What do I do about a ticket for 80 in a 55 mph zone?

This is my first ever and i had to go to court.

Asked on December 4, 2015 under General Practice, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you can afford it, hire an attorney and follow his/her advice: having an experienced local attorney who knows the court and prosecutor will greatly increase your chance of a better outcome.
If you can't or don't want to hire an attorney then don't think about fighting the ticket, unless there is something very obviously wrong about it--e.g. it lists the wrong make/model/color of car (you were basically given someone else's ticket): in the absence of significant problems on the face of a ticket, you almost never win by fighting, because courts always believe the officer, not you.
But do think about negotiation. Speak to the prosecutor when you first come to court. Be humble and apologetic. If you have a clean record, stress that. If there were any factors in your favor about why you sped--e.g. all the traffic was going that fast--bring that up in a non-defensive way; for example, say "I was keeping up with traffic, but I didn't realize how fast we were all going." With a clean record and if you do not offend/annoy the prosecutor, there is a good chance he/she will recommend a deal in which you plea to a lesser offsense--maybe only going 10mph over the speed limit, not 25.


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