Is this a myth about speeding tickets?

<p>After 30 years of driving, I got my first speeding ticket yesterday. :( 39 in a 30.</p>

<p>Is it true that a ticket will be dismissed in court if the driver's name is misspelled? That's what happened. A letter is missing from my first name. </p>

<p>And, if it's true, how do I use this loop hole? I suppose I mention it when I enter my plea. But how? Do I plead not guilty and then "defend" myself with this clerical error? Or do I ask for probation before judgement somehow? </p>

<p>Any lawyers out there? Thanks.</p>

<p>It's a myth. Your best chance would be to go to the traffic warden, magistrate or whatever and tell them you've never had a ticket in 30 years and sort of beg for mercy. There is no probation for a ticket, just a fine and points on your record.</p>

<p>Actually, the cop said requesting PBJ is one of my options. (That was before I noticed the error.)</p>

<p>But, I see your point and will take the advice. Thanks for the answer.</p>

<p>The first thing you should ask in court is if the police officer has certification that the radar gun is accurate. Many, many, many do not and if they don't, then the speeding ticket is thrown out.</p>

<p>Myth. Beg for mercy. You will probably be permitted to do defensive driving and keep it off your record. (have dealt with many speeding tickets in many states :) )</p>

<p>If you are begging for mercy (MOWC has the best advice on these matters) I would NOT mention the missing letter in your name. If I was the judge that would really tick me off.</p>

<p>Here's something that works in our county (don't know if it will work for you).</p>

<p>The cops arrange for their court days to be on a particular day. So, a ticket's court date will be for the day that the cop can be there. </p>

<p>So, if you call (as late as possible) and get your date changed (for instance, if you're sick or whatever), then your date gets changed and the cop doesn't show up.</p>

<p>It will be dismissed since you have a clean record. Worst case you get driving school and pay court costs.</p>

<p>If you got the ticket in Maryland, here is the option you want to take:</p>

<p>
[quote]
Requesting a Hearing to Plead “Guilty with an Explanation”
If you choose to plead guilty and would like to request that your fine be reduced or waived or that you be given probation rather than a conviction, sign and date back of the Return to Court copy of the citation. Check the “Waiver Enclosed” box on the return envelope and mail it to the District Court Traffic Processing Center at:
PO Box 6676
Annapolis, MD 21401</p>

<p>The court will automatically schedule a hearing date before a judge. This hearing is not a trial. The officer who ticketed you and any witnesses will not be present.</p>

<p>The hearing presents you with an opportunity to explain to the judge why you committed the offense and request that your fine be reduced or waived or ask that you be given probation rather than a conviction because of extenuating circumstances. Lowering your fine is at the discretion of the judge. There is a possibility that your fine could be increased, up to a maximum of $500. If the judge renders a guilty verdict, you have the right to an appeal. There are non-refundable court costs for filing an appeal. (A "probation before judgment" cannot be appealed.)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>hahaha- You don't know what jurisdiction this is. You can NOT say with any certainty that it will be dismissed. These tickets are money makers and there are places where NOTHING is dismissed- clean record or not.</p>

<p>MOWC - I'm thinking you are responding to the poster before me, but I'll clarify my reasoning too. She is from Maryland so that is why I asked if it is Maryland. There is some difference in how each county handles them, but it is common knowledge in Maryland that the judges look kindly upon you foregoing the trial for the hearing. They like that you aren't requiring the police officer to be present too. With this option, there won't be a dismissal, but I can't imagine she won't get PBJ.</p>

<p>OK, I see it's in Maryland and the confusion is really over their process - which is in the post by cartera45. If you show for an actual hearing, there's a chance that under Maryland's kind of weird rules (to me) you'll be given probation before judgement, which is a technical thing where they don't actually enter the judgment on your record if you do what they say. My daughter had to go to traffic school or get points in another state. Same basic idea.</p>

<p>Years ago in Maryland, everyone with a good driving record would ask for a trial and those who told the truth, had good records and asked for leniency got PBJ. However, it took lots of time and tied up the police officers. In response, Maryland came up with this hybrid, involving a hearing in which you ask for a PBJ. You do not question the validity of the ticket and you are admitting you are speeding. The judge will likely want to know why you were speeding. You don't have to say you were bleeding to death and rushing to the hospital. Typically, they just want you to be contrite. "You can tell from my record that I am careful about the speed limits and respect them. I was on my way to a meeting and wasn't careful enough." or "I was in an unfamiliar area and wasn't as cognizant as I should have been about the speed limit." The reason won't matter as much as much as your attitude. Dress nicely and be humble.</p>

<p>^^ Agree. (I thought PBJ was peanut butter and jelly)</p>

<p>Thanks for the lively discussion. Yes, my ticket is in Maryland.</p>

<p>I have gotten two speeding tickets in many, many years of driving. Both times I was not driving excessively over the limit. I went to the hearings planning on stating the old "From my record you can see that I am a careful driver." and "I was not breaking the spirit of the law." defense (basically the cartera45 approach). At both hearings - ten years apart - before my case even came up I was approached and asked if I would plead to a lesser charge, the result of which would be to pay a fine and receive no points. </p>

<p>I don't know if this deal making is prevalent just in my area...or if they took pity on me because I scream "Suburban Mom" rather than being just another crazed high school student tearing out of the school parking lot but if you present yourself it could happen. If the township had not offered to remove points from the table beforehand I would have gone back to the cartera45 approach when I had my time before the judge.</p>

<p>Hopefully you have better things to do than worry about a minor ticket and go to court over it when you probably were guilty anyway. Pay it and forget it. I just got my first in years for 68 in a 55. I asked the cop what the fine was and when he said $124 I said--that's reasonable and mailed it in the next day. Done.</p>

<p>I'm with Barrons (for once!). DB, you don't say whether you in fact were speeding. If you were... then my take would be that you should just pay up without contesting it.</p>

<p>^^ $124 for thirteen over? Wow. Until recently that would have been a $420 "touch" here in CT. My D was fined $180 for attending a party where there was "open fire without permit." Would you mind sending those 1970-style fines to CT?</p>

<p>No, you never just pay up in Maryland - not with a spotless record for 30 years. She will get the points on her driving record and, depending on the insurance carrier, that could result in a hike in the premium. She won't be contesting it. She will be saying that she did speed, but that she thinks her record merits a break. She's not gaming the system - it is set up here to handle it that way.</p>