Common Speeding Ticket Defenses
If you decide to plead not guilty to your speeding ticket and take the case to court, you need to prepare to defend your position. Getting found not guilty of a speeding ticket will mean that you avoid fines and high insurance rates – but this will only happen if you can prove that you were not speeding. Luckily, there are many defenses to speeding that might work for your case. Here, you can learn about these defenses and how to present them in court with the help of an accomplished lawyer.
Defending Against the Police Officer’s Claims
Police officers can make mistakes and embellishments. You have the right to refute the claims that the police officer makes against you. You can do this by:
- Obtaining a copy of the police officer’s notes or records from the day that you received your speeding ticket. By cross-referencing the police officer’s claims against your recollection of what happened, you can look for inconsistencies. These issues can be brought up in court and can discredit the police officer. The prosecutor will let you look at the police report but they will not give you a copy. A lawyer can demand a copy of the ticket and any supporting documents.
- Returning to the place that you were pulled over. Taking pictures to illustrate your points in court can assist in your defense. Pay particular attention to places where the police officer’s view of your vehicle would have been obstructed by trees, telephone poles, or other objects.
- Contacting witnesses. If you and the police officer differ on your opinions of what happened at the time that you were pulled over, using the testimony of a witness or someone else who was in the car with you could set the record straight.
Defending Against Laser Gun Results
Some police officers use laser guns to determine the speed at which vehicles are traveling. Laser guns work by comparing a specific period of time to the change in distance of an object. If the laser gun was not working properly, or if the police officer was focusing on an object other than your vehicle, the results of a laser gun could be inaccurate. If your speeding ticket was the result of a police officer’s use of a laser gun, you should consider contacting an attorney to help you build a defense. Challenging laser gun results can be complex, and getting assistance can ensure that this is done properly.
Defending Against Radar System Results
Compared to finding defenses against laser gun results, finding radar defenses can be much easier. This is because radar systems can’t pick out one moving object or measure distance. A radar system can only tell a police officer how fast the most dominant or reflective object is going. It is up to the police officer to determine which object is picked out by the radar device. For this reason, you might be able to claim that the radar device was focused on a vehicle or object that more reflective than yours, such as:
- Utility lines.
- Other vehicles, if you were driving in traffic.
- Power stations.
- Metal traffic signs.
If you take photographs of the area where you were pulled over for speeding, you might be able to illustrate to a judge that objects such as the ones listed above were present and could have interfered with the radar system.
Another potential defense against a radar device is that the device itself was faulty. If the device was not properly maintained or there was an issue with its performance, it might not have been working properly when it picked up on the speed of your vehicle.
These are just a few of the common defenses that you might use if you are interested in defending against a speeding ticket. To determine the best defense for your situation, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Many people who receive a speeding ticket wonder how this will impact their ability to drive. In most cases, a speeding ticket will not mean that your license gets suspended; however, it is possible that points will get added to your driver’s history. To learn more about the point system in Connecticut, read on.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps track of a person’s motor vehicle violations and infractions by putting notations, or “points”, on that person’s driving record. Below is a list of motor vehicle violations in the state of Connecticut and how many points against a license each violation will result in.
- Operating at unreasonable rate of speed (Sec. 14-218a).
- Speeding (Sec. 14-219).
- Failure to drive in right-hand lane (Sec. 14-230).
- Illegal use of limited access highway by bus, commercial vehicle or vehicle with trailer (Sec. 14-230a).
- Improper operation on multiple-lane highways (Sec. 14-236).
- Improper operation on divided highway (Sec.14-237).
- Wrong direction at rotary or one-way street (Sec. 14-239).
- Improper turn, illegal turn, illegal stopping, failure to signal intention to turn (Sec. 14-242).
- Improper backing or starting (Sec. 14-243).
- Failure to give proper signal (Sec. 14-244).
- Operator’s duties on stopping a school bus (Sec. 14-277).
- Operation of motorcycles abreast, illegal passing (Sec. 14-289b).
- Wrong way on one way street (Sec. 14-303).
- Slow speed, impending traffic (Sec. 14-220).
- Disobeying orders of officer (Sec. 14- 223a).
- Entering or leaving controlled access highway at other than designated entrance or exit (Sec. 14-238).
- Entry upon a limited access highway other than a highway intersection or designated point (Sec. 14-238a).
