If you have received a speeding ticket then you know that it is not only a nuisance at the time that you are pulled over but it can also be a lasting headache. If you plead guilty or are convicted of speeding then you might face significant fines, an increase in your car insurance premiums and a mark on your driving record that may be used against you in subsequent driving related incidents.
The serious implications of speeding tickets lead many alleged offenders to enter a plea of not guilty and defend themselves in the hope of avoiding all of the possible penalties. Some possible defenses include:
· Speed limits were not appropriately posted: this defense is often raised by drivers who are issued a speeding ticket. A driver may claim that there were no speed limit signs posted or that the signs were blocked by foliage or other obstructions. Drivers who raise this objection must be aware of two important town or city regulations, however. First, they must be aware of the default speed limit for the jurisdiction in which they were driving and the speed listed on their ticket must not be above that default limit. Second, they must be aware of the jurisdiction’s requirements for how speed limit signs must be posted and then claim that speed limits signs were not appropriately posted given those requirements. The fact that a driver simply did not see a speed limit sign is not a valid defense.
· There was a problem with how the police calculated your speed: This is often one of the more difficult defenses. In order to be successful with this defense you need to prove that there was either a mechanical problem with the speed calculation device or in the way the police officer used the device. You might assert, for example, that the radar used by the police does not accurately measure speed from the distance that you were from the police officer at the time of the alleged radar reading.
· Legal Justification: this defense applies when the driver was speeding because of the actions of others. For example, if the driver has been kidnapped and is being forced to drive the car by the kidnapper then the driver would have a valid defense for speeding. Similarly, if the driver is being pursued by a criminal and is fleeing a situation in self defense then that would likely be a legal justification for speeding.
· Discrimination: If you can prove that the police officer pulled you over and gave you a ticket because of your race, religion, gender, age or other protected class then that may be a valid defense.
Before you enter court to defend your case it is important to remember two things. First, your defense must be true. Second, you must have evidence to support your defense claim. Then, you will be ready to make a case to a judge or magistrate about why you should be found not guilty of speeding.
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