Drive long enough and you’ll hear all sorts of tips and tricks for how to . While some advice may work once in a blue moon – such as crying – many are simply inaccurate. In the worst-case scenario, they could get you in more trouble. Here are five of the most commonly heard tips that won’t work from either a legal standpoint, a practical standpoint, or both.
1: Making excuses.
It doesn’t matter what your reason for speeding is. If you are driving over the speed limit then you are breaking the law. As such, saying things like, “I was just passing another vehicle” or “I was only going with the flow of traffic” are not going to sway an officer. Even in the case of an emergency, the law is not on your side. If your wife is in the car with you and is actually in labor, the cop might budge, but doesn’t have to - there is no emergency justification written into the speeding law.
2: Arguing with the officer / asserting your “rights.”
Unless you are being subject to an illegal search and seizure, it is best to argue with the officer or state / imply that your rights are being violated. For routine traffic stops, any arguing or assertion that you “know your rights” will likely provoke the officer and put you in even hotter water in terms of what you are going to be ticketed for.
3: Claiming you were only speeding a little bit.
Speaking of rights, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. So, if you admit you were only going a few miles over the limit, you can bet that the officer will mention that if you try to challenge the ticket in court. The best advice is to not admit guilt.
4: Hoping the cop no-shows in traffic court.
In some states this is a more effective strategy than others. In most states, such as New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, if an officer fails to show at a hearing, the judge will at first adjourn and reschedule the case for a later date. Don’t bank on this, though, as officers show up to traffic court more often than not.
5: Challenging the accuracy of speed radar.
Assuming the radar gun actually was inaccurate, it’s going to take a lot of solid evidence to prove it. Some smartphone apps like TicketDefender and Waze record your speed as you drive. But even if the difference between the app’s reading and the radar gun is fairly substantial (at least 10mph), the judge might not accept the accuracy of the app! Even more to the point, in New York the courts have held that visual estimate can be the basis of a speeding conviction so long as the officer is trained to estimate the speeds of moving vehicles (most of them are, believe it or not). So even if you get the radar reading tossed, you can still be found guilty of speeding.
What methods of fighting a speeding ticket do work?
No matter the circumstances, it is always best to be respectful and polite to the officer during the traffic stop. If that happens, you might be let off with a warning or the officer might issue a “roadside reduction” and write you up for a lower speed than he claims you were actually driving at. If you were issued a ticket, and are looking to avoid the severe consequences including increased auto insurance, your best bet is to hire a skilled attorney who can plead your case and negotiate on your behalf in court or handle your case at trial.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is the principal of The Rosenblum Law Firm. An experienced and skilled criminal defense and traffic violations attorney, Mr. Rosenblum has a reputation for aggressive representation for anyone facing and that may result in jail time, heavy fines, points and license suspension or revocation. Mr. Rosenblum has also authored several books including , How to Fight a New York Speeding Ticket, Reckless Driving In New York and hundreds of articles and blog posts related to traffic violations and criminal defense in an effort to help people who are seeking information. Mr. Rosenblum is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in both New York and New Jersey and takes cases statewide in both states.