What Is the Process for Fighting Speeding Tickets in Court?


Quick Answer

The process for fighting a speeding ticket begins by determining what type of state law speed limits fall under and then determining the method used by law enforcement that ultimately issued the ticket, explains Nolo. To successfully fight the ticket, the defendant proves the ticket was incorrectly issued under the law or that the officer incorrectly measured the speed.

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Full Answer

There are five measures for determining a vehicle's speed: radar, aircraft detection, Visual Average Speed Computer, or VASCAR, pacing and laser,outlines Nolo. The defendant can dispute the results of laser and radar detection by proving equipment malfunction or human error. To contest pacing, the defendant must prove that the officer did not travel a minimum distance. If VASCAR is the method used, the defendant can show the officer had an error in his reaction time or could not see clearly. Aircraft monitoring tickets require the defendant prove the pilot had a loss of view or there was an error in his reaction time.

The three speed limits used in a number of states are called presumed, absolute and basic, notes Nolo. For drivers in states with presumed speed limits, drivers are allowed to go over the limit if they can show conclusively the speeding was not dangerous. For drivers in states with absolute limits, there is generally no leeway or comparison of safe versus dangerous driving. Defendants in states with basic speed limit laws can content a ticket by proving they were not driving too fast for the road conditions.

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