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Old 08-09-2009, 06:03 PM
 
33 posts, read 252,854 times
Reputation: 18

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Last week I got my first speeding ticket ever (in 12 years of driving) -- 51 in a 35mph zone. The cop clocked me on RADAR and gave me the summons to appear in court. Not ever having had a ticket and not knowing it's usually not the best idea to just pay the fine (because you'll be admitting guilt and taking all points/fines), I asked the cop if I could just mail in a check and he said yes and pointed all that info out.

My question is this: I've been looking online and some of what I've read says in NC if you're 15mph or more over, it's an automatic suspension of license -- is this true? The cop did not mention that -- why would he have given me the option to pay if that were true?

Now I'm just trying to figure out the next step, as I don't think I should just mail a check and the idea of representing myself in court makes me very uneasy. Therefore, should I:

-- Go down to the DA office in person (they have hours the desk is staffed and open to the public on weekdays), bring my certified driving record with no other speeding tickets on it, and see what I can negotiate?

-- Call my insurance agent? Is it shooting myself in the foot to let them know of the ticket before it's been handled -- will my insurance points start to go up automatically? Or can the agent help me -- maybe write a letter saying I have a great record, and I could bring that to the DA's office...

-- Spend the $200 - $500 and hire a lawyer who will go to court for me? I'd rather not spend the money if I can just negotiate with the DA myself...I don't care about getting no fines/no points at all; I could live with getting the speed reduced to 9mph under, because that usually doesn't mean a rise in insurance (right?) Has anyone reading this gone this route successfully?

-- Ask for the "Prayer for Judgment"? (I know you can only use 1 per household every 3 years; I don't forsee this being a problem as I am not married/nobody else is on my insurance; and my record would indicate that I most likely won't get another ticket within the next 3 years...

And finally, I was pulled over in a speed trap on Randolph Rd., between Mint Museum Drive and Sam Drenan Rd. (A warning: this was on Tuesday and just today I drove past the same spot and the same cop car was sitting right there -- I wonder how many tickets they've written this week?!) Is setting a speed trap "cheating" in the eyes of the court -- since he was obviously just sitting there waiting to find someone to write up, would that help me fight the ticket? It was in a very brief 35mph zone, and as I pulled away heading south, I came into the 45mph zone (which I thought I was driving in all along) right away -- it was literally 40 feet from where I was stopped. Would the court/DA consider a factor like this in my favor?

Sorry for the detailed questions -- it seems everything I read is a little different based on each person's experience -- so I wanted to put everything out there and see what has worked for people in the past.

Thank you!
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:33 PM
 
Location: oklahoma
422 posts, read 1,754,753 times
Reputation: 331
I think it's best to just represent yourself. Explain your case in court- (if you have a fear of public speaking do not worry you are only really talking to a judge and the plantiff). If the cop does not show up to the court the judge will throw out the ticket.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Acworth
1,352 posts, read 3,866,181 times
Reputation: 468
pay it and move on. and by that i mean speak with the prosecutor/solicitor and see if they will trim it down. they usually will, especially on a first offense.

i wouldnt fight anything under 20mph; its not worth your time and a real lawyer will kick you out of his office if you waste their time with that. and you do want a real lawyer before you go to court right?

dont do anything about the insurance. they might or may not take notice of the ticket at the next renewal. the agent cant do anything. its out of your hands.

speed trap vs regular enforcement is a tough one to prove. a speed trap = encouraging and baiting people to speed or using unorthodox methods to catch speeders. good luck with that venue.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:27 AM
 
2,197 posts, read 2,377,886 times
Reputation: 3145
You can lose your license for 15 over in NC.

Why screw around with it. There are tons of lawyers looking for your business. Find one!

