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Hypothetical Speeding Ticket Question(17 posts)

Hypothetical Speeding Ticket Questionfunknuggets
Oct 10, 2003 6:54 AM
Ok, I have a "friend" that was just busted by the cops. No, ok, really it was me... heaven forbid. Is it worth it to fight them or get a "traffic attorney" to help combat any negative repurcussions for the said crime?

Being the perp in this issue, there are a number of factors that helped contribute to my delinquency, including it being a 4 lane, merged to two lanes, two miles of construction, along with rain, me being unfamiliar with the road (in Kansas, Im from Missouri) and it being an entire road at 45 mph, aside for a small residential section, where there is one road that turns onto it... where it is 35 mph, and also where "Smokey" was sitting there gunned me at 51mph in a 35...


I didn't see the sign among all the construction stuff. I haven't had a traffic ticket in over 6 years, so do you think I have any chance at getting it reduced, thrown out, removed... etc. Or should I just shut up and pay the ticket?

Thanks in advance.
I've never regretted traffic courtfiltersweep
Oct 10, 2003 7:03 AM
No tickets in 6 years? I'd make an appearance and simply state that you "didn't think you were speeding." You are not under oath or anything. Those five words have had two results:

1- no fine or appearance fee- if I went an entire year without another ticket, I'd be completely off the hook and the current ticket would not go on my record. If I DID have another ticket, BOTH would be on my record.

2- A drastically reduced fine (about half)- but it did go on my record.

Most insurers don't check driving records very often.

If you have to drive very far, it can be a pain to go to court...

Keep in mind that if you REALLY fight the ticket, your appearance is just to schedule the actual hearing. The issuing officer does not need to attend the first traffic court date... so it is no biggie if he doesn't show up.
pay itmohair_chair
Oct 10, 2003 7:05 AM
You were wrong and you got caught. Admit it and pay it. Can you imagine telling a judge you were going 51mph in the rain, through a construction zone, and through a residential zone? Your excuse is you didn't see the sign? You can't possibly win.
I used to handle tickets around thereDougSloan
Oct 10, 2003 7:20 AM
I was licensed in Missouri and Kansas, and did this type of thing for friends and business clients about a hundred times.

You don't want a ticket on your record if you can avoid it. Aside from the points/suspension issue, it very well could affect your insurance premiums or even the ability to get insurance. It's not so much the 1 ticket, but for all you know you'll get another one a month from now.

Here's what I was *always*, yes always, able to do. Get a lawyer. Often, prosecutors won't negotiate directly with defendants. The lawyer will know what the procedure is for getting this done, and it varies by city or county and even by judge. The lawyer goes to the prosecutor (or judge) and offers to pay a higher fine in exchange for amending the charge to a non-moving violation (like bad brakes). You plead guilty, and the judge orders a fine of up to twice the standard speeding ticket. There are a hundred variations on the them, like probation, an automatic amendment in exchange for higher fine (Kansas City, Missouri), having to get the officer/trooper's approval (Wyandotte County), etc. Nonetheless, something can be done.

Do it. Take care of every ticket you can, for all you know you will *not* be able to take care of the next one. If you are concerned about ethics, don't worry, it's perfectly kosher and routine for charges to be amended, and you can feel good knowing you actually paid a higher fine, so the state makes more money.

Don't bother thinking you can actually fight the ticket, though. That's a 1 in 10,000 proposition; the court *will* believe the officer/trooper. If you lose, you will have a ticket on your record AND pay a higher fine AND pay a lawyer to handle it.

Hey Doug...funknuggets
Oct 10, 2003 8:58 AM
Yah, I inherently knew you would be lurking here, but didn't want to call you out specifically for legal traffic ticket advice, or you will inevitibly have to start a new discussion board for various legal questions. So, now...since you offered. Let me ask something... do you ever NOT suggest a lawyer be involved? Ha Ha.

I have talked with my insurance and they indicated this alone wont impact me, but another one relatively soon would. So, I agree with what you are saying. But can "I" talk to the prosecuter to suggest these things, or is a lawyer the only way to go? If I get a lawyer, can they work this beforehand, or do I need to go and say "not guilty" to force a trial, or can all of this be worked outside of the courtroom in a less time consuming method (ie: lawyers hourly rates plus ticket costs...yikes).

Lastly, is there anything you are 'supposed' to say or not say in this situation. I was simply polite and didn't say anything. I didnt beg for a warning or give any kind of excuse...

Thanks to to you Doug, and to all that have offered your ideas.

