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Talk Your Way Out of a Ticket
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Exclamation Talk Your Way Out of a Ticket - November 29, 2007, 10:28 AM

http://www.smartmoney.com/dealofthed...&ibshatkey=kan

NOBODY RELISHES AN encounter with the fuzz. But chances are you have friends who have the uncanny ability to weasel out of any speeding ticket. What's their secret?

"If you're a woman, crying profusely has been known to help," suggests David Matheson, principal of X-Copper Legal Services, a North American fraternity of former police officers turned lawyers. But, let's face it, unless you're a soap opera star, crying on cue can be hard to do.
The good news: There are many alternative ways to get out of a ticket. Mastering these skills is bound to prove financially rewarding. Speeding tickets can easily set you back $200 and result in painful hikes in your insurance premiums to boot.
Here's advice both on how to avoid getting a ticket and, if you aren't successful there, how to get your ticket dismissed in court.
When You've Been Pulled Over
Be on your toes, here: The first few minutes after you get stopped are critical. "If you're going to be doing any fast talking, do it before the officer starts writing the ticket," says Lauren Z. Asher, a New York City attorney specializing in traffic law. Nowadays, most ticket-writing systems are computerized, which makes it a whole lot harder to make that ticket disappear once an officer starts the paperwork. Here's what to do:

Stick 'em up
You've watched the show "COPS," right? Well, so has the officer who just pulled you over, who's now wondering whether he's got a homicidal nut case on his hands. So don't pull any fast ones. Put the officer at ease by turning off your engine, lowering your driver's side window and placing your hands on the steering wheel. Don't root around for your personal documents until the officer asks for them the motion may be mistaken for you hiding something or, worse, retrieving your handy Smith & Wesson.
Name-drop
It feels shameless, but go for it. If you have a police benevolent association, or PBA, card, hand it over with your license and registration. (Departments give these cards to donors, and individual officers hand them out to family and friends.) Keep in mind, though, that you'll get better results if you actually know an officer and have a card with his badge number on it.
Play dumb
When the officer asks, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" it's best to feign ignorance. "Sometimes it's a fishing expedition," explains Aaron Larson, a civil litigation and appeals attorney in Ann Arbor, Mich. The cop might have you for speeding for example, but not notice that you've got a blown-out headlight. No need to volunteer that information.
Kiss up
Obsequiousness works. Tack a "sir," "ma'am" or "officer" onto the end of every sentence, advises Jodi R.R. Smith, founder of Mannersmith, an etiquette consulting firm in Boston.
Don't argue
Being rude, sarcastic or combative with an officer can lead to more tickets (maybe he notices your seat belt isn't on) or a heftier charge ("reckless driving" rather than "failure to stop"). "He's got the pen and he's got the ticket book, and he's just going to say, 'Tell me when it hurts,'" says Matheson. And if you're really a jerk, you can bet the officer is going to remember you, should you later appeal the ticket.
Ask for a warning
"If it's pretty clear that the officer is going to ticket you, there's nothing to be hurt by asking," says Larson. More states are recording warnings, though, so getting one may decrease your chances of wrangling your way out the next time you're pulled over.
You Got a Ticket
Don't be so quick to pull out your checkbook. With a little time and effort, you may be able to avoid paying the ticket and, perhaps more importantly, clear it from your record.
One option, of course, is traffic school. The outcome of these day-long programs is arranged before you attend usually, the ticket will be cleared from your record. In this case, you'll still need to pay for the ticket itself, but you won't have to worry about insurance premium hikes and added points on your record. Of course, if you're a frequent offender, you might find that traffic school is not an option.
Fighting a ticket in court is a gamble, but it's one you may be able to win. The key, says Matheson, is proving that the officer and the court made a mistake. Here are some tips:
Don't count on a no-show
You'll often hear that to contest a ticket, all you have to do is show up ticketing officers rarely make an appearance at court. Not true, says Asher. It's considered a serious part of a traffic cop's job, she says. Many cities even schedule traffic-court hearings around an officer's schedule, so he or she can show up on one day at testify for a handful of cases.
Always plead not guilty
Pleading guilty with explanation (i.e., you did what you're accused of but for a good reason) allows a judge to reduce the penalty, but only if he or she buys your excuse. The offense still goes on your driving record and can affect your insurance. Better to plead not guilty. One exception, notes Matheson, is if the judge or prosecutor is willing to accept a guilty plea in exchange for a lesser charge, or dropped charges.
Get the officer's notes
While you were babbling excuses in the car, your ticketing officer was writing down everything you said, as well as details of the scene. Often, these notes are all officers have to rely on at court. In most states, you have a right to request a copy before your court appearance. That way, you won't be blindsided by what an officer says, and can further build your defense.
Polish your defense
Arguing that you didn't know you were in a school zone, or didn't see the red light because you were talking on your cellphone aren't viable defenses. According to Nolo, a company that specializes in do-it-yourself legal materials for consumers, there are two tactics you might try: challenging the officer's observations (I had the right of way, not the other car), or defending your conduct (I had to cross the double yellow line to avoid hitting a dog).
Bring evidence
Diagrams and pictures are always helpful, says Asher. They can help prove that an officer may not have had a clear view, or that your mistake was an honest one (say, if road markings were faded). For photos, include an identifying building, street sign or landmark in the frame. And make sure it's seasonal. Showing a stop sign partially obstructed with lush summer foliage won't help if you were ticketed in December.


