No. of Recommendations: 0
On July 3rd, I got a speeding ticket going 81 in a 65. I was driving from Minneapolis to Milwaukee to see family. (Good thing my car's still registered in WI, or I'd have to pay that $212.60 on the spot!)

Here's my question: Has anyone had any luck with taking tickets to court and getting fines reduced? I'm planning on pleading NG or no contest, and hoping for a fine reduction. Anyone from WI have any comments or advice?

Soup
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1

Here's my question: Has anyone had any luck with taking tickets to court and getting fines reduced? I'm planning on pleading NG or no contest, and hoping for a fine reduction. Anyone from WI have any comments or advice?


I'm not in WI. I got stopped for speeding in NC once, however, a few years back. It was when I had just moved over from the UK and was still adjusting to 55 mph speed limits on the freeways!!! (55, no wonder Europeans hate seeing American drivers attempting to drive in Europe, LOL) My ticket was for 70 in a 55 zone.

I hired a lawyer for $200 who got the ticket dismissed. Don't ask me how. But considering that the usual penalty is not just a fine but also 3 points on you licence - which doubles or triples your insurance rates for THREE years - it was the best $200 I had ever spent. It saved me paying an extra $2000+ in car insurance for 3 years.

For a speed of 81 in a 65 zone, you were doing 16 miles over the speed limit. I remember being told by my lawyer back when I had my ticket, that 15 miles over the limit was a "cutoff point" for many states - more than 15 miles over, and if you plead guilty or no contest, they will yank your licence.

My advice? Get a lawyer. $200 is cheap consideringthe alternatives.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
For a speed of 81 in a 65 zone, you were doing 16 miles over the speed limit. I remember being told by my lawyer back when I had my ticket, that 15 miles over the limit was a "cutoff point" for many states - more than 15 miles over, and if you plead guilty or no contest, they will yank your licence

Hmm.. I know that in WI, 20+ is "excessive" and that's when they really start getting to you.

The ticket was also 4 points. A friend of mine just went to court for a ticket, and since it was her first offense they took all of the points off and lowered the ticket also.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

The ticket was also 4 points. A friend of mine just went to court for a ticket, and since it was her first offense they took all of the points off and lowered the ticket also.



Mine was a first offense too. However, I knew that my husband had had a speeding ticket previously too, years ago. His was also a first offense - and he got points plus the extra insurance premiums. It's a crapshoot. That's basically why I went the "cautious" route and hired a lawyer. In my case, since it was completely dismissed, I didn't have to plead to anything or have points lowered etc...

Maybe NC is nastier than WI on speeders?

Neither of us have had any tickets since, anyway. :) Once was enough!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Forgot to mention - my husband had been driving for 17 years with a completely, utterly, clean licence when he got his ticket. He was 10 miles over the speed limit only. Yet, he still got points and got hammered by his insurance as a result.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 11
I'm from Wisconsin AND am a retired police officer so here goes...
First, make an appt. to see the officer who issued the ticket and ask him if he'll reduce it to save you $$$, insurance increase, and points. Just be honest upfront!
Or, go to the District Atty's office in the county you got the ticket in and ask for a reduction. Their case load is probably obscene and they like to reduce it by giving you a break so you "pay it" and don't go to court.
Or, hire an atty and fight it if you think it's worth it.
I was a road officer for 15 yrs. I, almost always, gave a "break" on the spot and logged such on the ticket. Very seldom went to court for speeding tickets. If the person was a real jerk, I'd issue for full amt. Many times, after they cooled down, they'd come to see me and explain their circumstances and then I'd reduce it. They were pleased, I did my job, and....life goes on.
I realize their are some officers that won't "work with you" on these things...I wasn't one of them.
Good luck!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1

(Good thing my car's still registered in WI, or I'd have to pay that $212.60 on the spot!)


That sounds kind of harsh. What state requires you to pay a fine before you're even found to be guilty in court?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

My advice? Get a lawyer. $200 is cheap consideringthe alternatives.


Watch out! I've found that many people here recommend taking responsibility for their actions. So you will probably be recommended that if you were speeding, to just pay it.

I on the other hand would also recommened a lawyer. I know some jurisidictions set speed limits artificially low (instead of in the 80th percentile as they are supposed to do), in order to generate revenue money from the fines that are levied.

If you are a member of AAA or another auto club, you may also be able to get your legal fees reimbursed by the club. I am pretty sure that my auto club will do that.

