Is It Worth It to Fight a Speeding Ticket?

Getting a speeding ticket is a truly unpleasant experience. It’s hard to overstate just how stressful, costly, and nerve-wracking the process can be. A ticket can also have a massive effect on your insurance rates. This is just one of the variables to consider. Time is another. Fighting a speeding ticket can be a worthy endeavor, but only if you put in the time and effort to make it one. Hopefully, this guide will serve as a point of reference should you decide to fight a speeding ticket.

Research, research, research

Police cars on a traffic stop at night
Police cruisers at a traffic stop | Joseph Prezioso via Getty Images

Now, you can always just hire an attorney and wash your hands of the matter. However, that doesn’t mean you should just hire the first BAR-holding attorney you find on Instagram. Do your research. Websites such as NOLO will have reviews for attorneys. It’s an industry practice to offer free consultations, so go to a few. However, there’s another parameter to consider when researching.

Learn about the law you’ve been accused of violating. How fast were you going? Were you doing anything else illegal at the time? Most importantly, does the speeding ticket match the series of events you have in your head? Read that ticket like a book, cover to cover. Finally, do some background research even if using a service such as Off The Record to ensure you’re being matched with a competent attorney.

So, you want to fight a speeding ticket

An empty courtroom, like the one you'll likely see should you fight a speeding ticket
An empty courtroom | Spencer Weiner-Pool via Getty Images

Should you decide you want to fight your speeding ticket, it is advisable to retain an attorney regardless. It may seem like a good idea to play “Suits” for an afternoon if your ticket is small enough, but fighting for yourself takes a lot of time and research, as well as a great deal of public speaking skill. Should you decide to fight the ticket yourself, make sure there isn’t anything on the line more than a few points off your license and a few hundred bucks. Never go it alone if your driver’s license is at stake.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that excuses don’t justify speeding in almost every circumstance. Unless someone in your car is in labor or dying, you’re out of luck. It’s also important to point out that you are innocent until proven guilty. If an officer doesn’t show to present the state’s case against you, you walk free. This is called moving for dismissal on lack of evidence in most courtrooms.

Sometimes fighting your ticket is worth it

A gavel on a judge's stand in a courtroom
A gavel sits on the Judge’s bench | Tom Williams via Getty Images

However, if you’ve contracted an attorney, you won’t have to worry about any of that. Depending on the severity of your violation, you’ll likely just pay your counsel once and move on. More egregious violations may require additional compensation for the time your attorney is taking to fight your speeding ticket. In some instances, it really can be worth it, especially in the context of insurance. Pay an attorney once, or pay your insurance company more per month. Finally, speak to an attorney before doing anything, they’re licensed professionals for a reason.

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