As a Washington State Traffic Ticket Attorney, I spend the majority of my days fighting speeding tickets in Court. Most drivers today don’t believe there are legitimate reasons a speeding ticket can be dismissed. The truth is there are successful ways and reasons a speeding ticket can be dismissed. Unfortunately, when drivers decide to fight/contest their speeding ticket (without a traffic ticket attorney), many use the same unsuccessful arguments in court.
One of the most common reasons a speeding ticket can be dismissed is based on an evidentiary technicality. These technicalities revolve around the admissibility of the result of the speed measuring device (SMD). The SMD is the device that police officers use to measure your speed. In laymen terms, traffic ticket lawyers (like myself), are making sure that the police officer dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s. Otherwise, we argue that the Judge should exclude the result of the SMD at the client’s hearing becuase it is unreliable.
So if you have decided to fight your speeding ticket without an attorney and are looking for reasons a speeding can be dismissed.
Please don’t plan on using any of these defenses if you want to beat your speeding ticket!
- Finding Errors in what the cop wrote on the front of the ticket (including the cop writing down wrong info, misspellings, etc.) – In Washington State, a speeding ticket will not be dismissed for some minor defect, imperfection or omission which does not substantially prejudice your rights to a fair hearing. Meaning that minor mistakes on your ticket by the cop will not be one of the reasons a speeding ticket can be dismissed!
- Repeatedly continuing your case – I have had potential clients tell me that this was their strategy, in hopes that the cop will not remember the specifics of their situation. The problem is, in Washington State, cops do not appear for your hearing (unless you subpoena them). Instead, they write up a report usually the same day they stopped you for speeding, and the Court will rely on that statement. These reports don’t seem to forget.
- Relying on legal advice that you came across on the internet or speeding ticket forum – Do you know how to beat your speeding ticket? Neither do the keyboard lawyers on the forums you’re reading! These armchair quarterbacks likely don’t know valid reasons a speeding ticket can be dismissed. Each case and each court is different. What “supposedly” worked for them will probably not work for you.
- You didn’t see a speed limit sign or know that the speed limit changed – That’s not the court’s problem. It’s yours! This could be a mitigating factor (reduce your fine amount), but this does not get you out of a speeding ticket. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse to break it.
- The officer didn’t show you the radar (or laser, etc.) – This one is on the Mount Rushmore of urban legends regarding speeding tickets. Police officers are not required to prove it to you by showing you their evidence. They will write out a statement telling the Court what your speed was and unless you have something (other than your word) to prove otherwise, this will likely be good enough for the Judge.
- The cop had your speed wrong – “Your honor, the cop said I was going 15 over, there is no way I was going that fast, maybe 5 over but not 15”. This one kills me, and the sad part is most people don’t realize they just lost by admitting to speeding. Your there to have the State/City prove you were in fact speeding don’t put the nail in your coffin. Admission of guilt is not one of the reasons a speeding ticket can be dismissed!
- The cop must have gotten the speed of another car – How do you know that? What is your proof? On the one hand, the police submitted a sworn statement to the Court saying that he is trained in using SMD’s and that he is 100% certain he got you speeding. While all your evidence is your word. Almost 99.9% of the time the Judge will side with the officer.
- You were going with the flow of traffic, why did he get you? – Because it was your unlucky day! Cops can only pull over one person at a time.
- Your car can’t go that fast – The problem here is how do you prove that statement to the Judge? You can’t, because just like #7, proof needs to be more than your word.
- Your speedometer, cruise control, or some other aspect of your car was malfunctioning – Once again, this is your problem, not the courts. Just because you didn’t know how fast you were going doesn’t absolve you from going over the speed limit!
- You were driving a new or unfamiliar car – Tickets follow the driver…. NOT the car!
- You have a CDL license, and you will lose your job if you get a ticket – This one takes the cake for blowing my mind! If you drive for a living and your livelihood depends on your CDL, HIRE A TRAFFIC TICKET ATTORNEY! Depending on your record, your CDL can be disqualified from a speeding ticket.
- The cop car was hidden or sitting in a location that you think was illegal – There is no law requiring them to be visible to you in Washington State. Cops have the legal authority to determine who was speeding while sitting in any location they wish.
- You were sick or speeding for some other substantial reason – Doesn’t matter. The minute you admit in court to speeding, you lose! This is a mitigating factor but not a defense to speeding.
- You have a clean driving record that should help – Incorrect. Judges are there to look at the case in question. In fact, your record should have nothing to do with the outcome of your case. With that being said, please realize that when you go in front of the Judge, they are looking at your record. Everything that you have been cited with throughout Washington State is on the computer screen right in front of them. Please, do yourself a favor and do not blow your credibility by saying that you have a good driving record if you have received tickets in the past!
If you want to beat your speeding ticket in Tacoma, WA or throughout the greater Puget Sound and were planning on using one of the above-listed defenses, reach out to us today! We are happy to provide an initial free phone consultation on your options.