If you’re like me you’re always rushing to work, to pickup or drop off the kids at daycare, to make hockey practice, the list goes on an on. Quite often, we don’t always pay attention to the speed limit signs and sometimes the law catches up with you. Your first line of defense should always be to be courteous to the officer. Yes Sir, Yes Ma’am, No Sir, No Ma’am should be the words out of your mouth. I’ve had officers let me go when I was 15 over the speed limit for being courteous and honest. Sometimes though, that just doesn’t cut it, and or the officers are trying to meet some monthly ticket quota. What can you do if you do have a relatively clean record but don’t have the money or don’t want to waste it either paying the ticket or paying a lawyer to get the ticket reduced to a non-moving violation? Ask the court for leniency, here’s how (you must have a clean record prior to the ticket):
- Write your local court or municipality that issued the ticket and ask the Court for a deferred adjudication
- Explain to them your mistake and the financial hardship it will cause if you are forced to pay the fine
- Explain your past clean driving record and how this instance was a lapse in good judgment and you will ensure to pay better attention and obey the law going forward
- Ask to be enrolled in a defensive driving course if they will not allow leniency (this is your last option as this may cost money, it may be better to not present this in your first letter, rather wait to see if your request is denied before proceeding with this option)
State laws vary regarding this leniency and not all states do allow this, it’s worth the try though if you’re unsure. A quick call to your local court house can save you time. If the state does not allow leniency and or defensive driving course, you must determine whether or not it makes sense to go ahead and pay the fine and accept the associated points on our license, or to hire an attorney to get the moving violation reduced to non-moving. Simply call your insurance agent and ask how much they infraction will cause your premiums to rise and compare those costs to the costs of hiring an attorney or lawyer. If the infraction will cost an increase in premiums of $300 per year and the lawyer and fines cost $200, it’s obvious what the better choice is. Good luck!
Inspiration for this post came from one of my favorite site’s in the world, Reddit.