Oct 10, 2003 9:06 AM
Well, I only recommend a lawyer when you have a legal problem. If you needed surgery, guess what I'd recommend? ;-)

Where is the ticket (city or county)? Some places matter more than others. I'll probably recommend a lawyer no matter, but in some places the prosecutors won't even talk to defendants directly.

Oct 10, 2003 9:13 AM
Good old Johnson County, Overland Park Police. Man, they brought three cruisers. You would think they would have better things to do at 10:45 at night... Out on 151st and about Pflumm.

call this guyDougSloan
Oct 10, 2003 9:36 AM
Jeffrey S. Austin
7111 W 151st Suite ?
Overland Park, Kansas
(Johnson Co.)

Either he can do it, refer you to someone who can, or tell you whether you can do it yourself now. I've done them in OP, but it's been over 10 years ago. I used to work with Jeff. I can't find a phone number, though. Might check the local yellow pages.

Can't find the guy...funknuggets
Oct 10, 2003 10:28 AM
Are you sure he is still here in KC area? I've tried several searches and came up blank. Is this a relatively recent address you have for him?

Oct 10, 2003 11:09 AM
Here's another:

Call Karen Wedel Renwick at this firm (I worked with several of them); tell her Doug Sloan, who worked with them at the Linde Thomson firm, referred you):

Walters, Bender, Strohbehn & Vaughan, P.C.
2500 City Center Square, 1100 Main Street, P.O. Box 26188
Kansas City, Missouri 64196
(Cass, Clay, Jackson & Platte Cos.)
Telephone: 816-421-6620

Fax: 816-421-4747

(Main Office)

Firm Credentials

Statement of Practice:
General Civil Trial and Appellate Practice. Personal Injury, Negligence, Products Liability, Toxic Torts, Professional Liability, Transportation, Design and Construction, Commercial, Environmental and Insurance Bad Faith.

Year Established: 1991

Firm Size: 15

Missouri Bank & Trust Co.

R. Frederick Walters, (Member) born Greenfield, Missouri, August 31, 1947; admitted to bar, 1973, Missouri. Education: Culver-Stockton College; University of Missouri (B.S.M.E., 1970; J.D., 1973). Phi Delta Phi. Member: Kansas City Metropolitan and American Bar Associations; The Missouri Bar; Lawyers Association of Kansas City; National Health Lawyers Association; The Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Practice Areas: Litigation; Professional Malpractice; Toxic Torts; Bad Faith; Design and Construction Law; Personal Injury Law; Products Liability Law. Send an Email

Thomas V. Bender, (Member) born El Dorado Springs, Missouri, July 16, 1953; admitted to bar, 1979, Missouri. Education: University of Missouri at Columbia (B.S., cum laude, 1975; J.D., 1979). Member: Kansas City Metropolitan and American Bar Associations; The Missouri Bar; The Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers. Practice Areas: Litigation; Personal Injury Law; Products Liability Law; Professional Negligence Law; Business Litigation. Send an Email

Michael D. Strohbehn, (Member) born Marengo, Iowa, December 11, 1949; admitted to bar, 1978, Missouri; 1984, Kansas. Education: University of Northern Iowa (B.A., cum laude, 1972); Kansas University, Washburn University (J.D., with honors, 1978). Recipient, Purple and Old Gold Award, University of Northern Iowa, 1972. Member, Board of Editors, Washburn University Law Journal, 1976-1978. Member: Kansas City Metropolitan, Johnson County, Kansas and American (Member, Litigation Section) Bar Associations; The Missouri Bar. Practice Areas: Litigation; Medical Malpractice; Personal Injury Law; Products Liability Law; Commercial Law. Send an Email

J. Michael Vaughan, (Member) born St. Louis, Missouri, July 28, 1950; admitted to bar, 1975, Missouri. Education: University of Missouri (B.S.B.A., cum laude, 1972; J.D., 1975). Phi Delta Phi. Member, Editorial Board, Missouri Law Review, 1974-1975. Member: Kansas City Metropolitan and American Bar Associations; The Missouri Bar; The Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys. Reported Cases: Speer, Leeds & Kellogg v. Central Life Insurance Co., et al (2nd Cir., May 16, 1996). Practice Areas: Litigation; Civil and Commercial Trials and Arbitrations; Securities Law; Commodities Law; Insurance Law; Class Actions. Send an Email

