Can You Beat a Speeding Ticket? How in Texas
Update March 2016
I have not received a traffic ticket in a long time. My license has been upgraded to class A commercial with restrictions because I was planning to take my truck driving test in Dallas and I have been getting warnings but no tickets. Cross my fingers and don't talk too loud, right?
Anyway, I have been told municipal traffic court has changed. Now you go to a place and enter a room. In this room is a screen and a webcam. You talk to the associate judge via webcam.
Or you contact a traffic ticket lawyer and let him handle it.
Beating a Speeding Ticket
Note: These tips and suggestions work in the state of Texas. Your state (or country) may have different rules and regulations, and the lawyer fees will be different.
Based on my experience, beating a speeding ticket in Texas can be simple if you follow a few steps...
1. Let the officer talk. Be silent as possible. Why? The officer writes detailed information on the back of the ticket. Don't give them information that could be used against you. Also, write down basic information like... address of traffic stop, time of day, etc. Sometimes that information is written incorrectly on the ticket.
2. Be certain the officer has your correct mailing address. PO Box is acceptable. Additional info: Don't admit to moving months ago. There's a fine for not updating your address on your driver's license on a timely basis.
3. Get a lawyer. Believe me, it's cheap! I found one lawyer in the Thrifty Nickel. The other one (Woodrow Bean III) sent me a postcard> you might find yours on the various links provided by Hubpages and its sponsors.
The first attorney I used for my so called failure to stop violation ... Rudy Perez on Montana Street in Central El Paso. It was quick and easy, the final trial date was the day after the 2008 Super Bowl very early Monday morning in a temporary building. You see, the courthouse was under construction. My case was dismissed. Don't know why. My guess? The policeman didn't appear. Cost: $50.
The second lawyer was Woodrow Bean III. He sent me a postcard and I paid him by credit card on the phone. Cost: $25 for my wife (no seat belt ticket). It got dismissed, no cost.
Each case the process took about seven months.
Why a Lawyer?
Good question! Here's a few reasons.
1. It's easy. They handle all of the proceedings. Pre-trial, continuances, trial, jury selection (if it goes that far), etc. You don't have to be there... Sign a piece of paper giving the lawyer the power to represent you. That's it!
2. It's cheap... Attorney fee: Fourty five or Fifty dollars ($25-$50). That's all!
3. You don't know the system. That's the truth!
Most tickets will cost at least $185 dollars, more for multiple violations.
I Tried By Myself - At first
Just to see how the system was set up. When you receive the ticket there's a court date listed on the bottom with the courtroom location. In my case I was directed to go to the one in the Northeast part of town (El Paso, TX) on Dyer Street. It's a fairly new building, inside the police station... hard to miss.
When you walk in there's a room marked Municipal Court. Or traffic court - don't remember, exactly. Anyway, you'll enter this room and a large individual will help you. The baliff. Then you'll wait in line behind ten to fifteen people. Don't worry, it's fast.
This isn't the trial. It's not even the pre-hearing. It's probably called an arrangement. You'll have an associate judge with a clerk and a person representing the prosecutor. At this point you'll hear other folks cases... one person didn't have a driver's license. I felt sorry for him. He didn't understand the system and needed legal representation.
Anyway, when it's your turn, the assistant will present the charge(s) to the associate judge, he or she will ask a few questions and then you'll plea... guilty, not guilty, or defense driving. Plea not guilty. You can ask for defense driving anytime during the legal process. Right now it's too early.
Note: If you have an associate judge at this arrangement he or she cannot make decisions because they are authorized only to accept pleas. They have the system set-up to process traffic cases fast to receive your money quickly.
After I plead not guilt -- I looked for and hired an attorney. Court dates conflicted with work.