Reader Qs (July 17, 2017)

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Here’s the latest Reader Q – along with my reply:

Isaac asks:

I’m a college student who hasn’t been able to afford a radar detector as of yet. Recently I was driving on a state highway in a long, flat, straight stretch with few other cars on the road and I got going pretty fast. I think I got up to around 95 before a cop turned around in the grass between the two sides of the highway and pulled me over. I decided to comply and be polite and just play scared college student, and used the fact that it’s my birthday. Anyways long story short after having me wait about 15 minutes the officer says that I could be charged with reckless driving at 95 (I’m in Indiana and the posted speed limit was 60) but he had kids of his own my age so he’d let me off with giving me a ticket that had me going 70. At this point is there anything I can do about the ticket, or do you have any advice or anything about the process of dealing with a speeding ticket?
My Reply:
I’d definitely fight it. As you probably know, it’s not just the fine for the “speeding.” It will also be the higher insurance the mafia will hit you with – probably – once they find the record of the ticket (they check). Particularly because you are in your young 20s – the insurance mafia is merciless to young guys. Be aware/take into account that even though it is just one ticket, it will be active on your DMV rap sheet for three years, maybe five. If you get another ticket before the first one drops off… it is guaranteed the mafia will take you to the cleaners. So… fight it.
How?
First, I recommend visiting the National Motorists Association web site (www.motorists.org) and getting their ticket fighting packet.
This will give you specific pointers as regards challenging radar and so on.
You might also:
Approach the prosecutor/commonwealth attorney and ask whether he would accept a guilty plea to a non-moving violation (for example, defective equipment) that carries no DMV points and the payment of a fine. They want your money above all. This often works; I have used this tactic myself.
Immediately as for a continuance.  In many states, you are automatically entitled to at least one. This will push your court date out – and to another day. Hopefully, to a day the cop who gave you the ticket won’t be in court. Often, if that happens, the judge will dismiss the case – though he may just give you another date. Worth a try, anyhow – it costs you nothing, no matter what the outcome.
Finally: Buy the got-damned radar detector! Yes, they are expensive. So are tickets – and insurance premium surcharges. Often, much more so than the cost of the detector. If you are convicted, this ticket is probably going to cost you at least $150 in fines – plus the very real likelihood of several times that in higher insurance on account of the ticket. The detector would have saved you money.
And not just that time.
Every time you drive, you are fair game – open season – unless you always drive the speed limit. If you don’t, do the smart thing – and buy the detector!
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Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Let Go of Your Fears and Give Your Child More Freedom
    http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/style/how-to-let-go-of-your-fears-and-give-your-child-more-freedom/

    I don’t know how old my friends and I were when we started hanging out at the creek bordering the edge of our suburban town—9, maybe? We were young and scrappy enough to scamper down the desolate dirt ravine on our bottoms and hop over the occasional empty liquor bottle so we could get to the good stuff: squirmy newts, schools of minnows, the giant drainpipe we dared each other to enter.

    You know who doesn’t show up in those memories? An adult.

    That’s what made adventures like these adventures. Unsupervised lemonade stands, the secret alleyways we explored between neighbors’ garages, the thrill of deliberately getting lost on our bikes. We had so much fun back then, my friends and I recall.

  2. And once you pay that first fine, you will be issued fines again and again, even for non events. Other pieces of paper will end up in your mailbox without asking. Watch this video. It’s 2.5 hours but has lots of info for Yanks, even texans as the bloke is texan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9kVCQ0y5Ec

    So fight the ticket, Isaac. If everyone did this, the courts would break within a few weeks.

  3. Excellent advice eric. I heartily concur and esp. with trying to get a drivers ed. course in lieu of the guilty plea. I have used it many times. Back in pre-computer days counties didn’t cross-reference and I had 3 of them(I can’t drive 55)concurrently which you could not do but who’s to know? It may still be that way in cross-referencing alleged illegalities.

    3 years ago I was hit from behind in construction. I was mad and hurt and the DPS only got there in time to question me in the ambulance. This was a good hour later. I could have said anything but I chewed on this guy and told him I hadn’t worn a seat belt and was damned glad I hadn’t since I would have been hurt worse since a damned seat belt can kill you or really fuck you up in a rear-end situation….and many others.

    The DPS told the company lawyer I admitted it and said I had never worn one in a truck. But cops dont want to go head to head with a lawyer so I still have a clean record. And, a clean record often results in not getting a ticket in a another situation. Along about the same time I know another driver who got hit with a no seatbelt ticket, didn’t fight it and lost his job(a-hole company policy……part of that a-hole zero tolerance bullshit.

    A great many people don’t realize the cost of a single ticket and simply pay it thinking they’re better off since the price of the fine is less(this is rarely true)than the cost of a lawyer. Next time you are stopped, that conviction is on the spot history of your non-compliance previously It’s quite often the difference between getting cited again and not.

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