Nothing makes a day go from bad to worse or even from great to bad than getting a speeding ticket. You could be having the best day ever. Get pulled over and get a speeding ticket and your day is ruined. You could be having the worst day of your life. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, you get speeding tickets. Tickets suck. That’s the long and the short of it. Well, what do you do now with that ticket? Were you even speeding? Can you contest the ticket?
Of course, the easiest thing to do is to suck it up and pay the fine. If you follow the directions on the back of the ticket, swallow your pride by writing the check and mailing it in then you are done with it and you never have to think about it again. However, every driver who has issued a ticket has the right to contest that ticket in court if they truly believe it was issued to them wrongly.
The laws are different in every state regarding how speeding tickets are handled. In some states you do have the right to have your ticket reviewed by a judge; this is called “bench trial” and a judge determines your guilt or innocence. In these cases, your decision is dependant upon the judge and what kind of mood he is in. Some judges hate to reduce or dismiss speeding tickets because it is good revenue. In other states, you have the right to a “jury trial” which is when a jury hears the merits behind you receiving the ticket and determines whether or not you have to pay the fine. Few states have developed a traffic division, and you would go directly to that division to contest the speeding ticket.
Most people do not know that you also have the right to inquire about the equipment used in the issuance of your speeding ticket. You can ask when was the last time the radar gun used was reset. Speeding tickets have been dismissed because of the length of time since the guns last reset. It calls into question the accuracy with which the gun determined your own speed.
Regardless of whichever way you choose to contest the ticket, bench trial, jury trial or traffic court, you have the right to appeal your ticket if you believe that you didn’t deserve to receive the ticket or if you believe you should not have to pay it. You would appeal your conviction through the court of appeals. The action you choose to go with is completely up to you.