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Old 01-24-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
antonac OP
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Fighting a state trooper-issued speeding ticket

Hi all,

On my way north in Pennsylvania a few days ago, I was stopped after doing a claimed 80mph in a 65mph zone while passing someone on Rt 22 near Port Royal. I realize that this is deer country, but this section of highway has steep berms on either side and is actually lit by sodium lamps. The flow of traffic was 75mph, and I make it a point to go slightly faster than the flow - especially at night, because the KLR isn't exactly the most visible thing.

There's no prima facie for 'prudent' in Pennsylvania despite the fact that going that speed may have been reasonable for the conditions (which were clear but included a forecast winter weather advisory, making it a priority that I get to my destination hastily), so I'll assume that trying to argue the citation away is a non-starter.

What I am seeking advice on is the likelihood that in consideration of the fact that I was not actually sustaining this speed, was otherwise riding safely for the conditions, had a pressing need to reach my destination in the face of impending bad weather (which would likely quickly strand me), and have a fairly clean driving record for distance covered, that a traffic court would be willing to alter it to a non-point offense. I've never dealt with a speeding ticket before, nor the state police, so any experience you can share will be appreciated.

I don't currently have points on my license, and my only insured vehicles are two bikes. Whether I will own a car in the near future is uncertain, but I have no current plans to.
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antonac screwed with this post 01-24-2012 at 02:25 PM
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
Happy Seal
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Man up and go see the prosecuter! They might drop it if your willing to make a charitable donation. Tell them you will get fired if you get points on your license. They do not want more unemployed on the system. I was told to say that by a very very good source!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:04 PM   #3
ghedunk
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your f@@@ed.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:06 PM   #4
Tosh Togo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antonac View Post
Hi all,

On my way north in Pennsylvania a few days ago, I was stopped after doing a claimed 80mph in a 65mph zone while passing someone on Rt 22 near Port Royal. I realize that this is deer country, but this section of highway has steep berms on either side and is actually lit by sodium lamps. The flow of traffic was 75mph, and I make it a point to go slightly faster than the flow - especially at night, because the KLR isn't exactly the most visible thing.

There's no prima facie for 'prudent' in Pennsylvania despite the fact that going that speed may have been reasonable for the conditions (which were clear but included a forecast winter weather advisory, making it a priority that I get to my destination hastily), so I'll assume that trying to argue the citation away is a non-starter.

What I am seeking advice on is the likelihood that in consideration of the fact that I was not actually sustaining this speed, was otherwise riding safely for the conditions, had a pressing need to reach my destination in the face of impending bad weather (which would likely quickly strand me), and have a fairly clean driving record for distance covered, that a traffic court would be willing to alter it to a non-point offense. I've never dealt with a speeding ticket before, nor the state police, so any experience you can share will be appreciated.

I don't currently have points on my license, and my only insured vehicles are two bikes. Whether I will own a car in the near future is uncertain, but I have no current plans to.
So the short story is that you were caught going 15 over, after dark, in deer country.

-It looks as though the best course of action is to continue your education regarding the ins & outs of traffic court.

Fwiw, the LEO who cited you was trying to avoid a repeat of this impromptu asphalt breakdance.

Man up, pay the fine, and call it a learning experience.

.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #5
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Good luck!


Welcome to the club,,give'm the money and get on with it.Thats all its about anyway.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:22 PM   #6
vonotto
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Get a lawyer who specializes in traffic fines. fight it, it's the best way GL
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:31 PM   #7
Mark_O
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Received a performance award for 80mph in a 55mph in May of '09 from Officer Fedder, of the Pennsylvania State Police. I plead not guilty by mail and appeared in court. It was reduced to 60 in a 55. Show up, don't be a dick, and throw yourself on the mercy of the court.
If you were polite at the traffic stop you should do alright. If you were not...........
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
Tammy
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Originally Posted by ghedunk View Post
your f@@@ed.
And he was on a KLR
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:51 PM   #9
Navin
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I had a KLR too. I believe the Officer might be lysdexic, the top speed was right around 58 with the slide bending the top plate of the carby and both hands twisting the grip!


Ask for a plea bargain to a non moving or non points violation. Your defense is basically admitting that you were speeding by what I read, that'll never work! Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
sallydog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antonac View Post
The flow of traffic was 75mph, and I make it a point to go slightly faster than the flow - especially at night.
faster than everyone else is a sure way to be the one that gets pulled over. if you wanna be seen better get a flashing / strobe tailight modulater



i use a "spinner" replacement bulb. no one ever got close to me

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Old 01-24-2012, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallydog View Post
faster than everyone else is a sure way to be the one that gets pulled over. if you wanna be seen better get a flashing / strobe tailight modulater






i use a "spinner" replacement bulb. no one ever got close to me




and hi-viz gear.

either way in these situations your usually guilty and you have to prove your innocence which is gonna be hard. it's up to you to fight it but if there are no points issued i would pay the fine and forget about it.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:02 PM   #12
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A PA State Trooper ?
Sorry, you lost. I would just soak it up and pay it rather than take the time and lose more. A District Justice in backwoods Pennsyltucky is like a scene from Deliverance.
The first thing he will do is ask you if you were speeding, Hint: DONT say yes.
If you try to work a plea or 'gift' thing out, he will threaten to jail you for bribery. If you have the balls to question him or ask why he has Dueling Banjos playing in the background, he will threaten you with contempt. The cop I went up against my last one in PA, obviously couldnt remember who I was, what I was driving and any other specifics of the case, so he just lied about everything. I pretty sure the judge (Harrisburg PA) was drinking before-hand too . . . Like something out of a bad teenage angst movie.


The good thing is, I think in PA if you dont do anything to trigger a check on your record, your insurance provider will never find out. I got 3 points in one shot and with my State Farm policy, my insurance actually still went down every year I didnt make a claim or anything to red-flag my policy.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:06 PM   #13
sallydog
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if you got a ticket for speeding then your beat. you cant get out of a speeding conviction by trying to provide a good reason why you were breaking the law... "i broke the law because im afraid to ride near cars at night so i try to race ahead of them, for safety" your only hope is to plea it down to a lesser penalty

i robbed the bank because i was afraid the bill collector was gonna take my house away
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:52 PM   #14
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I don't know PA Law, I can tell you PA DMV is among one of the worst in the north east which can work in your favor for your insurance company not find out about your points in a timely fashion. Never admit to being guilty of a violation, many souls have been lost for the right to plead the 5th, don't take it lightly.

In NY it is near impossible to win a speeding summons as long as a speed sign was past (if marked posted speed) the officer is trained and he has Identified said motorist its a guilty (leaving out the other fluff.) If your willing to go to court there is no harm to ask if you can amend the charger to disobeying the speed sign (traffic control device.) without addmiting your speed. I would never recommend a lawyer for a Highway Patrol or State Trooper issued summons, unless it is a must appear and they can go in place of you. Traffic lawyers know just by the name on the summons if they can win it or not. But that will never be explained.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:38 PM   #15
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When is your court date? You should contact the court clerk and make a discovery request right away. Every thing that the LEO will bring to court is available to you prior to the court date. He must provide his radar certification and calibration as well as any notes that he made to refresh his recollection. Once you examine his case against you, you will have a better idea how to proceed, either with a trial or a plea.

Do not go to court without doing your homework.
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