Speeding Ticket Urban Legends
The purpose of Speeding Ticket Central is to provide information that will assist you in making the best decision regarding your speeding ticket. However, we sometimes have a hard time convincing someone who has heard one of the following urban legends. In the past speeding ticket urban legends were fairly harmless since the effect of a single speeding ticket was not significant. However, times have changed and just one traffic ticket can mean financial disaster, especially if you are the parent of a teenage driver.
Hopefully this article will prevent you from showing up in court expecting your ticket to be dismissed based on one of these speeding ticket myths. I’m sure it will reduce the amount of hysterical laughter often heard from the bench when a defendant actually tries to use one as a defense.
Urban Legend #1
“The officer refused to show me the reading on the radar gun. There is no proof of my speed so I cannot be convicted.”
There is no law in any state that requires an officer to show you the reading on the radar or laser gun. Most jurisdictions discourage this as a matter of safety. If the officer does show you, it is a courtesy only. If the officer says you were speeding that is all the proof the judge needs to find you guilty. Most courts will accept a simple visual estimate by an officer without speed detection from any device.
Urban Legend #2
“The officer did not have me sign the ticket. If I do not show up for court the ticket will be dismissed.”
Some states have a line on the traffic citation where you acknowledge the summons and agree to appear for court. It doesn’t matter if you sign or not,
you are still required to be in court on the date listed on the ticket. If this were true, nobody would sign and all speeding tickets would have to be dismissed. Not going to happen.
If you do not appear you will be found guilty, a fine will be added for failure to appear, and a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Quite possibly your driver’s license will also be suspended. Texas is the only exception. In Texas if you refuse to sign the ticket you will earn yourself a “Go Directly to Jail” card.
Urban Legend #3
“The officer made a mistake on the speeding ticket. All I have to do is to point it out to the judge and he will dismiss my ticket.”
The story we usually hear goes something like this: My car is pink, my hair color is purple and I am female. The officer wrote on the ticket that I am a brown haired male driving a blue car.
Judges give a lot of leeway for minor mistakes and will allow the officer to correct them. You have about as much chance as a grasshopper at a bird convention of getting a traffic court judge to dismiss you ticket based on the above scenario. As long as you name and driver’s license number are correct you are dinner.
Urban Legend #4
“I sent the traffic court more than I owed for my speeding ticket. When I receive the refund check I will not cash it. Since the transaction is not complete the ticket will never be entered on my record.”
I have saved the best for last. I am always amazed at the lengths an unbeliever will go to believe the unbelievable. This myth has been making the rounds of the message boards for several years. It is absolutely false and I am not going to argue with anyone again over this. If you have a passion for the beans and potato salad served at the county jail, go right ahead.
What really distresses me about a speeding ticket myth is that it may prevent someone from mounting a legitimate defense to a speeding ticket. With the drastic increases in insurance premiums often resulting from just one speeding conviction, a driver needs to know the consequences before entering the courtroom. There are legitimate strategies to reduce the effect of a traffic ticket. Belief in an urban legend is just not one of them.
If you know of another urban legend regarding speeding tickets please forward the story and we will add it to this article.
If you have a question about this site or a speeding ticket please call us at 800-550-3308 M-F 8to5 Eastern.
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