If I was pulled over for speeding, following too closely and reckless driving, what’s the best action to take to lessen the consequences?

The cop says I was going 110 in a 70, I don’t think I was. He also wrote I was 1.2 car lengths away, and the reckless driving was for the speed and the amount of cars on the road as well as “looked like I was racing” another car. I’m already planning to take defensive driving classes.

Asked on February 15, 2016 under General Practice, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Hire an experienced traffic attorney--the will help you more than anything you can do on your own. Experienced counsel will know best how to present your case, what other infractions you would be willing to plead to, etc.
As a general matter, while you will follow your attorney's advice, in most cases like this, request discovery from the state--i.e. the information about the functioning and testing of the device (the radar/laser gun or car speedometer) used to clock your speed, and the training of the officer in using the device, if applicable. If the state can't substantiate the accuracy of the measurements, you may be able to challenge the speeding violation. That, however, is rare--usually the statel has all its ducks lined up in a row. If it does, fighting will almost never work--the judge will believe a sworn law enforcement officer, who has no personal stake in the outcome, over a driver who has every incentive to lie or at least "remember" the facts in the best light for him/herself.
In most cases, therefore, you are better off trying to plead to a lesser charge, especially if you currently have a clean record (they take your driving history into account). Speak to the prosecutor the day of the trial, before the trial. Be respectful; show contrition; offer to take the defensive driving course; explain why you thought you were driving safely, but don't do so defensively or belligerantly. See what you are offered as a plea. Again, though, if at all possible, get an attorney and follow his/her advice. Good luck.


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