R.I.P. Eric. You were truly like a younger brother to me. May you live on in all those you helped and reached out to help. You are truly missed!

tfinch: well, actually, if he did, that's fine cause it's in the pockets!
tfinch
: Mike, can you feel bubbles floating around in there?

tfinch: Bubbles! Yes! Gurgly bubbles!
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November 29, 2007, 10:43 AM

Good info. Other things you can do to set the officer at ease is to pull as far off the road as possible and angle your vehicle so as to afford him/her protection from oncoming vehicles. If at night, turn on your dome light. If it is not a safe place to pull over, don't. Waive your hand out the window to acknowledge you know you are being pulled over and find a safer spot to pull over then explain your actions immediately when the officer approaches.
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November 29, 2007, 11:48 AM

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/wayof...ver/index.html

There are few things more nerve-wracking, or more anxiety-producing for even the most law-abiding driver, than seeing the flashing red and blue lights of a police car in your rear-view mirror.


It doesn't always have to be a harrowing experience, even if you know that you were driving well over the speed limit, or that your registration is expired, or heaven forbid, you've had a few too many cocktails and are behind the wheel anyway.
There are a few simple rules to follow to make sure the experience doesn't have to be any more unpleasant than it already is -- considering that it's likely you will come away with a fat ticket.
We sought the advice of a former Virginia State Trooper, now retired and working happily at an intelligence analyst job for a federal agency in Washington, D.C. He asked that we not use his real name, "because I don't want people to think I'm trying to draw attention to myself," he said.
He chose a colorful alias, asking that we just refer to him as Trooper Tom. Here are his six tips.
Pull over in a safe area
First of all, the most important rule to follow is to pull over in a safe area, as soon as it is reasonable and safe to do so. "Don't pull over in a place that is going to put you or the officer in danger," says Police Officer Tom -- like a narrow left-hand-lane shoulder on a highway. "If you do that, the officer is not going to get out and risk being hit -- he's going to get on the loudspeaker and tell you to move over to the right shoulder, and then you have to negotiate traffic to try to cross the highway. That can be aggravating, and you don't want to lock yourself into a ticket by making the officer mad," he says.
Don't coast
Secondly, don't coast for several blocks before pulling over. "If you just keep coasting, the cop is going to think, 'What is this guy doing?' He may think you're stalling because you're trying to stash something," warns the police officer. "If you pass a few safe places to pull over, the officer is definitely going to think you're up to something, and that raises suspicion."
Keep the engine running
Surprisingly, Police Officer Tom also advises you not to turn off your engine, especially if you're driving an old beater that's not reliable. "I generally didn't like the citizen to turn off his engine, because if it's an older car, it might not start again, and then you're in a situation where you have to wait for the guy to call a buddy or call a wrecker, and he's mad because you stopped him -- I'd just as soon not have to negotiate all that," says the police officer.
Keep your hands on the wheel
Keep your hands on the wheel as the trooper or officer approaches your vehicle. "That's how people kill you -- with their hands," muses Police Officer Tom. "They can reach for a weapon or the gear shift, which can turn the car into a weapon. We always focus on the driver's hands, and if they're not on the wheel, we're immediately more apprehensive, and that doesn't help your situation if you're the driver."
Stay in the car
You should always stay in the car. "I didn't want anyone out of the car, ever," says Police Officer Tom emphatically. "If they get out of the car, I'm thinking they have something to be afraid of, like they're wanted, or intoxicated, and in either case, that's a safety issue for the officer," warns the police officer.
"I don't care if you're the baddest officer there is, there's always someone out there who's badder than you, and if we can keep them inside the car, that's the best way to keep from being injured. If they're inside the car, they can't fight you and maybe grapple for your gun and shoot you."
Be careful what you say
Being polite to the officer isn't necessarily a pre-requisite, concedes Tom. "I never demanded respect," the police officer insists. "I only didn't want disrespect. If you want to be rude and yell and complain and say you're going to file a complaint against me, that's fine, I heard that all the time -- just don't get physical. And don't use curse words in an aggressive way, because in Virginia, anyway, that can get you arrested for disorderly conduct."
