Fighting a state trooper-issued speeding ticket

Discussion in 'Northeast - Greater Flugistan and home of the carp' started by antonac, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. antonac

    antonac Commuter

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    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.
    #1
  2. Happy Seal

    Happy Seal Long timer

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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!
    #2
  3. ghedunk

    ghedunk Adventurer

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    your f@@@ed.
    #3
  4. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    So the short story is that you were caught going 15 over, after dark, in deer country. :huh

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

    Fwiw, the LEO who cited you was trying to avoid a repeat of this impromptu asphalt breakdance. :1drink

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

    .
    #4
  5. AWM

    AWM Beard Bros Racing

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    Good luck!:lol3


    Welcome to the club,,give'm the money and get on with it.Thats all its about anyway.:puke1
    #5
  6. vonotto

    vonotto Been here awhile

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    Get a lawyer who specializes in traffic fines. fight it, it's the best way GL
    #6
  7. Mark_O

    Mark_O Drain Bamaged

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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...........
    #7
  8. Tammy

    Tammy Team 2nd Wind

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    And he was on a KLR :lol3
    #8
  9. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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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! :wink:


    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!
    #9
  10. sallydog

    sallydog AVERAGE 78.1 MPD

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    faster than everyone else is a sure way to be the one that gets pulled over. :deal if you wanna be seen better get a flashing / strobe tailight modulater

    <object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/toI8GheP43o?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/toI8GheP43o?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

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

    <object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-clUZflmIZ4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-clUZflmIZ4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
    #10
  11. thomas.tc.young

    thomas.tc.young Been here awhile

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    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.
    #11
  12. thunderkat59

    thunderkat59 Cooter on a scooter

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    ♘ ④⓪②⓪⑤ &#9816
    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. :eek1
    :freaky

    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.
    :thumb
    #12
  13. sallydog

    sallydog AVERAGE 78.1 MPD

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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 :lol3
    #13
  14. ADV NY

    ADV NY unsportsmanlikeTAGER

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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.
    #14
  15. haystack

    haystack Just ride

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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.:deal
    #15
  16. dennis461

    dennis461 2-smoke rules

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    DO NOT CURSE AT THE CLERK OVER THE TELEPHONE WHEN ASKING ABOUT THE COURT DATE.


    :flush
    #16
  17. ADV NY

    ADV NY unsportsmanlikeTAGER

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    do tell do tell :lol3

    NYS officers have a est by eye that has to be made with a tolerance of 5 mph, so if Est at 80mph if it applies to PA you can request an adjustment based on the officers tolerance, bring you down to 75mph
    #17
  18. FIDOLLAZ

    FIDOLLAZ Dirty D

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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BYHfRQ6Nn1c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #18
  19. shrineclown

    shrineclown Vaginaterian

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    :rofl That is what I was thinking when I read it, and had to read it again. If I was the cop he would have gotten a gold star and hershey's kiss for hero of the day award.
    #19
  20. antonac

    antonac Commuter

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    Yeah, it is a pretty shitty argument when put that way. I only pointed this out because in some states the burden of proving imprudence is actually on the state, regardless of the posted limit. In PA from what I gather the interpretation is a binary value, so legally speaking that argument is worthless.

    I was very polite to the cop, and I suppose in return he didn't bait me with any of that "do you know why I stopped you?" or "do you know how fast you were going" nonsense.

    I'm not prone to histrionics, I just don't want it going on my record because I may one day get a CDL. So with the above suggestions I'll put the $7 down, request discovery, and see if I can get it to non-points.

    Traffic court sucks. I've played this game before under different circumstances. While it's a bunch of bullshit, it's highly routine for these guys, and I'm sure it doesn't take much to be likable compared to most of the people they deal with. Besides, how many motorcyclists do you think this guy pulls over when it's 19 degrees out? That's got to be at least a little charming...
    #20