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Help!
i got a speeding ticket yesterday in my miata! only thing was i wasnt speeding, no joke, i was on a two lane road the cop was travelling towards me from the opposite direction, he was the third car in a line of 4, i was the third car as well heading the other direction, i was a bit behind the other two cars, they hit the brakes and i caught up with them at that point, after they passed the cop they continued back up to thier speed and i was still cruising doing between 40-45 in 3rd gear ready to shift into 4th , the cop said i was doing 65!

Can anyone explain to me the way radar works when a cop is moving in the opposite direction, and if i am a small car behind larger ones isnt the radar picking up the other car and not me? And if he is behind 2 other cars what is his clear field with this radar?

What are the tips/tricks to go to court with?

I asked for verification of the speed and calibration information, he declined to show me and said i would get that if i took the ticket to court!

I cant afford the points right now if i am about to buy this Elise!

HELP!
 

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Funny, I was pulled over for "running a yellow light" (and seriously, it turned yellow about 20 feet before the intersection) yesterday. I politely asked how I could have done it better and the cop seemed to overload, so I let it go. He said "I'm giving you a warning" so I shut up. Sucks. Would have liked to challenge him.
 

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Speeding Ticket Help

The National Motorists Association (www.motorists.org) will give you all the info and support that you need to deal with your ticket. I too currently drive a Miata and feel certain that being a small target has saved me from getting tickets. You were probably singled out because of your car. Go to court and fight it! NMA is an excellent resource. They even provide regional phone support/advice. Unfortunately, being smaller, faster, and more manuverable inevitably creates situations like yours. I've never gotten a ticket in the Miata, but unfortunately have seen a few in my SUV. It's a bigger target. But I contest them all in traffic court, and occasionally win!
 

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Well, if worse comes to worse you can always avoid the points by taking a traffic school. If you are who I think you are ;) I seem to recall that you were interested in autox. You might want to do the online course sponsored by Jean Kinser. She runs the Evolution Performance Driving schools for autoxers. Their affiliated online traffic school is:

http://www.idrivesafely.com/signup/...COUPON=EV0LVE&DRIVERSLICENSE=&&COUPON=EV0LVE&

But to answer your other question about challenging the ticket...yes, if there was a much larger vehicle (semi, large SUV) fairly close behind you, then it is probable that he got their speed rather than yours.

BTW, if the cop has a weak case, he may not even show up to court should you decide to go that route. I got out of a ticket several years back (in a Miata also) for "unsafe lane change" when I swerved into an adjacent lane when the panel van in front of me slowed suddenly without brake lights. The car that I shifted lanes in front of was FHP. I told the cop what happened, but he said he didn't see brake lights on the van and gave me a ticket anyway. Went to court with an attorney friend of mine, and the cop didn't show...case dismissed.

Good luck...
 

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I've done extensive reading on how radar works. They can pick up multiple targets on radar, and "hiding" behind bigger cars, or even 18-wheelers may have worked in the past, but it won't save you these days. If you are really innocent, you could try to fight the ticket in court, but if the cop shows up, you may find yourself worse-off than you would have been had you not fought it at all.

PS - "Brak" - is that you, Kyle?
 

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I would say not to count on a police officer not showing up, they are under normal circumstances required to show up. There is a down side to going to court though.... could cost you more. If you are found guilty you will normally get charged court costs as well as the cost of the ticket. The up side is you can ask the judge to wave the points on your licence.

To repeat what someone else said, radar does generally pick up the larger target... so did you say there was a LARGE suv coming up fast from behind you?

Your police officer (if he is good) probably wrote himself some notes on the back of his copy of the ticket in case you decide to contest it, but probably not what vehicles were around you.
 

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jeff8875 said:
so did you say there was a LARGE suv coming up fast from behind you?
She didn't say anything about an SUV coming up from behind. Are you encouraging her to make up stories in court? :rolleyes: I think they call that perjury.
 

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The officer most likely will be in court, as all contested tickets (for that particular officer) are scheduled on the same day, so the officer has to go to court only once/twice per month. --At least that's how it's done here and in most decent-sized cities.

Bring a copy of your driving record (IF it is clean). You can get it from the DMV. Start out telling the judge you have a clean record and that you have it with you. Then state your case, sticking to the facts ...and always be polite to the judge and officer. Dress professionally. Seems like common sense but I've seen people get really worked up, mouth off, and then just dig their hole deeper. Good luck.
 

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jeff8875 said:
I would say not to count on a police officer not showing up, they are under normal circumstances required to show up.
Not true here. However, they do get 4 hours of overtime pay for showing up. Many will go, but if they have families, it's a 50/50 chance. I've gotten out of many tickets by taking them to court.
 

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Unless you have hard evidence that you weren't speeding, I suggest just going to traffic school and being done with it.

A friend of mine went to court when he got a false ticket, but lost because the policeman basically lied.

It used to be that police weren't payed to go to court, but now they are, so don't count on him not showing.

I just did traffic school on Saturday. It sucks, but at least you won't get points on the license, and traffic schools aren't exactly difficult (and you get pizza with some of them).

