Help!!! I need advice - S just got first speeding ticket

<p>S just got first speeding ticket. He goes to school OOS, but was in our state visiting friends for the weekend. He was going back to school and was pulled over for going 82 in a 65 zone. Here's the part I'm not sure about. The trooper asked him how fast he was going. S admitted to going 80 and the trooper wrote that on the bottom of the ticket. Can S go to court to plead not guilty after this. S is straight A student - but has zero common sense!! This is his first ticket - he's almost 20 years old. The road was empty - and he thought he could make some time.</p>

<p>He lives 260 miles from where the court is located. The court is 300 miles from our home. Is it worth fighting this ticket? If there are any attorneys around, I'd love some advice. The speeding ticket was issued in Chataugua County, NY - his home state. The kicker is that is 20 more miles he would have been in Ohio!</p>

<p>Traffic school? Maybe online? All depends on the county of the ticket</p>

<p>Why would he plead not guilty? I'm a firm believer in owning up to your mistakes and dealing with the consequences. Have him pay the ticket and learn from it.</p>

<p>He is going to pay the ticket and will go to a defensive driving class. He is very upset about this and learned his lesson. I'm concerned about the insurance rates increasing because of this and we have a younger son who will be receiving his license soon to increase the rate even further.</p>

<p>What is there is to fight if he was actually speeding. Sounds like he did it and was caught. My son had a couple of speeding tickets - our rule with our kids is that if they get a speeding ticket they get to pay it. Seems to have learned something from it which he would not have if we had rode to the rescue. </p>

<p>One thing I would suggest looking into is whether taking a driving course of some sort would keep it off his license. It can do so in some States. In that case it should not affect the insurance.</p>

<p>He was quite a bit over the limit. One thing he needs to be aware of is that in some States a certain level over the speed limit can make it a dangerous driving ticket which is much more serious.</p>

<p>D got a speeding ticket and paid it without telling us about it, thinking we would never know. The insurance company sent us a letter telling us about it and letting us know how much our rates would go up because of it. I don't remember how much they went up, but I can tell you it would have been much cheaper to pay a lawyer to try to get it reduced to a lesser charge.</p>

<p>I agree with 3bm103. </p>

<p>This is your son's issue and he should deal with it.</p>

<p>My daughter hired a lawyer and paid a fine to reduce points in order not to increase our insurance rate. She was also going around 80 around 65 mph zone. I think she paid around $200 for the ticket, and she worked out some sort of deal with the lawyer (her girlfriend's dad). I don't think you need a lawyer, just show up at the court at an appointed time. They will ask you if you want to settle, just say yes and they will have you pay a higher fine with reduced points. It is perfectly legal and it is done all the time. The only thing the lawyer did for my daughter was to fast track it, anyone represented by a lawyer gets to go first. He also spoke for my daughter, which she could have done by herself, in my opinion. I went with her just as an observer. I didn't have to do anything.</p>

<p>These things vary so much from jurisdiction to jurisdiction that you have to find out how it is handled locally. Here, it is quite common for first offenders to get "probation before judgment." The actual plea is "guilty with an explanation." If probation is granted, nothing goes on the record unless there is a second offense. These kind of things are always worth checking out. Never just pay a ticket without finding out the options.</p>

<p>First of all- don't count on him having learned his lesson. This is one that young men quickly forget. Trust me on this one.
That said, call the court (or he can) and ask if there is some sort of arrangement for defensive driving that will keep it off his record. The key is to keep it off his record so it doesn't hurt your insurance. They will tell you on the phone and you might be able to work this out without showing up. If not, he will either have to show up or at least talk to a lawyer. My kid has been through this in both CT and VA, only he was going faster than your son. I also have law partners who have been through the same thing, so this isn't unique to our sons so everyone can spare me the self-righteousness. I've had a speeding ticket or two myself. You may need to talk to a well-connected lawyer just for a consult to determine what the best way to handle this is. I would really recommend doing everything possible to keep it off his record. I have a lawyer friend who had to appear before the State Board of Bar Examiners after he passed the bar exam to explain why he had 5 speeding tickets that he had to disclose.</p>

<p>DS had a similar situation. The ticket came to our home address and I paid it on his behalf and had him send me a check. No pleading not guilty in our house because he was guilty. With our insurance because he doesn't have a car at school he is an occassional driver on our policy and we did not experience a premium increase.
Since your son is over 18 he is in no danger of losing his license or anything else. Have him pay the fine and do traffic school if it is available. Online is the easiest.
Around here you don't go to court for a simple speeding ticket unless you want to plead guilty with an explanation and then they might reduce the fine but you actually have to have a plausible explanation.<br>
For instance, new tires and the speedometer wasn't calibrated properly.</p>

<p>Isn't it a good thing that the police may have helped save his life?</p>

<p>Seems to me ticket and insurance are a small price to pay to keep him, and others, safer.</p>

<p>The point is that it is different everywhere so the key is to just find out what needs to be done. "Guilty with an explanation" often does not have anything to do with an excuse. The judge usually doesn't want to hear excuses about tires, speedometer,weather, whatever. He/she looks at the record. If the record is good and you appear contrite, they will often reduce or do away with the points. The fine may stay the same or be increased. I have 2 speeding tickets in almost 40 years of driving and I got probation before judgment both times by simply asking for it with the requisite "your honor" "yes sir"/ "yes m'am."</p>

