Have you ever received a speeding ticket, only to be told by the officer that if you pay the fine directly to the clerk’s office, you won’t have to appear in court? Have you wondered whether that might be true? When you are caught speeding you have a couple options. First, you can pay the fine and get on with life. Second, you can choose to fight the charges in a court of law. The following will help you make that decision.
Paying the Ticket
In most cases it is true that you can pay your speeding ticket fine and move on. If you were genuinely speeding, know you were in the wrong and feel the fine isn’t too high for the offense, you might be better off paying online or directly to the clerk’s office. Using “I didn’t know the speed limit,” or “the police officer is lying,” as your defense will generally not fly, so if that’s all you’ve got, you may want to just pay up front.
Appearing in Court
If you feel your speeding ticket was given unfairly, you may want to contact a lawyer to help you fight it in court. Depending on the judge, you may be given sympathy or you may be given a reality check. There are a few ways you can typically win your case. First, if the officer doesn’t show up to the court hearing, the charges could be dismissed. Officers sometimes fail to appear if they are on vacation, from another county or feel the cost of the ticket isn’t high enough to make it worth their time.
Second, you could win the case if you have proof you were driving in heavy traffic and the officer stopped the wrong car. Driving in a construction zone or near another car similar to yours can also be a good defense. It shows that with the commotion and the identical car, the officer could have gotten confused.
Third, you may win the case if you can establish the officer made mistakes or used a faulty radar when clocking your speed. If it’s just a hunch, this may not go over well. If you can find facts about the radar or the procedures he used, and show that the process was faulty, it could work to your benefit.
Contacting a Lawyer
If you receive a speeding ticket, the officer may inform you there’s a chance to avoid court by paying the clerk’s office directly. Whether you choose to do this or go to court, contact a criminal defense attorney in San Mateo, CA to ensure you check everything off.
Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and whether to pay the driving ticket or go to court.