The police officer details some of his more exciting or amusing traffic stops -- that is, when people did not take the advice he shared above, and paid the price.
Once, he pulled a woman over on the highway for violating the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) law. In Virginia, during morning and evening rush hours, vehicles traveling in the left-hand of some highways near Washington, D.C. are required to have more than one occupant. The ordinance is aimed at cutting down congestion by encouraging more drivers to car pool.
"She got out of the car and she was immediately extremely irritated," recalls the police officer in his Tennessee-by-way-of-Virginia accent. "I guess she was en route to a job interview. Now, I can put up with a lot of static, so it takes a lot to get me excited over an HOV ticket, but she was is in my face immediately, and she starts cussing and complaining, and she's actually making the process take longer because she won't let me write the ticket. I asked her to get back in her car, and she did, but in 15 seconds, she came roaring out again.
"This happened several times, and her anger kept escalating, and she kept yelling and cussing," continues Police Officer Tom with a wry laugh. "So finally, I had to roll my window up while she was yelling at me, just so I could finish writing the ticket. Well, I guess she didn't like that because she yanked my door open and said, 'Don't you ignore me, you m------- f------!' Well, that was it, she crossed the line there, so I cuffed her and arrested her for disorderly conduct and took her in."
The bottom line is that the original HOV violation was just a $50 fine, but the disorderly conduct conviction would have given her a criminal record, explains the police officer.
"And she had a job with the federal government, so a criminal conviction would have meant losing her security clearance, and therefore her job. So during negotiations between her attorney and the commonwealth prosecutor, she eventually paid a $2,500 fine in exchange for lowering the charge to a careless driving violation. So that turned out to be a pretty expensive outburst on her part."
One serious but amusing tale involved a driver who was "power-braking" his pick up truck outside a raucous Springfield, Virginia, bar at 3:00 a.m. He was extravagantly spinning and screeching his tires "and just filling the air with blue smoke and burning rubber," recalls the police officer.
"And he's doing it right in front of me at a traffic light. So I pulled him over, and he was clearly intoxicated, but he wasn't belligerent or anything -- he was a nice guy, an 'ol' country boy. But he failed every field-sobriety test I gave him."
This included a breathalyzer test, which revealed that he had a .18 blood alcohol level, more than double the legal limit for driving.
But the guy kept insisting that he be allowed to perform "his own test" which he claimed would prove he was not drunk. So finally, just out of curiosity, the police officer acquiesced -- with no guarantees.
"So the guy takes off running, and all of a sudden he goes into this cartwheel/back flip, with his cowboy boots on, and his legs go counter-clockwise, and he lands it, perfectly, in his cowboy boots, like he was a gymnast at the Olympics or something."

Conflicting reports! Inquiring minds want to know!


R.I.P. Eric. You were truly like a younger brother to me. May you live on in all those you helped and reached out to help. You are truly missed!

tfinch: well, actually, if he did, that's fine cause it's in the pockets!
tfinch
: Mike, can you feel bubbles floating around in there?

tfinch: Bubbles! Yes! Gurgly bubbles!
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November 29, 2007, 12:33 PM

lol that last one about the woman in HOV and the gymnastic drunk is funny


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i bet its the default name for discovered land
and they just clicked Ok
now all other countries have to start out as Newfoundland 2
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November 29, 2007, 02:06 PM

Good info.


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November 29, 2007, 02:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Widow Maker
Good info.
Whatever Brotha....your a Pro!

You should write a book!

LOL!


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November 29, 2007, 03:38 PM

I wish I knew to take my helmet off those two times i got pulled over last year. maybe i wouldn't have gotten 2 tickets. cop on a thread informed me later to remove the lid. makes sense.
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November 29, 2007, 04:34 PM

for the record I do not wear cowboy boots


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November 29, 2007, 07:05 PM

Don't forget to let them touch your boob.


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