So, You Want A Speeding Ticket Trial

by | Oct 7, 2019 | Blog Posts, NC Traffic | 0 comments

So, you want a trial for a speeding ticket – Nobody enjoys getting pulled over by the police.  It is annoying, frustrating, and sometimes scary.  When you get a speeding ticket, there are a lot of consequences to consider, including driver’s license points, insurance points, and sometimes even criminal consequences.  You should always fight a speeding ticket. But how far does that fight go, and what should that fight be?

In this blog, we will discuss fighting a speeding ticket logically. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a traffic attorney or criminal defense attorney.

The standard is the same as a criminal matter

Though most speeding tickets are mere traffic infractions, they are still merely accusation or an allegation, and you are still innocent until proven guilty. Oftentimes, people simply pay the traffic ticket, which serves as an admission of guilt.

If someone were to decide to try a speeding ticket, the standard of proof would be beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the same as what it would be in a criminal trial.

You think you want a trial for your speeding ticket, but you really don’t

We get calls all the time where people say something to the effect of “they said I was going 70 miles per hour, but I wasn’t going that fast.” We also often hear “the cop is lying — I wasn’t speeding at all.” They might say they want a trial, and after we explain the process, they never actually go through with that trial. Here’s why:

  • A traffic ticket can usually be handled favorably by an attorney without your presence, and with at least some level of certainty. But trials are harder to manage; they are unpredictable, you must be present for it, and you may lose. Losing at trial can result in points and a suspended license. This risk is easily avoidable if you don’t go to trial.
  • If you want your attorney to try a case, you must pay them more. The nominal fee that comes with handling a traffic ticket administratively will not be the same amount that comes with conducting a full trial.
  • Generally, a speeding ticket trial is not just a “he said she said” between the law enforcement officer and the defendant. Usually, the state is able to provide evidence of a radar-clocked speed that was obtained through a properly-calibrated radar device as well as the officer’s corroborating option that, based on his training and experience, the defendant was traveling at such a speed.

Is it ever worth it to pay for a trial for a speeding ticket?

There are some instances where you might want to pay for a trial for a speeding ticket, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The speed was so high that the District Attorney’s office was not willing to give any concessions, and you face a one-year license suspension, and/or
  • Your driving record is so bad that the district attorney’s office is not willing to give you any concessions and you face a lengthy driver’s license suspension.
  • The alleged speed is based solely on the opinion of the officer, and the speed was not that high.

These instances are so rare that you are almost always better off not trying a speeding ticket.

If receive a traffic citation and need a traffic attorney, contact us.


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