Good luck.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I had to give the Commonwealth of PA nearly 100 dollars before a traffic infraction had come to court. After I won, the money was repaid. Get counsel. Monday. Insurance will bend you into positions you do not want to be in. Fight fight fight. You can always appeal.

wild :)
wild vs Commonwealth!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Watch out! I've found that many people here recommend taking responsibility for their actions. So you will probably be recommended that if you were speeding, to just pay it.

Not only did you decide to stick around, but you are now able to joke about it. :-)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Watch out! I've found that many people here recommend taking responsibility for their actions. So you will probably be recommended that if you were speeding, to just pay it.

Yep, I'm one of those people. My response was going to be - if the ticket was accurate, suck it up, Sunshine!!

However on reading the rest of the posts I now realise that you guys pay a premium on your insurance if you have traffic infringements. Wow! Talk about overboard!! That's like jailing someone for a crime, then after you release them putting them on home detention for a year! Why don't they just slug you with a $2,000 fine up front - it's the same thing isn't it??!!

So I would say hire a lawyer......

Primm
*always happy to be reminded about how good she really has it!!*
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
You pay that sizable premium for 3 long years if your insurer finds out. When I went through my years of living in Hillbilly Delaware and driving too fast, I accumulated MANY points to my driving record.

Now we are to believe she was going near 90 in a what? A 2000X? A Vette? My dentist's ragtop BMW?

A NEON?

Counsel. Monday. Wear a nice suit to court.

wild :)
seen it, done it, did community service.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

Not only did you decide to stick around, but you are now able to joke about it. :-)


Well - I don't hold a grudge. Besides, people are just speaking (typing) their minds.

Sounds fun to me. Especially if you learn something.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I know that in Texas, you can take defensive driving to get the ticket dismissed. Generally it's cheaper, I don't know what happens with points or whatever, though. You can go this route so long as you haven't taken defensive driving in the past year, and there are often Comedy defensive driving classes that are not quite so painful (it's like an eight hour class, done on one day) though they may cost a little more.

They might have this for WI, you can ask! :-) Good luck. I used to do this once a year, like clockwork, then I moved to SoCal, where everyone drives like me. You have to be doing a lot more outrageous stuff than driving 80 (which is often just the speed of traffic) to get a ticket here.


--Booa
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
(Good thing my car's still registered in WI, or I'd have to pay that $212.60 on the spot!)


That sounds kind of harsh. What state requires you to pay a fine before you're even found to be guilty in court?


Wisconsin is one of a few states that does that. Alot of my friends from MN have been ticketed and had to pay up front. I think that you can then go to court and have it refunded.

Most people I know have had luck with reductions by just going and pleading guilty.

Thanks all for the input!

Soup
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Now we are to believe she was going near 90 in a what? A 2000X? A Vette? My dentist's ragtop BMW?

A NEON?


Heh heh... and I thought I was the only one here. I sidestepped traffic school by mere days (tickets fall off every 3 years). Ohio allows 12 points before making you go to traffic school. I lived with 10 points for years (at 2 per incident). Seemed like as soon as one would fall off, I'd go and do it again. :( I just couldn't stand the time it takes to get from point A to point B (still can't - am hoping for teleportation in my lifetime).

What did I drive? Toyota Tercel. "Vroom vroom??" More like "putt putt putt putt putt," only really, really fast.

Seemed like I never got a ticket for less than 20 over the limit. Only *had* to go to court twice, though. I was too lazy and preferred to pay the fine by mail. Also, I was not aware that the tickets had an impact on my insurance rates!

SS
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
My dad got a ticket in WI once (we lived in MN and my grandmother in WI).

The cop said--cash or charge? and wrote out a charge slip!!


(Ohhh, my dad was pi$$$$ed. I think he had visions of driving off without ever having to pay the ticket. I NEVER speed in WI. everywhere else, yes, but not WI!)

blepalatt
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Heh heh... and I thought I was the only one here. I sidestepped traffic school by mere days (tickets fall off every 3 years). Ohio allows 12 points before making you go to traffic school. I lived with 10 points for years (at 2 per incident). Seemed like as soon as one would fall off, I'd go and do it again. :( I just couldn't stand the time it takes to get from point A to point B (still can't - am hoping for teleportation in my lifetime).



Wisconsin's point system works like this: Points expire after 12 months, if you get 12 in 12 months, you lose your license. I don't know what they do about making you go to traffic school.