FYI - In San Diego, we have 'MrTicket'. A lawyer (shiver) who specializes in getting rid of tickets with a 90% success rate. You might have a simular 'service' in FL.
 

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Not that it would help in court, but the local police set up one of those radar speed display trailers in my neighborhood. I was checking the speedometer accuracy on my Miata using it, when the speed jumped up about 5 MPH. It turns out that another car turned the corner and was now about 75 yards behind me when I was about 50 yards away from the radar. I guess the radar profile of the Miata was much smaller than the other car's, and the radar locked onto it...

Tim Mullen
 

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There is this thing call Continuation for dismissal. You plea bargain and go on probation for one year promising that you dont get a moving voliation. It does not show up on your driving record. All you do is end up paying the court fees and the ticket. This way your insurance company does not know...
 

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An ex cop friend of mine told me the following about their radars a while back:

They set up an alarm for certain speed over the limit. Once it triggers they look around to see who the culprit/s is/are, they pick one and proceed.

The alarm has a variable pitch, higher freq for fastest speeds, I guess done by design to anoy them so that they will give more tickets since they don't want to hear that high pitch alarm.

So the question is, were you alone? did you tell the officer about the two cars in front of you that hit the brakes? they could have triggered the alarm, and by the time he/she looked the other cars could have slowed down and they thought it was you, since the officer saw your approach rate to the "now" slower cars.

I don't know if it will help, but if I was you I'll stay with the facts, specially if you told the officer about the two other cars in front of you hitting the brakes.

Two cars in front of me hit the brakes, so I caugth up with them, that's probably when the officer looked towards my direction and assesed I was at fault when it was the other two cars in front of me.

I've explained that to the officer (if you did mention anything to him/her)

I have a witness that saw the other two cars (if someone was with you) and try to remember make, model and/or color to sound more convincing.

If you have a clean driving record ( no speeding tickets for a long time ) state so and bring proof if possible

Don't tell the judge your nickname on elise talk :)

Don't argue, just listen to the officer write down your answers so that you won't interrupt him/her and then state your facts when it's your turn.

Still chances are the cop will win, so I agree on going to traffic school if it's an option.

The lawyer option to change the date of the case until the cop doesn't show and win by default is also an option. I don't like it myself, since it's used by people that were actually at fault. If I speed and get caught, it's my fault and I'll pay the ticket/driving school.
 

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You can ask for defered adjudication. You will be put on probation anywhere from 30 days to 6 months. If you're good, it will be totally dismissed.

You will, however, still have to pay all costs. You also might be able to do all of this through the mail and not have to go to court.

I did it before here in Texas. Did everything in the mail and was only put on probation for 30 days.

Ken
 

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i still haven't gone to court for mine, i have to show up before Aug 4th
 

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Even if you're not adjudicated, I'm relatively sure that insurance companies can see the ticket on your record. Only if you're dismissed will the ticket be cleared.

Pleading "no lo contendere" (no contest) is an option here in FL - ALLOWING the judge to withhold or defer adjudication. However, pleading no contest in no way guarantees withheld judgement. I had a judge adjudicate me and order a 12 hour traffic school (ugh) a few years ago simply because I had pled no contest too many times.

If you have a relatively clean record, it's definitely the cheapest and easiest way to go, though. Also, you only get to elect traffic school a limited number of times. Having withheld adjudication or court-ordered traffic school allows you to reserve those elections in case your record becomes too muddied to go to court anymore (like me).
 

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WorldGoneWild said:
You can ask for defered adjudication. You will be put on probation anywhere from 30 days to 6 months. If you're good, it will be totally dismissed.

You will, however, still have to pay all costs. You also might be able to do all of this through the mail and not have to go to court.

I did it before here in Texas. Did everything in the mail and was only put on probation for 30 days.

Ken
never heard of this, I'll try it though. I have to go and let the clerk know that I want to see a judge. I can't take traffic school so i need to talk to someone. Who is it usually, the clerk or the judge? What should i say that i want to contest the ticket? And if the cop shows up i should change to "no contest/w traffic school"?
 

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I always just pay them, except when I am waiting for a new Elise and am worried about insurance rate. :) Then I take Defensive Driving. I'm always guilty though.

A friend of mine just did jury duty for a 20 year old guy who was fighting a speeding ticket. He said that the kid showed up very well prepared. First he cross-examined the officer to establish that there were multiple cars in traffic along with a curve in the road and a slight rise. Then he asked about how the radar works, and how the officer knows which car is guilty. Finally he broke out a diagram of the area and got the officer to admit that it could have been one of the other cars. The kid won, but he sure went to a lot of work.

In Austin you get to meet with the prosecutor before you decide whether to take it to court. They usually stress that the jury is usually irritated that you took them out of work for piddily ticket, so they increase the fine. :0
 

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Call the Judge's office. May sound dumb but here in PA they are generally pretty nice if you call up and ask for some options. BE NICE and just tell them your situation (quickly) and they usually will be helpful. May not change the outcome but you could figure out a deal to keep points off of your record.
 
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