Totally OT: Traffic court

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Totally OT: Traffic court

    So I have to go to court tomorrow for my first ever speeding ticket. I was (allegedly) going 60 in a 45 on the pike and got $150 ticket, and I decided to fight it. Has anyone ever fought a ticket? What happens in court? What do I say to the judge? My record is totally clean and I didn't know I was speeding because a) it's the 90! And b) it's not like Boston has adequate signage. If any of that matters. It probably doesn't. I'm scr3wed, right? I hope the judge isn't mean. I'm kind of a crier.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Ugh!  No fun.  Where on the pike is the limit 45??  Right after the tolls, maybe?  I can't recall ever seeing a sign that said 45.  I've never fought a ticket, but from friends who have I've heard that often the officer doesn't show up, which automatically means you win the case.  But it was a while ago that I heard this and am not sure if it's still true, or is true everywhere...

    Good luck!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    If you are in Concord District Court, don't bother going.  I used to have to sit through traffic court while waiting for motion session to begin. You don't have a prayer if the officer shows up. 

    The judge  won't be mean [in most instances] but if the officer shows up, they are going to go w/ what he/she has to say. Basically, unelss you can prove that the radar was not working or is somehow otherwise deficient, you are SOL. 

    Basically, the case will be called and the officer will state his/her name and read the report word for word into the record. The judge may or may not ask questions.  You will then have an opportunity to question the officer.  It's generally not worth your while to do so b/c you aren't likely to get anything out of them that is not in the report, and depending on the  tone or number of your questions, you can come across arrogant.  You will then be able to present your case. It will be over in about 10 minutes or less.  And you will likely leave w/ the ticket. Unless the officer does not show up. If he doesn't show up the case will just be dismissed.  If that happens, do not present your case - just ask for the judge to dismiss the case b/c the commonwealth did not appear.  If the officer does not show, do not agree to reschedule if the court asks.  [I've actually seen this happen!]  Pray that it's the officer's day off or that he/she had night shift the night before and just wants to go home at the end of shift.  GL.

    PS don't call the judge "Judge". It is "your Honor".  I've seen attorneys do it, and judge's who don't mind it, but it always grates; it's rude so don't do it. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Poppy, I haven't even been back to MA in over a year, but I used to drive the Pike daily. It' s 45 after the tolls, slower approaching [I think or that could have just been the EZ pass lanes], and 45 in construction areas. It was marked, but you were usually too busy watching traffic to notice the signs!  lol. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    WPP, when I fought a ticket, I said, "I have no excuse for what I did, and I'm here to ask for your mercy."  And, I got what I asked for.  But, in your case, I'd say I was going with the flow of traffic which in your opinion is the safest way to drive if not to the letter of the law.

    By the way, the cop who pulled you over doesn't have to show up anymore for it to stick so even if he doesn't show you'll have to say something.

    If they are all the same as it was for me, you go at the beginning of the court hearing times, first come first served.  The bailiff comes and gets you when it's your turn, and you plead your case in front of the magistrate.  I think I waited about 20 minutes and my case was dismissed, ticket abolished, in 30 seconds.

    GL!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Thanks, ALF! It's South Boston. You know where 90 and 93 split going east? It's right there. I never noticed a sign, but I guess it's there somewhere. A cop sits on the side of the road and picks people off. There were three other cars there when he got me. I hope he has better things to do than show up at court! I have a bad feeling about this though. I'm so annoyed that my insurance will likely go up over this. It just went down. I'm the slowest fri..ggen driver on the planet. Seriously. Everyone hates riding with me. If you were ever behind me, you would shake your fist at me and rage.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    This makes me crazy.  Anyone driven rte 95 lately? Or rte 2?  Speed limit on both is 55, and if you are in one of the right-hand lanes going anything under 70mph EVERYONE IS RIDING YOUR A$$!!  And where are the cops???  They're all sitting on the pike looking for measley 60 mph-goers.  Ridiculous.

    WPP, I've never done what you're doing, but I kind of like what Kar said about saying you did not see the sign and were going with the flow of traffic, which seemed safest to you, but that typically you are in the right-hand lane going the speed limit or slower.  That this was an anomaly.  Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket before?  If not, wave that around as well (nicely).
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    That gives me hope, Kar! I'll give myself to the mercy of the court. ALF, would they take my driving record into consideration at all?
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongrl. Show bostongrl's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    A couple of years ago I got a ticket for doing 60 on Storrow where the speed limit is 40. I showed up at Brighton District court, and there is a State police officer there who stands in for all the officers for all the tickets being brought to court that day, so it wasn't the officer that pulled me over.  My ticket was brought before a court magistrate, not a judge, but it could be different depending on which courthouse you go to. 

    Like Kar, I simply said I was pleading ignorance.  I was following traffic and didn't realize the speed limit was that low.  I didn't get the ticket completely dismissed, but he did reduce the fine to $50.  It unforntuately does show up on my insurance, but I just accepted that I was a big girl and had to suck it up.  As much as I don't like having that on my record, at least I"m not 16 and have to tell my parents that their insurance is going up.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    WPP, remember, they are SICK to DEATH of songs and dances.  Keep it simple.  Something like, "I was driving with the flow of traffic so as to not create a hazard, but I realize that driving over the speed limit is against the law, and I'm asking for your mercy."  (Practice it until you can say it pleasantly and naturally.)