I have driven along 94 to Milwaukee MANY times in the past 2 years, to visit the ex-boyfriend, and this was my first time EVER being even pulled over. I'm sure it was just cause it was noon on July 3rd, and everyone was on the road to get out of town.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Grrrr! Must I tell you everything? You never go fast on a holiday weekend! The gendarmes are out in force and they bring extra ink pens!

wild :)
got 2 tickets in ONE week once. That was the week of driving fast.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Grrrr! Must I tell you everything? You never go fast on a holiday weekend! The gendarmes are out in force and they bring extra ink pens!

wild :)
got 2 tickets in ONE week once. That was the week of driving fast.


Oh Wild, please forgive me. ;oP I hope I'm still aloud to make a ruckus in your trailer park! :o)

Here's the REAL story, which doesn't make me look much better...

Kim, a friend from work, was driving to WI at the same time, and we actually ended up driving through St. Paul at the same time. She called me when she saw me and said "I've got my radar detector on, so watch out for me to slow down." OK, good plan :oP.

Kim drives MUCH faster than I do, and she quickly got ahead of me, and i got stuck behind some semis for a while. About an hour later, I catch up to her, and can see her in the distance as I get pulled over. She saw me in her rearview and giggled.

After Officer M.J. Buttface took his sweet time writing my ticket and being a buttface to me, I called and said "Where the hell was your radar detector there?" to which she replies "yea, it was beeping for 2 miles, but I didn't see anyone lurking, so I didn't slow down." Thanks Kimmy!

If I was smart, I'd have said "I was trying to catch up to my friend, license plate "-------" 0:o) LOL, in the time I was pulled over, she had gotten 25 miles ahead of me, which messed up our plans to meet and have lunch.

Oh well, you live and learn. I'm just glad that I got caught in the "first half" of WI, so I only have to drive an hour and a half to get to court, as opposed to 5

Soup
told her stepmom not 2 months ago "I've never been pulled over.. I'll keep speeding till i get caught, then i'll learn my lesson"
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Or, go to the District Atty's office in the county you got the ticket in and ask for a reduction. Their case load is probably obscene and they like to reduce it by giving you a break so you "pay it" and don't go to court.

I did this in Kentucky and paid about $90 in court costs and fines and then did traffic school. I actually enjoyed the traffic school part. The lady that did it was a hoot.

We also did something like this when my wife was speeding. It only cost her about $40 and she got the same lady in traffic school (several years later).

I remember when we went to the courthouse and there was an old guy that came up to us (he was working the crowd). He was an attorney and said that we could beat the ticket if we claimed equipment failure. All I could think was that this guy must be making his law school alma mater proud. Somehow I think that his route would have cost us more than $40.

Fred
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
mrbol,

You wrote, If you are a member of AAA or another auto club, you may also be able to get your legal fees reimbursed by the club. I am pretty sure that my auto club will do that.

If you're a Texas AAA member see: http://www.aaa-texas.com/members/summary.asp#legal

I should point out that you must plead NOT GUILTY to an offense if you expect to be compensated. While you might still be able to receive deferred adjudication after loosing on such a plea, I believe you must plead guilty or no contest to opt for the driver's ed refresher course. Of course in Texas almost everyone can and should try for driver's training or deferred adjudication because of the insurance consequences.

Also, Watch out! I've found that many people here recommend taking responsibility for their actions. So you will probably be recommended that if you were speeding, to just pay it.

Ironically, pleading guilty in Texas is the easiest way to keep a traffic ticket off of your record -- short of actually not speeding. While amusing and probably honest, this makes it difficult to get compensated by AAA.

- Joel
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Given that it's an Out-of-State ticket, I would question whether the points will even carry over to your state. One thing to find out though... if the points DO carry over, it would be the home state giving the points for the incident.

I bring this up because different states have different penalties for speeding - VA, for example, calls ANY speed over 80 MPH and/or 20 over the speed limit Reckless Driving; Maryland does NOT have the same penalty, as I found out when I got a reckless driving ticket for 81 MPH in a 55 MPH zone (Dulles Toll Road) in VA, but my MD license and insurance don't know/care about it.

-Steve
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Given that it's an Out-of-State ticket, I would question whether the points will even carry over to your state. One thing to find out though... if the points DO carry over, it would be the home state giving the points for the incident.

