pay for their old people. But even before that I was paying $200/month. I am finally down to something approaching normal and am paying 1200/year for a 7 year old Honda.

Piccie -- Wednesday, July 16, 2003 -- 07:28:56 PM -- 22 of 784

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From what I understand, it is possible to do traffic school twice within 18 months in CA subject to approval by the judge. Also, everyone I know who has bothered to contest their ticket has gotten the fine reduced. So it's definitely worth showing up if you have the time.

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The Perfect World >> Social Policy >> Moving Violations