I was floating around this shitbox known as the internet and came across this. I'm posting it for a few reasons.
First, so if anyone actually uses that magical search bar up there, this will pop up and we can avoid the same "omg i got a ticket my mom is gonna kill me!" threads seen pretty much weekly.
Second, because I once posted a "omg i got a ticket my mom is gonna kill me!" and this is me doing penance to make up for what I've done, I'm sorry
This answer pertains to a person who asked about the date being written incorrectly on his ticket. The person who answers, takes care of that, and then goes into a TON of detail about everything else you need to know about fighting a ticket.
*DISCLAIMER* This is for the State of NH, check your local laws and do some research, it might be different where you are.
As far as your question goes.. I guess anything is possible to fight in
court and win.. Hell, O.J. won. First off, lemme preface this by saying
that I am a cop and have been for 14 years...and I have seen tickets in
court with the wrong date, incorrect time, spelling someones names
wrong, and other seemingly minor mistakes written on a ticket.
This doesnt necessarily mean the ticket automatically gets tossed. The
judge will look at the situation and listen to any valid reasons why
the mistake was made. For instance, if it was JUST after midnight and
you wrote a ticket for the at 12:05AM and write the wrong date, it's
easily understandable as to why... If it can be explained easy enough,
I doubt very highly that the judge would throw it out for just that..
Its takes a little more to just simple toss it out of court..
Also.. once IN court, the prosecutor ( The State ) has the right to
"ammend" the ticket and could point out any errors on the ticket and
have them noted.
Now... how to BEAT this ticket, is your question...Other than simply SLOWING DOWN,... So here is my honest advice...
First off.. request a trial.....this means you mark of the box that
says "contest" ( fight) the ticket.. it DOESNT hurt to do that anyway
and the fine doesnt INCREASE just cuz you want a trial.. Yes, if the
cop doesnt show up on the trail date, the State has no witness and the
ticket will most likely get tossed out of court, so there is always
Secondly, if you pretty much think you are gonna be found guilty..
fight the ticket anways.. Go to court and you will always meet with the
prosecutor before hand. This is usually the time they play " Lets make
a deal". Often times if you just say, " Ok.. I will plead guilty to
speeding if you lower the fine to say.. $200".. or something like that.
This will save you a little cash..
Also If you fight the ticket, the trials usually arent for a few months
after that as well.. this will give you time to save $$$ for if you are
found guilty..Who knows, maybe this is when the officer would be on
vacations, out of town for a training class, or anything else liek
that. It's a small hope, but better than nothing.
During your trial.. The prosecotor will call the cop to the stand
and have him testify as to his training, experience and the facts of
your particular case.. such as time of day, traffic conditions , etc,
etc... After he has testified YOU have the right to cross examine the
officer and ask questions of him...My advice, ask all the questions you
want but dont come off like an ass, try to embarass the cop, or
otherwise make yourself look like an idiot by trying to all tough and
think you are Columbo. Trust me, you arent the first guy to come along
and think he has this ultimate " Winnng idea"of how to beat the
ticket.. ( For instance.. putting tin foil in your hub caps doesnt not
confuse the radar unit"
Be polite and it will go a lot farther..If you have a valid point, it
will be that much more evident when you present it in a normal
demeanor. So dont call the cop a liar, or jump up and down waving your
arms about how the sytem " sucks". You just look like an idiot..
After your questions for the officer..He will step down from the stand and the judge will then ask if you wish to testify...
This is YOUR opportunity to testify if you wish.. you do NOT have
to testify if you do not want to. If you do NOT, the State will rest
and the judge will simply make a ruling based on what he has heard up
to that point...
By testifying, this would be your opportunity to explain your self or
give an excuse, etc.. My experience in this is that THIS is when most
people HANG THEMSELVES.. A majority of people arent used to testifying
in court like police are. I have seen it time and time again that
people get nervous and begin to give excuses such as " Well... I know I
was speeding.. but I was just late for work".. or 1 of about 10,000
other dumb statements that totally hang themselves. After you give your
speech on the stand, remember that the State then has the right to
cross examine you... at this point, again you are up against someone
who does this for a living and knows what questions to ask.. again, he
will ask questions and you will answer them and more often than not,
will hang yourself even more..
My advice on whether or not to testify is simply this.. If you dont
think the State has met its burden of proof to proove you were
speeding.. I would not testify and simply point out the flaws of the
case in a final closing statement..
Lastly,. this info is advice only. I am NOT a lawyer and what I
offer is merely from experience. If it helps ya, I am glad.. if it
doesnt.. Im sorry.