Tips on how to beat a speeding ticket:
As I approach the City of Jordan on HWY 169, I glance at my new Garmin GPS. It says I am in a 65 mph zone, when in fact the posted speed limit is 55. This particular stretch of road is a known “speed trap.”
First of all, few are able to hire a lawyer to fight a speeding ticket. However, realistically, please know that if the State convicts you for speeding, your insurance can go up as much as $400 per year, as I have recently discovered after getting a speeding ticket last year. I was astounded! Over three years, that’s a $1200 bill!
Speed cases are difficult to defend, especially if the State has a radar reading to prove their case. However, if you are pulled over for speed, and particularly if you have any doubt as to the truth of the allegation, do not admit guilt. Remember, you have a right to remain silent, and anything you say can and will be used against you at trial.
However, when your Garmin says you’re in a 65 mph zone, and the posted speed limit is 55 mph, who’s to say what is true? Both are hearsay. Both are inadmissible to prove the content of their message. How then, does one prove where the speed limit changes? How do you know? How does the cop know? Does the cop know where the city limit is? The city limit is important, because speeds above 55 mph are often prohibited in cities.
More importantly, can you rely on the Garmin as your witness? In other words, there is room for reasonable doubt before a Judge Trial, if you assert this as your defense. Be prepared to present images of your Garmin as the speed is displayed on the screen, for example.
NOTE: For those of you who need to know, if your speeding ticket is in a 55 to 60 mph zone, get your speed reduced to 65 mph and it won’t go on your record. In all other speed situations, particularly if it is your first speeding ticket, it may pay to ask the City Attorney who is prosecuting your case, to agree to a stay of adjudication. You may still pay the fine, but it does not go on your record. As long as it remains off your record, the insurance company won’t see it.
Now, relating to the central question regarding the Garmin GPS: my vehicle’s speedometer registers 5 mph faster than the speedometer in my SUV. The GPS instrument is controlled by up to 20 different satellites tracking my movement.
Which reading is correct? I would argue that the Garmin is more accurate, primarily because the new tires on this car may not be the same diameter. The State would argue that the cop’s speed radar device is the most accurate. These are all compelling points for the Court to consider at Trial.
Note to Self: Slow down, and smell the roses.