I bring this up because different states have different penalties for speeding - VA, for example, calls ANY speed over 80 MPH and/or 20 over the speed limit Reckless Driving; Maryland does NOT have the same penalty, as I found out when I got a reckless driving ticket for 81 MPH in a 55 MPH zone (Dulles Toll Road) in VA, but my MD license and insurance don't know/care about it.

-Steve


I'm from Wisconsin, so it's not really out of state. I'm going to school in MN, but my license is still from WI and my car and everything are registered at my parents' house in WI.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1

Wisconsin is one of a few states that does that. Alot of my friends from MN have been ticketed and had to pay up front. I think that you can then go to court and have it refunded.


Hmmm. Sounds to me to be a little bit of a violation of this:

"Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
"

But then again, I could be wrong. Maybe some loophole exists that says a state can take someones property and THEN give them DUE PROCESS of law.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 8
Maybe some loophole exists that says a state can take someones property and THEN give them DUE PROCESS of law.


You have every right to due process.

However, the state has the right to hold you in jail until your trial date. Technically, when you pay the fine on the spot, you are actually posting bail, which you forfeit when you don't return to the local jurisdiction for trial.

Most states do not enforce this against residents of the state, who are usually allowed to mail in their payment any time before the trial date. They are not so trusting of non-residents since it would be a lot harder to force you to appear for trial.

So you can have all the due process you want, but you must either post bail (which is usually set at an amount equal to the fine plus the court costs), or enjoy a free stay behind bars until your case comes up for trial.

And don't make any ridiculous claims about depriving you of liberty. That's the idea. When you are charged with a criminal offense--and traffic offenses are criminal offenses--the state has the right to incarcerate you. It is also required to set bail at a reasonable amount, such as the fine plus court costs.

If you don't like this, just obey the law.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
mrbol,

You wrote, Hmmm. Sounds to me to be a little bit of a violation of this:

"Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
"

But then again, I could be wrong. Maybe some loophole exists that says a state can take someones property and THEN give them DUE PROCESS of law.


I know this is changing the subject slightly; but...

I've always thought all of our current property seizure laws violate the Fifth Amendment. How can it not be a direct violation? They arrest you for some crimal offense and then seize your car or home under the presumption of guilt? You have to sue in the hopes of getting it back -- and hope they don't auction it off before you prevail. Isn't that precisely what the founders were trying to prevent with this clause? Yet as I understand it, it happens every day. Why hasn't the ACLU sued states over this before now?

If something like that ever happens to me, I'd fight it to the U.S. Supreme Court even if it took everything I owned. I'm really surprised these kinds laws have remained on the books as long as they have. What's more, I've not heard of anyone actually fighting them.

On the other hand, WI probably just provides this as an option to simplify the handling of speeding tickets. After all, if you just plan to plead no-contest, do you really want the hassle of going to court? Still, it probably limits your options -- you refuse to pay now, the officer knows you're going to fight it. And if an officer pulls you over and demands payments on the spot or he'll haul you off to a station where you'll have to wait for a judge to hear your plea (and you'll probably also have to pay to get your vehicle out of impound or for a taxi for a ride back) what do you think most people are going to do?

- Joel
Who always stays within 5-10mph of the speed limit when he's out of the Dallas metroplex.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

Ironically, pleading guilty in Texas is the easiest way to keep a traffic ticket off of your record -- short of actually not speeding. While amusing and probably honest, this makes it difficult to get compensated by AAA.


Ah yes. I forgot about the driver course and the deferrments. Pleasing not guilty might be the only way to get off in WI - and so might be reimbursable.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4

However, the state has the right to hold you in jail until your trial date. Technically, when you pay the fine on the spot, you are actually posting bail, which you forfeit when you don't return to the local jurisdiction for trial.


Ah. Well I knew there had to be something. It's just that most other states are not as "d!ck-headed" about it.


If you don't like this, just obey the law.


Well - that's not really a valid statement. Anyone can be accused of breaking the law, even when they haven't broken it.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
TchrP,

You wrote, Most states do not enforce this against residents of the state, who are usually allowed to mail in their payment any time before the trial date. They are not so trusting of non-residents since it would be a lot harder to force you to appear for trial.

I understand your explaination and it makes sense.

However, if you're ever pulled over in Texas and the officer demands money to let you go it's probably extortion. I don't believe any Texas police officer has the right to demand payment of any kind on the spot -- even to post bail. In Texas, a police officer is not an officer of the court and therefore does not have this right. (Police are part of the executive branch; the judicial branch assesses and collects fines and bail.)

