When people get pulled over by the police, they often give excuses or reasons why they were speeding. For instance, someone may honestly claim that they didn’t know what the speed limit was at the time, so they didn’t mean to break the limit. Or they may claim that they were just lost in thought and they weren’t paying attention to their speed.
But these are just reasons why the infraction occurred, not defenses against a traffic ticket. In fact, people sometimes assume that there is almost nothing they can do to defend against this kind of citation. But this is a misconception. There are actually some defenses that can be used against a speeding ticket.
What options do you have?
Defenses to a speeding ticket can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the ticket and unique factors that impact every traffic stop. Some potential defenses that individuals might use to challenge a speeding ticket include:
- Inaccurate Speed Measurement: Challenging the accuracy of the speed measurement device used by law enforcement officers. This could involve questioning the calibration and maintenance records of radar guns or other speed detection tools.
- Mistaken Identity: Claiming mistaken identity if another vehicle was mistaken for yours or if someone else was driving your car when the violation took place.
- Faulty Equipment or Vehicle Malfunction: Demonstrating that the speed was a result of a malfunction in the vehicle’s speedometer or other mechanical issues beyond the driver’s control. Changing tire sizes can sometimes affect speedometer accuracy, for instance.
- Necessity or Duress: Similar to emergency situations, claiming necessity or duress may be a defense if the driver was compelled to speed to avoid greater harm or danger. That said, emergency claims – like rushing someone to the hospital – don’t always override a ticket. An officer usually still has the option to give out that ticket, even if they think the driver’s choice was rational.
- Errors in Procedure or Documentation: Challenging the ticket on the basis of errors or mistakes made by the law enforcement officer in recording the violation, including incorrect date, time, location or vehicle details.
It’s essential to understand the specific laws and regulations in the area where the ticket was issued and to review the circumstances surrounding the citation to determine the most appropriate defense. If you have gotten a citation, consider seeking legal guidance accordingly.