Should I fight the ticket or just pay it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Should I fight the ticket or just pay it?

I was pulled over on a road with heavy traffic. The officer was sitting in a parking lot at an apartment complex. I did not see the officer, nor was I looking for the officer because I was not speeding. My friend was in the lane to my right, as we had both just left the same location. She was going 43 mph when I was pulled over. I was behind and to her left. The officer said that I was going 50 mph in a 40 mph zone. My friend said when she saw him, she checked her speed to ensure that she was not speeding and saw that she was driving 43 mph. She has a digital speedometer and knows it to be accurate. She also says that he was pointed perpendicular to the road, with no handheld Laser gun in hand. When the officer pulled me over and asked if I knew why I had been pulled over, I said no. I was surrounded by other vehicles. With research into Laser technology I have to question whether or not the device, which I assume was mounted to his motorcycle, was calibrated correctly, pointed at the correct angle, did not have interference issues to produce an erroneous reading, and read the speed of my car and not another vehicle. I was not going 50 mph. I was wondering if it would be worth it to fight the ticket, considering the amount for the ticket is $245 in the town I received it in. I don’t know if the cost of an attorney would be greater than the ticket or not, but I do know that this incident was not warranted, and the exchange made me miss an appointment I had. I have 10 days from today to appear to court for my ticket and need to know if I should just accept this citation or fight it.

Asked on October 18, 2016 under General Practice, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

An attorney will almost certainly cost more than the ticket: for example, I charge fairly low rates for my area and would still charge at least $300 for this appearance, and more if I had to do substantial preparation.
You are unlikely to win outright: at the end of the day, almost all judges will believe the sworn, trained, impartial officer of the law over a driver trying to escape a ticket and his or her friends.
If you appear for court and otherwise have a clean driving record, there is a reasonably good chance the prosecutor will let you plea to a lesser charge--you have to decide if the chance of that is worth your time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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