Don't be too surprised to see this happen here though. Texas has been known to have a few corrupt law enforcement officials -- especially in counties with a low population density. Of course if it does happen, there's a good chance there's just one judge and he's in on the scam -- in which case there's probably nothing you can do but pay. Just try to get some kind of written receipt from the officer in case you decide to later fight it later.

- Joel
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2

On the other hand, WI probably just provides this as an option to simplify the handling of speeding tickets.


I'm sure. But most states will allow a person signature in leiu of an "apperance bond" even if you are out-of-state.

I guess some states are just too worried about money to extend the same courtesy.

As for whether it's right or not, well- I suppose it's okay, but the more people get inconvenienced by this, the more public backlash will cause the laws to be changed.

I am not naive enough to think that all speed laws are just and fair. And neither did the people that created our government. Personally, I believe that before a state can ask you to post bail, they need to charge you. And if they charge you unfairly, they could face wrongful arrest penalties, etc. I believe every state ahould have to prove that the speed limits are set at the 80th percentile, unless it's a residential district or school zone. This would require a traffic survey to be performed on all roads. If they did this, roads would be safer.

Instead, far too many people just hunker down and take it- even when the real reason for the speed limit is to just rake in bucks for otherwise cash-strapped counties and cities.

Take for instance the city of San Diego. Installing red light cameras, then reducing the yellow-light time in order to get more revenue. Then having the gall to give a kick-back to the red-light camera makers.

The same crap was about to happen in the city I live in. They were told NOT TO by the state Attorney General. I'm glad too. I'd rather have longer yellow light times and safer intersections, than to have them reduce the yellow light time and increase accidents.

Oh well - sorry for the rant. Soapbox off.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

Don't be too surprised to see this happen here though. Texas has been known to have a few corrupt law enforcement officials -- especially in counties with a low population density. Of course if it does happen, there's a good chance there's just one judge and he's in on the scam -- in which case there's probably nothing you can do but pay. Just try to get some kind of written receipt from the officer in case you decide to later fight it later.


Now that those little tiny hidden video cams are getting cheaper, I've always wondered about keeping one in my car. Normally, it would be pointed forward in case I had an accident and wanted some video record of how it happened.

But in case I was pulled over in a little town, I could surreptitiosly point it towards the window. And record the whole cop/me encounter.

In Texas, only one person in a party has to know of a recording/taping so it should be admissable in court.

I figure of the cops can do this, we can too. :)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Isn't that precisely what the founders were trying to prevent with this clause? Yet as I understand it, it happens every day. Why hasn't the ACLU sued states over this before now?

They're too busy making the NPS take down religious plaques at the Grand Canyon.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/07/14/life.grandcanyon.reut/

Yes, the plaques are back now, pending final review by legal counsel. I'm sure the ACLU (pronounced "a clue") will be sure to be in there swinging for our right to be protected from this blatant respecting of religion. Thank State that they are there.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
<<They're too busy making the NPS take down religious plaques at the Grand Canyon.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/07/14/life.grandcanyon.reut/

Yes, the plaques are back now, pending final review by legal counsel. I'm sure the ACLU (pronounced "a clue") will be sure to be in there swinging for our right to be protected from this blatant respecting of religion. Thank State that they are there.
>>


I'm sure the ACLU would have no objection to a law that prohibited spitting on the sidewalk, unless there was a cross or a flag there.



Seattle Pioneer
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Hmmm. Sounds to me to be a little bit of a violation of this:

"Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
"


When I lived in Montana a few years back, you have to pay the highway patrol on the spot. You weren't paying the fine, though. You were paying "bail". If you chose not to appear in court, your bail was forfeit and satisfied the fine.

If you couldn't afford bail, I believe you went jail.

Cromely.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

Technically, when you pay the fine on the spot, you are actually posting bail, which you forfeit when you don't return to the local jurisdiction for trial.


Don't try paying the fine on the spot in NC. You could be arrested for attempted bribery of a police officer.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

When I lived in Montana a few years back, you have to pay the highway patrol on the spot. You weren't paying the fine, though. You were paying "bail". If you chose not to appear in court, your bail was forfeit and satisfied the fine.


I can see that. When I read the original post, I read it to mean "The police officer was finding you guilty on the spot and fining you immediately."
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Wisconsin is one of a few states that does that. Alot of my friends from MN have been ticketed and had to pay up front. I think that you can then go to court and have it refunded.

