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Should I Plead Not Guilty for a Speeding Ticket?

Most of us have been in the situation; you’re driving a little too fast and a cop decides to pull you over. It can be a stressful situation, especially since it can add points to your license, increase your insurance, and those are both on top of the fine you’ll be paying. There is a lot of debate over whether you should plead guilty or not guilty, but the answer should always be to plead ‘not guilty’ for a speeding ticket.

Why Should I Plead ‘Not Guilty’?

Points

Pleading ‘not guilty’ can save you down the line. By adding points to your license, you’re getting closer to a suspended license. In New York State, it only takes 10 points to get your license suspended. If you get pulled over for going 71mph in a 50mph area, you’re adding 6 points to your license by pleading guilty.

Insurance

The cost of car insurance is constantly increasing, and if you don’t have a clean record, you should expect to see a sizeable increase in your monthly insurance rate. It winds up being an unnecessary expense that you can probably reduce.

Withdrawing a Guilty Plea

It’s not uncommon that someone consults me and asks if it’s possible to withdraw a guilty plea. Often, people will pay the fine for the ticket because they don’t fully understand the ramifications that come with a ticket. What some people don’t understand is that it might still be possible to vacate the plea and argue against it.

Why Seek a Traffic Attorney?

Attorneys that cover DUI’s, speeding infractions, and other traffic court cases are very familiar with local courts. Since they’re always handling cases, they build better relationships with the judges, and have gained a better understanding of each court’s policies. Getting in touch with a traffic lawyer can not only save you short-term, but save you a lot of money over the long run.

 

Avoid a Traffic Ticket (Driving Tips)

avoid-traffic-ticketIn our years of Traffic Attorney experience both on the road and in the courts, we have witnessed many traffic violations and resulting in traffic tickets NY (especially NYC Traffic Tickets) and NY Speeding tickets which could have been easily avoided. Here are a few tips:

1. If you come to stopped traffic on a high speed roadway, turn on your flashers. A hit in the rear, while usually not your fault, can cause severe injuries, and those flashers will often wake up the road-dazed driver behind you.

2. Look at the whole traffic pattern. Frequently I see drivers “bull” their way through traffic. It is plain that they are looking no further than the car ahead, and at the end of several miles, a steady driver will make more progress and upset no others – the “bull” will tailgate until the car ahead passes, even if this nets no real distance.

3. Never pass others at a high rate of speed. This will upset some motorists who will use the cell phone and call the Police. Enough calls and you are the “person of interest” for the Officer assigned to that section of road that day. Not Good.

4. Keep your registration and inspection stickers up to date, and don’t let your insurance lapse. The penalty for “no insurance” is worse that “driving while intoxicated”. Really.

5. We all use the roads together. Attitude is important, and if you are angry or depressed or frustrated, you are now that way in a two ton or more vehicle…. think about it.

6. If you are pulled over, be polite…even if you think you are right.

7. Never, ever, ever, plead guilty without discussing the case with an attorney. You cannot trust legal advice from the “internet” – each State is different, indeed each Town, and each Judge. The only correct answers will come from someone with actual on the ground knowledge.

8. Buy a good tire pressure gauge and learn to use it. You will save gas and your car will be much safer all around.

9. When the red/blue lights go on, game over. Running from the police will turn a minor traffic violation into a set of misdemeanors which will be a lot more troublesome than your XXX in a YY zone ticket. I have had many situations where the driver/rider learned the hard way that “You can outrun the Mopar, but you can’t outrun the Motorola.”

10. SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT. If someone wants to speed, it’s not your problem unless you are employed by the State. Sticking in the left lane causes pile ups behind you, a much more dangerous situation.

Ticket Attorney Ethics: Money Back Guarantee

This is even worse than the cherry picked “Testimonials” some offices use.

The “guarantee” is unethical because it puts the attorney and client at odds. You must, as a lawyer, have your client’s interest first and foremost. An attorney with a “Guarantee” over his head will take ANY offer for ANY reduction even when taking a chance at Trial is better for the Client because he wants to be paid for the Appearance.

A Prosecutor who deals with an attorney who never tries a case will give worse offers that to an attorney known to try cases and who aggressively represents the client. This is a long term game and reputation counts-the other side knows who folds too fast.

NY’s Office of Attorney Ethics does not bother to prosecute questionable attorney advertising, but that doesn’t mean it is OK. An Attorney is paid for time and advice, and should be able to ballpark a result for you depending on Court, your history, and the accusation. A “Guarantee” is not a substitute for knowledge.

Police Tactics and Equipment

Most police radar in New York is Ka band. The state of the art Stalker Dual ATR is the weapon of choice for New York State Police and most local agencies. The unit is purchased at State Contract price. You may expect a hard mounted Ka band antenna in the front and rear windows. It is a small black soda-can sized cylinder. The ATR can capture you in stationary or moving modes. Interestingly, it can also trap you in a same lane moving mode. K band is also in use, normally by local agencies or Sheriff’s Departments. I haven’t seen live X band in NY for years.

Laser is used, usually on nice days, and only with a good line of sight. Most tickets are written over 500 feet, with a few as far off as 1300 feet, so often they can see you before you see them. The 2x scope on top of most lasers helps. Laser is rarely used during cold or wet weather, as the officer usually parks perpendicular to the road, and shoots out a side window. The shorter distance is handheld…the longer distance is in situations where one car shoots and radios to chase cars. In either case, you can usually see them as Laser requires line of sight-the vast majority of laser hits are on the front license plate.

There have been sightings of unmarked Sport Utility vehicles recently, and one was seen being used as a “hammer” car (speed measure car for a multiple car trap) in Westchester. NYSP may have moved off the “marked cars only” rule. Unmarked cars are a fact of life elsewhere, of course.

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