Speeding Tickets: Should You Fight Them in Court?

Speeding Tickets: Should You Fight Them in Court?

No one likes being caught speeding, yet it’s something of which most of us are guilty.  Sometimes, trying to shave a few minutes off of our commute results in getting pulled over and receiving a hefty fine.  

Fortunately, our court system allows for the average person to talk their way out of steep fines and permanent points on their license.

Speeding Tickets Can Be Fought in Court

When you first receive a ticket from an officer, it’s easy to think you just have to accept it.  Although it can be daunting (and often more expensive than just paying the ticket), these infractions can be contested in a court of law.

It doesn’t matter where in the country you live or in what municipality you received your ticket, you can still contest it in court.

Speeding Tickets: Should You Fight Them in Court?

How to Fight a Ticket in Court

The tricky part is that not all locations have the same procedures for handling hearings about traffic infractions.  Your best bet is to listen to the instructions from the police officer who gave you the ticket.

Often, there are also instructions on the back of the ticket that show you how, when, and where to contest your ticket.

Should You Fight a Traffic Ticket?

This is disconcerting to many people, because it sort of makes you feel powerless. However, it’s often not worth it to fight a speeding ticket.  There are, however, a few instances in which the benefits outweigh the cost.

  • If you stand to lose your license:  If this ticket is going to be the one that makes you lose your license, it might be worth the added cost of fighting it in court.  Losing your license can be very expensive, not to mention the headache of not being able to commute to your job.
  • You won’t be inconvenienced:  For many people, fighting a traffic ticket means taking time off work, commuting to a courthouse, and spending money on an attorney.  All those things can equate to more money than the ticket cost in the first place. If, however, you can take off work without losing pay and you can handle the process on your own, it might be worth your time to avoid having the ticket on your record.

The one thing you should not do is show up to fight your ticket if you are guilty.  You should also not subscribe to the myth that police officers often do not show up at hearings, because they do.  

In most cases, it’s in your best interest to pay your traffic fine, and try harder in the future to not speed.  Any time you have to enter into court proceedings (even if they are minor), things can get expensive, fast.

Often, the hassle of taking time off, hiring a lawyer to help you, and paying court fees is much more stressful and expensive than just paying the fine for your violation.  Chances are, unless you have compelling evidence that you were not speeding, you likely won’t beat a speeding ticket in court.