    And, even if your cop doesn't show up, it doesn't matter, anymore - you are still on the hook.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    I'd make a stink if an officer who was not the one who pulled me over was the onew who appeared.  Not to get too technical, but that's hearsay, and is not compentent evidence to establish the commonwealth's case.  The officer who conducted the stop and made the report needs to be present.  You have the opportunity to cross examine, but how can you do that if the officer who pulled you over is not present??  But I would not make such an argument tomorrow.  I'd pull caselaw and have a brief to present on the issue if I were in the same situation; that's probably not going to work for you. lol    

    I would tell the judge you didn't see the sign and were going w/ the flow of the traffic.  I'd mention your good driving record as well and ask for the court's mercy. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    I was told by the bailiff that retrieved me they don't require the cops to be there, anymore.  Not sure why if that's the case why they'd have a stand-in cop...none of it makes sense.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Okay, a ticket isn't a crime, in most instances; it's an infraction.  So I  guess they could have passed a law not requiring the officer to be there. I don't have time to research it.  If you are being charged w/ a violation, hell yes, you want the officer there.  Depending on what it is [violation wise], unless the job application exempts minor traffic violations, you technically may need to report this as a crime you were convicted of when applying for a new job.  So yeah, if it's a violation, you want the officer there.  For a speeding ticket, it's probably an infraction and you have nothing to worry about. 

    But unless a judge or the DA or some other lawyer tells you something that has legal consequences, it's best to ask the judge.  The bailiff may have seen a lot [and they have] but he or she is not a lawyer.  The people in the clerks office where you will pay the ticket or make arrangements to do so, will not be able to answer your questions [most have signs up telling you that]. I would not put it past the state police to blow smoke and tell people that they don't need the ticketing officer there in the hopes that no one objects. 

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    WPP, my DH got the exact same ticket in the exact same spot.  He went to court down by gov't center and the magistrate dismissed it before he even said a word!  They said, "You look like a responsible guy, don't do it again."  He also had a clean record.

    Me on the other hand, I fought 2 in Natick (years apart) and got reductions, but not dismissals.  

    So, it couldn't hurt to fight it!  At the very least you'll likely get a reduction!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Good luck WPP!! I fought a ticket in Norfolk County (Quincy District) recently and won because the officer didn't show up.  I'm an attorney, and, like ALF, I was prepared to fight the ticket and question the cop.  When nobody appeared for the Commonwealth, the Mag dismissed the case and told me to be careful on the roads in the future.  Worth a shot.

    The only thing you have to lose is that you have to pay a fee to contest the ticket, I forget how much it is, and if you lose, you end up having to pay the fee PLUS the amount of the ticket.  It's a gamble worth taking though, IMO, because in the long run its more cost effective to keep your insurance down/point free. 

    GL!!  Let us know how it goes!!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from MissWolff. Show MissWolff's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Hi WPP-  Sounds like it's Boston...there is no fee to dispute in Boston. My co-worker just went in last week. His ticket issuers (yes, more than one) were not required to show.  The burden is on you.  However, these were parking tickets, so maybe this is different? It wasn't even a judge, just some lady sitting there. 

    I would just go with the ladies' recommendations above and say you were going with the flow of traffic, etc.  I know a few people who have gone in Boston and they have either gotten the ticket dismissed or reduced, so it's probably worth it.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    I did go to Concord District court for a speeding ticket. I was speeding, and really, just like Kar said, pleaded for mercy, lol.  There were a few of us there who all got caught in the same trap.  Anyway, they did reduce the fine, so I was happy I went (and the cop did show up).

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Case dismissed! Woo hoo! ::does a little dance::

    I was sooo nervous. It was the magistrate and I just pleaded a good record and intention to go the speed limit, and he just said, "Looks like the officer estimated your speed. You have a good record, so I'll give you a warning. Be careful and don't do it again." 

    Oh, I feel so good. I drove to class today going exactly the speed limit and annoying everyone around me. :) Thanks for your input, everyone!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Woo hoo - great news, WPP!!!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Oh good!  I specifically went right here when I logged on to see what happened!  congrats!
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from MissWolff. Show MissWolff's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    Awesome!!!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from SSBride09. Show SSBride09's posts

    Re: Totally OT: Traffic court

    WPP, I had literally exactly the same situation 2 years ago.  Got pulled over in that same spot doing 60 in the 45.  I didn't have any prior tickets so I fought it and they dismissed it.

    In Boston you go into a room with tons of other people contesting their tickets.  I had maybe 2 minutes in front of the judge (no officer showed).  I just said something along the lines of "I was driving with the flow of traffic and didn't notice the speed limit had changed.... sorry".  The judge waived the ticket and said it was because it was a first offense and not a high speed I was traveling.

    Good luck, and I think it should work out fine for you!
     
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