How To Defend Yourself Against Speeding Charges
Speeding is a traffic offense, and just like other traffic offenses, you can fight it. Fighting the ticket certainly makes sense if you have some previous tickets, and the current strike would push your insurance premiums too high. Here are a few defenses you can use for speeding charges:
It Was Safe To Drive at that Speed
Speed limits are classified as either absolute or presumed limits. For absolute speed limits, any speed over the limit is a violation. For presumed speed limits, you are presumed to be breaking the law if going above the limit unless you can show that it was safe to do so.
Therefore, if you were driving in a presumed speed limit zone, then you can defend yourself by proving that the speed did not pose any danger to other motorists or you. In this case, the burden of proof shifts to you, and you can prove your safe driving by asserting that:
- Visibility was excellent
- Traffic was extremely light
- The road is excellently built
- Your vehicle is in a perfect condition
You can also argue that, even though you were speeding, you had a good reason for doing so. In this case, the reason for speeding must far outweigh the dangers of speeding. Some of the common justifiable reasons for speeding include:
- Coercion – for example, a carjacker forces you to go over the speed limit
- Actions of law enforcement officers – for example, speeding to give way to a police car responding to an emergency
- Necessity – for example, you had an injured/sick person who couldn't wait for emergency services
Note that legal justification is not a defense in all states. Therefore, before you invoke it, you must first confirm that your state allows it.
Invoke the Radar Defense
Finally, you can invoke the radar defense based on the operation of radar systems used to pick out speeding cars. These radar devices cannot single out a particular car from a mass of moving vehicles. What the device does is to pick out the car with the most reflective surface, so a mistake can happen, and the police can flag down the wrong vehicle.
Therefore, if you suspect that the officer stopped the wrong car, then you need to provide a reasonable explanation for the confusion. For example, you can say that the density of the traffic was very high at the time, so another car was picked. Note that this is not a defense you can tackle on your own; you need the assistance of an expert witness.
Having a lawyer like Michael B. McCord on your side will give you a much better chance of being able to fight a traffic ticket.