Karen Wedel Renwick, (Member) born Kansas City, Missouri, December 24, 1957; admitted to bar, 1984, Kansas; 1991, Missouri. Education: Kansas State University (B.A., 1980); Washburn University (J.D., cum laude, 1984). Member, National Moot Court Competition, 1982; Top Oralist. Associate Editor and Research Editor, Washburn Law Journal, 1983-1984. Member: Kansas and American Bar Associations. Practice Areas: General Litigation; Design and Construction Law; Personal Injury Law; Products Liability Law. Send an Email

J. Brett Milbourn, (Member) born Tulsa, Oklahoma, October 3, 1960; admitted to bar, 1986, Kansas; 1992, Missouri. Education: University of Kansas (B.S., 1983); University of Tulsa (J.D., 1986). Member, Energy Law Journal, 1985-1986. Member: Kansas City Metropolitan, Johnson County (President, 1997-1998; Member, Board of Directors, 1992-1998; Bench Bar Committee, 1995-1996), Kansas (Recipient, Outstanding Service Award. 1996; Member: Board of Governors, 1995-1996; Executive Committee, 1995-1996; Bench Bar Committee, 1993-1995; President, 1995-1996, Young Lawyers Section) and American (Member, Litigation Section) Bar Associations; The Missouri Bar; The Kansas Trial Lawyers Association. Practice Areas: General Litigation; Business and Commercial Law; Products Liability Law; Personal Injury Law. Send an Email

Kip D. Richards, (Member) born Lawrence, Kansas, October 23, 1963; admitted to bar, 1989, Missouri. Education: Baker University (B.A., summa cum laude, 1986); Kansas University (J.D., 1989). Member, Kansas Law Review. Member: Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association; The Missouri Bar; Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys. Practice Areas: Commercial Litigation; Construction Litigation; Transportation Litigation; Personal Injury Litigation; Toxic Torts.
Oct 10, 2003 11:20 AM
left a message, she will call me back on Monday.

Thanks Doug.
Only one question here: Are you guilty?Cory
Oct 10, 2003 7:32 AM
What's hard about this? If you were guilty, nut up and pay the ticket. If you weren't, then fight it.
From your description, it sounds to me like you should pay. Rain, unfamiliarity with the road and a change in speed limits aren't good excuses. When you're driving, you're supposed to be paying attention.
FWIW, I've had a lot of tickets, most of them for speeding on the wide-open, no traffic highways in the West. Pretty much everybody out here goes 10-15mph over the 70 or 75 limit, and occasionally you get caught. It always seems bogus to me to fight those things--if you were speeding, be a man and pay the price.
I fought and thisnewridr
Oct 10, 2003 8:00 AM
The first question is this: what state did this happen in? My personal experience was in NY. There are some very interesting rules governing the ticket process, but you must act quickly.

I also want to say, with all due respect to Mohair, that "just pay it" is the worst advice you can ever get when it comes to most tickets. The costs go far beyond the initial cost of the ticket. Think how much your insurance could be when you go to renew. As Doug has mentioned, you should show up to the trial and talk with the prosecutor to try and get the charges reduced.

I am not a laywer, but in 14 years of driving I received 3 tickets. The first when I was young and stupid. Paid it. The second about 5 yrs ago in NY state. Studied the laws, went to court, and got it THROWN OUT. I was the only one that day, with or without a lawyer, that had the charges dropped. The third was here in NJ, and I went to court, got the charges reduced as well as the fine.
By the way, you know who buys PD's the radar guns??newridr
Oct 10, 2003 8:07 AM
Insurance co's. You get clipped for spedding, you pay the fine, it shows up on your record, and the Insurance Co up your rates.
Best advice I can give...jose_Tex_mex
Oct 10, 2003 9:36 AM
... is go to court or the station and ask to speak with the officer. Hopefully, you were not out of line nor rude.

Explain to the officer that you are not looking for a free ride. However, you are concerned with the long term cost from Insurance companies.

There's a special ticket cops often give out in this situation called failure to obey signs. Everyone I know who has gotten a speeding ticket has plead down to this. In my state it is the same cost, just no points. Technically, the cop would say that you failed to obey the speeding sign, rather than were speeding.

It's worth a shot...
re: Hypothetical Speeding Ticket Question4bykn
Oct 10, 2003 1:53 PM
Speeding in a construction zone? Man you deserve the ticket and fine. Here in Illinois five construction workers have been killed this year by drivers in construction zones. We have doubled fines in such here.
Oct 14, 2003 11:12 AM
not in construction zone. Zone ends and 45mph for about 1/4 mile, changes to 35mph for 1/4 mile, then 45mph the rest of the way...