Most people I know have had luck with reductions by just going and pleading guilty.


Alison,

Ooh, I'm sorry you got caught on July 3. There was a huge media blitz here in WI that law enforcement was going to be out in force for the holiday weekend. Being in the Twin Cities, I can imagine you probably weren't listening to WI radio. (From where, Hayward? Lumberjack radio. hee hee...)

I would NOT bother with a lawyer. (And usually I'm very pro-lawyer.) My two brothers both have lead feet and have had speeding tickets in WI. One of them has had them in La Crosse and Milwaukee counties, the other only Milwaukee. Both brothers went to the appropriate courts in appropriate attire and had their fines and points reduced. Once I believe the points were completely removed. Additionally, one of my friends went in and had his changed to "faulty speedometer," but I have no idea how that happened.

I would listen to FamilyCEO's advice, since FamilyCEO seems to have the most experience with it.

Good luck!

FriedaChopsticks
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I realize their are some officers that won't "work with you" on these things...I wasn't one of them.

Man, you were lucky!

Any changes to a ticket have to go through the Seargent 'round here, and sometimes higher than that. And the whole thing is noted in your personell file. As in, don't request a ticket change unless you wanna be dinged for it come raise time.

Dh won't go NEAR changing tickets - for good reason, I think. One, the people actually violated the law, and two, requesting a change could affect his career.

Now why the hell would he do all that for a silly college student who can't seem to slow down?

impolite
once a silly college student, so no offense meant
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Well - that's not really a valid statement. Anyone can be accused of breaking the law, even when they haven't broken it.

Yes, that's true.

But usually, there's a shiny little camera in the police car that pulled you over that records speed that car is traveling, etc. If the cop is following you, and going over the speed limit to do so, Viola! Proof you are speeding, on candid camera even!

If they don't flip the camera on until they go to pull you over, it means that they used one of two other things: radar or pacing.

Pacing comes down to the word of the officer, and most of the time the prosecutor pleads it down to a non-moving violation, because it's a he said-he said kinda deal.

Radar, though: better than the camera. Those things are calibrated often. You're only defense there is that the radar catches speed for one of two things: fastest or biggest object. SO, if you happen to be getting passed by a giant diesel at the exact same time el coppo decides to aim a radar gun in your direction, you might be able to plead "not guilty - he can't aim right". Otherwise, no dice.

I'm so glad that DH isn't in the traffic unit - can't imagine the people he'd face in court, with all the lame excuses. He's good ol' patrol, making sure you speeders have a theft-free home to race home to. ;)

impolite


Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

el coppo decides to aim a radar gun in your direction, you might be able to plead "not guilty - he can't aim right".


Having my training in electronics, I assure you that radar units can't be "aimed" the same as a gun, or a lidar unit. It's one of the largest myths about them. They may look like a gun, and the radar manufacturers may want everyone to think they can be aimed, but it's really a myth.

Radar waves spread out like the beam of a very wide flashlight. If a large truck is directly behind your car and the cop aims straight at your car, he's still getting a reading from the truck. It simply has more metal mass and is bouncing a larger signal back than your car is.

To top it off, radar waves are invisible, so the cop is really just guessing as to what vehicle the bean is reflected from.

The main reason radar is still used in courts today, as fallible as it is: revenue.

Notice I said "main" reason. I know it's also about safety.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
To top it off, radar waves are invisible, so the cop is really just guessing as to what vehicle the bean is reflected from.

Yes, this is why I conceded the largest and fastest objects are picked up - most of the traffic guys around here don't usually pull over for anything under 11 over, so it's not like a small car, only going 11 over and being passed by a diesel going 15 over, is getting an undeserved ticket...and since most of the fines have 11 miles and 15 miles being the same amount, no harm no foul. Plus, you can plead in court there was a diesel behind you speeding blah blah blah, and usually get moved down to a non-moving.

Course, then there's that one KC cop that hovers around Front street - guy's got me TWICE, out of one since DH was with me (gotta love cops knowing each other), and the other I paid, since, you know, I was speeding.

impolite
76 in a 65, if you must know
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

Yes, this is why I conceded the largest and fastest objects are picked up


Back in the early days of radar, which was when I got most of my tickets, police didn't concede that fact. The radar was infallible - just like The Pope. :)


- most of the traffic guys around here don't usually pull over for anything under 11 over,


I believe around here (Dallas area) they don't pull you over unless you are at least 10 to 15 MPH over.