- Executing turn from wrong lane or contrary to traffic control devices (Sec. 14-241).
- Failure to obey signal at railroad crossing (Sec. 14-249).
- Failure to observe parkway or expressway restrictions (Sec. 14-298).
- Failure to obey traffic control signal light (Sec. 14-299).
- Failure to obey yield sign (Sec. 14-302).
- Operating a vehicle through pedestrian safety zone (Sec. 14-304).
- Driving while impaired (Sec. 14-227a(b)).
- Failure to keep right when meeting opposing traffic (Sec. 14-231).
- Improper passing or failure to yield to passing vehicle (Sec. 14-232).
- Passing on right (Sec. 14-233).
- Passing in no passing zone (Sec. 14-234).
- Failure to keep to right on curve, grade or approaching intersection (Sec. 14-235).
- Failure to drive reasonable distance apart (Sec. 14-240).
- Failure to grant right of way at intersection (Sec. 14-245).
- Failure to yield when emerging from driveway or private road (Sec. 14-247).
- Failure to grant right of way when emerging from alley driveway or building (Sec. 14-247a).
- Failure to grant right of way to pedestrian (Sec. 14-300).
- Wagering, speed record (Sec. 14-224c).
- Failure to drive reasonable distance apart, intent to harass (Sec. 14-240a).
- Passing stopped school bus (Sec. 14-279).
- Negligent homicide with a motor vehicle (Sec. 14-222a).
- Operation of school bus at excessive speed Sec. 14-281a).
If you are found guilty of speeding, you will have one point noted on your driver’s license. All points remain on your driving record for two years. If a person accumulates seven or more points in a period of three years, that person will be required to attend a driver retraining course.
If a person accumulates 10 or more points on his or her driver’s license in a two year period, the DMV has the right to suspend that person’s driver’s license for at least 30 days. When a person is getting close to 10 points on their driving record, the DMV will send that person a letter of warning. The person also has the right to challenge the license suspension by proving that the 10 points did not get accumulated in a two year (24 month) period. The best way to challenge a license suspension is by hiring an attorney and attending a DMV hearing.
Ways to Plead
There are two ways to plead in a speeding case – nolo contendere or not guilty. Here, you can learn about these two ways to plead, how to plead each, and the pros and cons of each.
Pleading nolo contendere is not the same thing as pleading guilty because you are not actually admitting to the charge of speeding. Nolo contendere means “no contest” – it simply means that you do not deny or admit to the charge that you are facing. Many times, a person will plead nolo contendere if they believe that there is not enough evidence to support a “not guilty” verdict in court. If you plead nolo contendere to your speeding ticket, it will mean that you have to pay the fine associated with your speeding ticket. You will also be responsible for any other penalties associated with your speeding ticket, such as the potential for higher insurance rates, having to take a driver retraining program, and more. However, one good thing about pleading nolo contendere is that you will not have points assessed against your driver’s license.
On the other hand, many people choose to plead not guilty to a speeding ticket. This is because there are many defenses to speeding that can be brought up in court, you can have your fine reduced, or, if found not guilty, you won’t have to pay the fine at all. If you are planning on pleading not guilty to your speeding ticket, it is a good idea to hire a motor vehicle violation attorney to assist you with your case.
How to Plead Nolo Contendere
If you plan on pleading no contest, you can pay your ticket by mail or online. Your speeding ticket will give your directions for how to pay the fine, including an “answer by” date. If there is an answer by date on your ticket, be sure that you pay the fine by that date.
If your ticket says that you can pay your fine online, you will use the Infraction Ticket Processing system to do this. When you log on, your ticket might not be visible. This is because tickets can take up to 30 days to appear on this database. If your ticket does not immediately appear, check back in a few days. You can use a credit card to pay this fine online. Alternatively, you can pay the fine by mailing a check to:
Centralized Infractions Bureau
P.O. Box 5044
Hartford, CT 06102
How to Plead Not Guilty
If you want to fight your speeding ticket, the first step is notifying the court of this decision. You will have to notify the Centralized Infractions Bureau by phone, mail, or online. Once this happens, the Superior Court will determine a court date for you. You don’t get to choose your court date, it gets assigned to you. A lawyer can change your court date or even avoid you having to appear at all in some cases.
Once you decide to plead not guilty, it is time to build a defense for your case. This can happen with the help of a lawyer.
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