Let's examine your choices:

1. Pay it. (run the risk of losing your license, etc. etc.)
2. Go to court and plead your case. (take a chance on the judge that day. Insurance rates are high for a 3 year period, although some companies waive the first offense.)
3. Use your PJC. (now you're on the edge for 3 years, you screw up again they all come back to haunt you. Plus you can only use one PJC per household in a 3 year period.)
4. Let an experienced traffic lawyer handle it for you. You don't show up at court, you send him/her 200 dollars or less and they work the deal with the DA's office prior to court. Your case will be plead down to "improper equipment" it won't show on your insurance (increased rates for 3 years), it doesn't jeopardize your PJC in the future.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:32 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,736,775 times
Reputation: 1041
It cracks me up to see that some think a speed trap is cheating. The blame game never gets left in elementary school where it belongs. Recognize that you are the one speeding (doing the wrong--"cheating"), not the police who wouldn't need to be there if everyone was a good boy or girl and didn't go above the posted limit. Even in "brief" lower speed zones, those are there for a reason: lower sight distance, more curves in the road, a school, maybe an old folks home, lot's of pedestrian traffic, etc. Don't blame it on the sign for your speeding, blame it on your lead foot!
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:48 AM
 
Location: North of Hell, South of Heaven.
310 posts, read 591,803 times
Reputation: 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
It cracks me up to see that some think a speed trap is cheating. The blame game never gets left in elementary school where it belongs. Recognize that you are the one speeding (doing the wrong--"cheating"), not the police who wouldn't need to be there if everyone was a good boy or girl and didn't go above the posted limit. Even in "brief" lower speed zones, those are there for a reason: lower sight distance, more curves in the road, a school, maybe an old folks home, lot's of pedestrian traffic, etc. Don't blame it on the sign for your speeding, blame it on your lead foot!
Sorry, I like to get where I'm going, at a DECENT speed, that's only a FRACTION of what my vehicle is capable of. I'll keep my faith in my SCCA certified driving skills and keep on loving my Valentine One Radar/Laser/Pork detector.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
3,356 posts, read 8,879,415 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattman704 View Post
Sorry, I like to get where I'm going, at a DECENT speed, that's only a FRACTION of what my vehicle is capable of. I'll keep my faith in my SCCA certified driving skills and keep on loving my Valentine One Radar/Laser/Pork detector.
And this is where a mandatory jail term is required.............
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:19 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,736,775 times
Reputation: 1041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattman704 View Post
Sorry, I like to get where I'm going, at a DECENT speed, that's only a FRACTION of what my vehicle is capable of. I'll keep my faith in my SCCA certified driving skills and keep on loving my Valentine One Radar/Laser/Pork detector.
x 1,000
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Ayrsley
4,714 posts, read 8,475,013 times
Reputation: 3814
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
It cracks me up to see that some think a speed trap is cheating. The blame game never gets left in elementary school where it belongs. Recognize that you are the one speeding (doing the wrong--"cheating"), not the police who wouldn't need to be there if everyone was a good boy or girl and didn't go above the posted limit. Even in "brief" lower speed zones, those are there for a reason: lower sight distance, more curves in the road, a school, maybe an old folks home, lot's of pedestrian traffic, etc. Don't blame it on the sign for your speeding, blame it on your lead foot!
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:21 PM
 
Location: oklahoma
422 posts, read 1,754,753 times
Reputation: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
It cracks me up to see that some think a speed trap is cheating. The blame game never gets left in elementary school where it belongs. Recognize that you are the one speeding (doing the wrong--"cheating"), not the police who wouldn't need to be there if everyone was a good boy or girl and didn't go above the posted limit. Even in "brief" lower speed zones, those are there for a reason: lower sight distance, more curves in the road, a school, maybe an old folks home, lot's of pedestrian traffic, etc. Don't blame it on the sign for your speeding, blame it on your lead foot!
I disagree with those sentiments completely. There are definite areas where the speed limit is deliberately reduced just to catch "speeders" of someone who is always a careful driver. Actually, speed limit signs are useless if someone is genuinely paying attention and going a speed that is safe. Obviously for someone never having a speeding ticket for 15 years of their license means they are a responcible and good driver. They would not have been going that fast in that zone unless they felt it was a safe speed. Cops just do this to make revenue, not for safety reasons. There are also times when speed zones suddenly change too and you might still be slowing down before the cop catches you going the previous speed.
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