I guess that's why I no longer get tickets. Not sure though. <g> Maybe I'm just getting old and driving fast isn't as important to me as it once must have seemed.

I do KNOW when I've been ticketed and I was innocent though. And there was about three of those times. All the other times the police were right on. And the officer almost always let me go when I showed some respect to them. I suppose I've been ticketed about 20 times in my 28 years of driving. I believe only once in the last 5 years.

Again - this was all a long time ago. I pretty much don't get stopped any more - and I think it's due to my age, not my driving habits.

My wife's last ticket was when she was 9 months pregnant, driving herself to the hospital; she was only 3 blocks from the hospital when she was stopped. She even told the police officer this also - she even told him she was having a contraction at the time. guess what? She got the ticket anyway. Dallas county cop. 10 MPH over the limit.

I hired a lawyer to get her off - didn't work - she took defensive driving to get it dismissed. I took the driving course with her to qualify for an insurance discount.

Ah! life is so fair! <g>
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I guess that's why I no longer get tickets. Not sure though. <g> Maybe I'm just getting old and driving fast isn't as important to me as it once must have seemed.

I'm a "5 over" kinda girl myself. I gave up speed driving long ago, 3 years to be exact, when it finally occured to me that it wasn't really helping me get anywhere faster. It also happened to coincide with graduation from college, which left me with only two jobs, and not school on top of them - less places to go, less speeding to do. ;)

The ONLY place I regularly speed fast than 5 miles over is that one damn spot on 435 that cop sits at...it's like somekind of speed vortex over which I have no control. Most of the time, I can just drive without actually thinking about my speed, and not go over by more than 5, but holy JEEZ I get in that spot and it's goodbye speedlimit, hello ticket! NO idea why - I just now try to be VERY cautious about it.

My DH, however, can speed all over hell and creation and not get one dang ticket (well, now: he attracted traffic cops like flies when he was a teen) - I think that off-duty cops emit some kind of "priviledged" aura that lets them slip undetected by traffic cops. He can FLY down I-70, and never get zinged, but everytime I drive on it, there's troopers everywhere.

I believe around here (Dallas area) they don't pull you over unless you are at least 10 to 15 MPH over.

WOOT! Texas native here, from Arlington (on the border with Mansfield).

impolite
not missing the heat much, thanks
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

My DH, however, can speed all over hell and creation and not get one dang ticket (well, now: he attracted traffic cops like flies when he was a teen) - I think that off-duty cops emit some kind of "priviledged" aura that lets them slip undetected by traffic cops. He can FLY down I-70, and never get zinged, but everytime I drive on it, there's troopers everywhere.


In Corpus, about 15 years ago, if you passed a cop and he was looking at you, you "flipped" your brake lights about 3 times really fast and he know you were another cop. :)


not missing the heat much, thanks


Yet another day here over 100 degrees! Tomorrow will be hotter. Ack!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Alison,

Ooh, I'm sorry you got caught on July 3. There was a huge media blitz here in WI that law enforcement was going to be out in force for the holiday weekend. Being in the Twin Cities, I can imagine you probably weren't listening to WI radio. (From where, Hayward? Lumberjack radio. hee hee...)

I would NOT bother with a lawyer. (And usually I'm very pro-lawyer.) My two brothers both have lead feet and have had speeding tickets in WI. One of them has had them in La Crosse and Milwaukee counties, the other only Milwaukee. Both brothers went to the appropriate courts in appropriate attire and had their fines and points reduced. Once I believe the points were completely removed. Additionally, one of my friends went in and had his changed to "faulty speedometer," but I have no idea how that happened.

I would listen to FamilyCEO's advice, since FamilyCEO seems to have the most experience with it.

Good luck!

FriedaChopsticks


Any common sense would have told me not to speed, i just wanted to get home faster. Like i said, I'm glad it's in Eau Claire, not Milwaukee, for driving purposes to get to court. I'm just going to go, plead guilty, and hope for a reduction. Most of my friends have had good luck with it.

I'll report back on Wednesday night how it goes!

Soup
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Wisconsin is one of a few states that does that. Alot of my friends from MN have been ticketed and had to pay up front. I think that you can then go to court and have it refunded.

I'm not sure this is a given...maybe it depends on the officer. I'm from Minnesota and just got a speeding ticket in Wisconsin at the beginning of June. I'd already been on the road for five hours and was going pretty fast. Really fast, actually, I think he gave me the ticket for either 80 or 85 in a 65. Anyway, I was not required to pay anything on the spot. Just mail in the payment or show up on the court date.