<p>Maybe my husband should answer this post. He's the expert in getting speeding tickets without it ever showing up on our insurance. I'm a lawyer but he's on his own in dealing with them. In Texas we have "deferred adjudication" where you pay your fine, but if you don't get another ticket - in that jurisdiction - for a certain amount of months (6?) it doesn't show up on your record. So you could have 10 tickets, but if they're all in different cities, you're fine. It really varies a lot by state.</p>

<p>Yikes. My son just got his first ticket after being in an accident (he rear ended the car in front of him). I was surprised that the insurance only went up by $140 every 6 months (he's 18), even though there was lots of $$ damage to our car (not much to the other car). If he gets another ticket in 3 years, then his rates will go up by a lot.</p>

<p>We are making him pay for the deductible - $750 - and the increase in insurance premiums over what they otherwise would have been for the next 3 years. It's a lot of money and he's already increased his hours at his job to pay us for these items. He was really shaken up and feels he has learned his lesson too, but we believe it is important for him to bear the financial responsibility for his actions (he was just following the car too closely, something we have preached to him about in the past, but at least he wasn't texting, talking on the phone, etc.). That's how it will work in the real world.</p>

<p>Also told him that if he gets another ticket we will likely take the car away indefinitely because the insurance rates will be very high and we will have lost faith in his ability to be a careful driver. He agreed to everything and took on responsibility for it all. It was a bad experience for us all, all the way around :( but hopefully a good learning one in the long run.</p>

<p>Luckilly, S has never been in an accident. While I don't condone going 82mph, in the midwest, where he attends school, the speed limit is 70. He was traveling in western NY state on an open highway with very few cars around. I would have been much more upset if he received a ticket for going 70 and weaving in and out of traffic. I feel that is far more dangerous.</p>

<p>As far as fighting the ticket, I am also concerned about him traveling to court in the winter. I will have him contact the court to see if he can get a date in May, but I don't think they will wait that long.</p>

<p>living in NJ with ( I believe ) the second highest car insurance rates in the country, I stressed the urgency for my daughters to NEVER speed. One is a regular Miss Daisy, the other a little cocky about it. I have made it clear that if they get a speeding ticket, paying it is not enough..the car is mine, and I mean it.
I think it is a little different for girls than boys though. We have had a lot of young men that work for us that have had to pay ridiculous fees and surcharges because of their driving habits , and yet they do it over and over again. Some have come dangerously close to losing their licenses altogether, not to mention paying rates that far exceed the worth of their vehicles. I can't understand it.</p>

<p>If you live in a police state , you have to act accordingly. Most people I know who live in NJ refuse to play the game with the police. Now, with a drop in driving, there must also be a drop in ticket revenue and I can't help but feel the cops must have to fill their quotas in order to please their masters ( and fuel their payroll, sadly )</p>

<p>Personally , I would not pay my kid's tickets. How will they learn if they do not feel a little pain ?</p>

<p>1st speeding ticket? I would advise him to go to court. The judge will probably give instructions and he should plead whatever will get him PBJ, in Maryland it is "guilty with explanation." The officer may have written 80 miles because 16 miles over the limit carries a much higher fine in many states. Even with PBJ, he will have to pay court costs and really watch his speed for a year but no points, so no insurance hike.</p>

Is it worth fighting this ticket?


I don't think he should fight the ticket since he was clearly guilty of the speeding offense. However, since it's his first ticket it may be worthwhile showing up in court before a judge who may give him a reduced fine/points. I don't know about NY but sometimes one can plead 'guilty with an explanation' in which he can give some lame excuse about it being an open road with little traffic and he just didn't realize he was going quite that fast until he noticed the cruiser's lights on him and how he'll be certain to pay close attention from now on and to use his cruise control more so as to make it even easier to not speed on open stretches, blah blah. Since it's his first offense, he may be able to have a reduced fine and points if he takes a traffic school course which he should do as pennance anyway.</p>

<p>If he pleads not guilty then he'll need to defend himself in front of the cop who pulled him over and somehow explain his admission of driving 80mph. In that case the judge might hit him for more than the standard fine.</p>

<p>And since he probably didn't know 'precisely' what speed he was going he should always answer the question with "I don't know" or "I don't know but I was driving with the flow of traffic". Also, have him think about what would happen if he had a blowout on a front tire at 85mph verus 65mph. Also, advise him to stay out of the fast lane on the freeway and to try to make sure there's always someone going faster than him and he'll reduce the number of tickets he'll get. On more lonely stretches of roads, assume there are speed traps.</p>

<p>If he were my kid, I'd hold him responsible for paying the fine as well as any increase in insurance.</p>

<p>Our ds received his first, and only, speeding ticket two years ago, late at night on a stretch of highway just inside our state line. The speed that the officer wrote down was slightly less than what he actually clocked ds doing, probably because ds was very polite (& obviously terrified) and it did make a difference in both the fine and whether ds could attend driving school. Ds paid the fine and the cost of the driving school himself, and there was no impact on our car ins. If premiums had gone up, he would have paid the difference. He's a much more careful driver these days.</p>