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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got a speeding ticket on my own damn road a month or so ago. Speed limit is apparently 25 and I was going 44. The road is extremely poorly marked: ie- going one direction there is absoultely no sign for the 2 mile length of the road except for one 35 mph sign 0.5 miles before it ends. This is the direction I was going (but not to the 35 mph sign yet). The other direction has a sign stating a speed limit of 25 mph unless otherwise marked. 50 yards later another sign states 35 mph. I took almost 100 pictures of the road to document this unclarity and was planning on protesting it in court. I hoped to have the case dropped, or at least marked as a 44 in a 35 mph zone. So I went to my first court date where I joined in a line of people. Once I got to the desk, someone asked me if I would like to pay my fine. I said no, I will be pleading not guilty. So they told me to come back in 2 weeks. A few days before this court date, I realized that I could not go since I had a doctors appointment to evaluate my post-op surgery. I went to the clerk's office the next day to reschedule. They said that I had been deemed guilty and told me how much my fine was.

First - is this not unconstitutional? I am supposed to be given the right to a fair trial, correct?
Second - I am not overly opposed to paying the fine, but I am opposed to having this go on my otherwise clean record and affecting my insurance. ie - less than 10mph over is no points off my license.
Third - If I decide to fight this, I will need a lawyer, correct? If so, then this will ending up costing me way more than its worth.

So am I just screwed up the ass? Any advice?

For the record, I live in KY. Also, my license address is different than where I actually live. My license address is at my parents house in another city in KY. So the issue of knowing the 25mph unless otherwise marked in Lexington could be debated by this other city address on my license.

Thanks guys!
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

hmm... i'm pretty sure that if you schedule a trial, they can't just decide to make you guilty. just for that, i might find a lawyer. that aside, i don't really have any helpful advice.

i don't think there's any way this isn't going to cost you money.
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

It's not unlikely that they made a mistake. I have known people to show up for court with papers telling them to show up that day, and then the court says they were supposed to be there the day before and there is a warrant that is being issued for their arrest. In that case, you just have to show them the paperwork where they messed up and they should take care of the whole thing, if you have the paperwork that is.

Otherwise, I agree with Zarn, get a lawyer. I will never go to court alone ever again. I always get a lawyer now. It usually costs less than the fine, at least in the Houston metro area where there are tons of these types of lawyers competing against each other.

As for the "not being familiar with the roads" excuse, that never works. A lawyer brings many more better defenses to the table, like asking questions about when the last time that cops radar gun was calibrated and wanting to see paperwork detailing that information, etc.
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

No court can just "deem" you guilty. They made some sort of mistake. Did the clerk use the word "deem"? It seems like a pretty big mistake. If they did make a mistake, you should be able to get it cleared up very easily.

You are not necessarily entitled to a trial. Certainly not a jury trial, at least in most states. You can definately get a hearing before a magistrate, which is basically like a trial. If you double booked with a doctor's appointment, reschedule the doctors appointment.
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about Kentucky law. But it looks as though you failed to appear on your trial date so they entered a judgment against you; be glad they did not issue a warrant. In most states such a minor speeding ticket is not a jailable offense so the courts are allowed to enter a default judgment against you.

You might be able to handle his on your own but having an attorney will save you time and effort. There are ways to get the judgment vacated and either set for plea or trial. Contact your local Bar Assoc. and find an attorney who does traffic law.

As far as the merits of your defense: Typically speed limits must be clearly posted to be enforceable but it seems in this jurisdiction there may be a set base limit on all roads unless other wise posted. Ignorance of this baseline limit will not be a defense and in the absence of signs indacting a higher permissible speed the base limit will apply. This is why you need an attorney.

good luck and call a lawyer
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

You live in the area and you did not know that it was a 25 mph street? I find that hard to believe. How many times have you ridden that street? I suspect many times.

My residential area is a 15 mph area and there are no signs saying that. We all know that in a residential area it is 15 mph. Plus who wants a 15 mph sign in front of there house.

Step up to the plate, you were speeding in a 25 or 35 zone.

Pay the ticket and move on and keep your speed at 25 mph on that street from now on.

Do not feed the lawyers, there are too many of them.
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

Get a lawyer. or better yet find a friend that is a lawyer.
One of my best friends has been handling my minor infractions for the last 5 years.
I have 5 dismissals and 0 convictions...it cost me breakfast each time.

Really, A lawyer will at least give you fair representation. We all make mistakes....sometimes on purpose and then we get caught.
The lawyer is your safety net. it's the American way.
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

I don't know about KY, but this is how PA works. When you got the ticket, there should have been something on the bottom that your supposed to send in the mail, it states "I plead guilty to the offence and agree to pay the fine of xxx" or "I plead not guilty and request a trial" check one. If you plead not guilty and request a trial you have to send in the money for the fine anyway. Your first court date is at a magistrate, in front of the judge of your district. You do not need a lawyer for this (if you want one its your choice but not neccessary). Its you, the officer, and the judge. If you admit that you were speeding and give some excuse about not knowing the posted limit (a little tougher when its on your own street), most of the time they will give you a lecture about how motorcycles are dangerous and you need to pay attention to signs and what nots, and then lower your fine or drop it completely (trust me this works, my roomate had 3 speeding tickets in a month, same judge lowered the fine all three times). When they lower or drop the fine they will send you a check for the difference of the fine you payed and the fine they actually gave you on the court date.

If I were you I would go the clerk and explain that you didn't know you had to pay the fine before you went to court, and request a new court date. Also not good to try and change a court date, they don't like that.
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

I have paid for a lawyer for a ticket in my car (don't drive a bright red sports car). Since Missouri was a points based state the lawyer got it marked down to a non-moving violation and i padi the lawyer a flat fee and paid the fine and court cost. While talking to the lawyer i found out that it is a pretty normal procedure. In Missouri you pay double the fine and court costs and they move it down to non-moving. I would not have been able to do that on my own, and the lawyer actually goes in with multiple peoples speeding tickets does his thing and gets a bunch knocked out at once. If you do not care about the points and can be a good boy from now on, then pay the fine and move on. If you are worried about the points then pay a lawyer.
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

it's probably to late for this, but i have had more success without a trial. when you went to the court house you most likely had a chance to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. My friends have plead not guilty and have to go back a couple of weeks later when the DA is in court. I have had a bit of success pleading no contest and meeting with the judge right then and there. I've had a couple few tickets on my boat or car thrown out or reduced just on asking for leniency due to a good driving record. It seems like the traffic judge spends all day with drunk drivers and accidents that they will usually throw a citizen a bone. Good luck to you.
 

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Re: Speeding Ticket Troubles... help!!

In Cali they have to have a "speed survey" on each non freeway road to set a speed limit under the state max of 65 or 70 (urban or rural freeway), and if I remember correctly the speed of a road cannot be slower than 80 percent of the traffic goes. So at least in Cali on most non max limit roads a lawyer can get the ticket tossed as most cities do not have the proper current speed survey.

I would never go to court without a lawyer, but then again $$ are not a huge issue. I would view as same as going to surgery without a surgeon.

My lawyer got a stupid fast ticket dismissed completly for me. It does work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, so as many of you have said, it helps to have lawyers as friends. How about friends of girlfriends? Yep, my girlfriend was able to convince her lawyer friend to help me. She did her thing and got my back on the docket. She says that she will help me go over my case before my trial, as well. All for free :)

I'll let you guys know how it turns out.
 
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