Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 20, 2013

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In your rush to get through life, paying a speeding ticket may seem like the fastest way to deal with the situation, although it may not be the wisest. A speeding violation could translate into a substantial jump in your insurance rates. That means a $60 or $70 ticket could cost you thousands. Sometimes, the consequences may be even more severe. In some jurisdictions, speeding tickets a certain amount over the speed limit are sent to criminal court, and may be classified as traffic misdemeanors rather than infractions.

If you are in danger of losing your driving privilege, or if you have been charged with speeding as a criminal offense, it is always best to consult with an experienced attorney about your ticket. If this is your first ticket, you may be able to attend traffic school. Otherwise, if you intend to fight the ticket, there are ways of fighting a speeding ticket.

Fighting a Speeding Ticket:

Contest your ticket and hope the officer doesn’t show up in court.

Although popular rumors hold that officers commonly do not show up to contest their tickets, there are also common rumors that more often than not, they do. Therefore, it is best to have an alternate defense.

Make the case that you weren’t actually speeding.

You should always ask to see the radar gun when you are given a speeding ticket. Don’ t argue if they won’t show you, in fact, it is best not to do anything so that you will stand out in the officer’s mind later. You can ask for information about the radar gun when you get into court, and you should also find out when the radar gun was last calibrated before your ticket and above all stipulate to nothing. Request that all documents and other evidence be actually produced.

Make the case that if you were speeding, it was justified or excusable.

For example, you might return to the site of your ticket and find that the speed limit sign was obstructed or covered by foliage, or missing completely. Take pictures of this and gather any other evidence you believe will convince the court that there was a good reason for your driving in excess of the speed limit.

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that although there are certainly ways of fighting a speeding ticket, on your own the odds are against you getting out of the ticket unless you find a “smoking gun” like a recently stolen speed limit sign right where you got your ticket. The best thing is always to consult with an attorney. If your driving privileges are at risk, or if you have been charged with a criminal offense or have more than one ticket on your record suggesting that this current ticket could result in a serious penalty like a lost or suspended license, you should certainly get help from a criminal defense lawyer, In many cases, the help you’ll receive from a lawyer fighting a speeding ticket is much less expensive than just accepting the consequences of your speeding ticket.