I didn't bother fighting it because it's my first-ever ticket and according to my insurance company, my rates won't increase. Actually, they'll be going down, because I turn 25 in a couple months!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Soup,

While not a WI cop, I would offer a few bits of advice. First, plead not guilty and go to court. As familyceo suggested, almost all police officers will work with you (most cops don't want to be in court either and a plea bargain can get you and him out of there quicker).

In New Jersey, there is a statute that offers no points on your license so you won't have to worry about insurance surcharges. Ask the officer if WI has a similar statute and start from there in your negotiations. However, even if WI does have such a statute, I wouldn't hold out much hope of getting it. 81 in a 65 is considered steep, so you're probably a step or two up on the points ladder (in NJ, 0-14 mph over the limit is 2 points, 15-24 is 4 points, etc.). If the officer won't go for the 0 point violation, go the next rung up the ladder and ask for the 2 point (or whatever the least amount of points in WI would be), and so on.

Third, I would NOT bother hiring a lawyer. Not for a traffic ticket anyway. Yes, there is the possibility he'll find a technicality to get the ticket dismissed, but almsot always it's a waste of time and money. The lawyer is doing the exact same thing you can do. The lawyer will ask the cop for the 0 point violation, then then 2 point, etc. As I said, you can ask the cop that yourself. The only benefit to a lawyer is that you may get out of court faster. In NJ, lawyer-represented defendants go first.

Good luck.

Rich

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Third, I would NOT bother hiring a lawyer. Not for a traffic ticket anyway. Yes, there is the possibility he'll find a technicality to get the ticket dismissed, but almsot always it's a waste of time and money.


This depends on where you are. It sounds like WI is easy to work with. However, in states like NC or VA, a lawyer is a necessity if you want to avoid the insurance surcharge.

Ya know what long-haul truck drivers call our states? "Little Russia". (Husband works with a woman whose SO drives a tractor-trailer.)

Think I should move to WI?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

(in NJ, 0-14 mph over the limit is 2 points


Hehe - I'd hate to be one of the ones where 0 over got me 2 points. :)


The only benefit to a lawyer is that you may get out of court faster. In NJ, lawyer-represented defendants go first.


I've seen that in Texas also. Plus, I've even seen municipal court judges state in open court that "If you don't have a lawyer, you probably won't get off."

That sure sounded to me like she already made up her mind. Municipal court in Texas; where you're guiilty until proven innocent - and only if you have an attorney.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
mrbol,

"Hehe - I'd hate to be one of the ones where 0 over got me 2 points. :)

Hey! We're tough here in NJ. You best be driving below the speed limit!

"Municipal court in Texas; where you're guiilty until proven innocent - and only if you have an attorney.

And that's not only in Texas. I'd hazard a guess it's probably like that in almost all 50 states. Certainly, in most cases, I believe there is a presumption of guilt rather than innocence when a defendant comes into court, particularly municipal court. The judge has seen the local cop hundreds of times and probably has a good idea of his credibility before the defendant even steps up to the witness stand. And unless a town has a quota (they do exist, despite courts ruling they're illegal--towns just refer to them euphemistically as "performance standards") a judge will tend to believe the officer has nothing personal to gain by having issued the ticket, so the defendant will have to prove the officer was really off-base in issuing the ticket.

In my town, we have an on-again, off-again quota system. We used to have an outright one: 1 point for parking tickets, 2 points for moving violations, and you had to have 6 points by the end of your tour or get stuck with a walking post. Then they did away with it, then came back with you had to issue at least 30 tickets a month. Then they did away with that, too (residents were becoming outraged and the court was swamped with backlogged cases--a 100-man department can issue lots of tickets). Last, they don't tell you you have to write a certain number, but if you're not writing enough (and they are careful not to tell you what "enough" is) you get "counselled." We're smart enough to know what that leads to so our production comes up.

However, I know that there are enough "real" violators out there that I don't have to make up tickets. Judges have also seen just as many excuses from drivers as have the cops so unless there really is a compelling reason for the judge to dismiss the ticket, it is difficult to win in municipal court.

It's not always right and fair, but then again, it's not necessarily wrong or unfair either.

Rich

Who wishes most people would drive 5-10 mph over the speed limit, even when cops are around, to keep traffic moving
Print the post Back To Top