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HOW TO: Fight a ticket w/o a lawyer
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What failure looks like
 
nrcooled's Avatar
 
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HOW TO: Fight a ticket w/o a lawyer - April 13, 2009, 09:30 AM

I see a lot of "OMG I gotz a mad big ticket y0!!!" or "I need a lawyer to help me with my reckless ticket" and I figured that I would post up my advice that I always give.

The following steps are my plan that has worked for me three different times in different counties within VA. I won't address MD since I've never had a ticket there but someone else can post up their process for that.

I've had three reckless tickets in VA and not one has stuck. This is what you do:

1. Get your driving record from VA DMV (request an official copy from the website which will run you $5 or $10)
2. Arrive at the courthouse EARLY
3. Find your arresting officer and discuss with him/her different options. Explain your situation and ask for leniency
4. Go with your arresting officer to talk with the Commonwealth Atty (they will be the one prosecuting you)
5. Try to make a deal to have it dropped to speeding or improper driving
6. ImportantIf this fails and they will not make a deal with you then ask for a continuance once your name is called in the courtroom
7. Hire a lawyer ASAP!

By doing this you can save yourself about $2000 in lawyer fees, assuming it works but I haven't had this fail me yet. Make sure you are "suited up" and looking good. No jeans, t-shirts, or other non-professional ware should be worn to the courtroom.

I currently have no points on my license and I have been stopped for 84 in a 65 - dropped to speeding, reckless general (cop saw me but couldn't catch up to actually pace me on the motorcycle) - dropped to improper driving, and 78 in a 60 in the Evo - dropped to speeding.

WARNING: This is also contingent upon your driving record. If your record is littered with infractions and violations then you should just put a lawyer on retainer or learn to control yourself better.


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April 13, 2009, 09:36 AM

I forgot to add that this is pretty much all a lawyer will do for you but charge you $500 - $3000 to do it.

The only way a lawyer can help is if (s)he happens to buddies with the commonwealth att'y and can get you off via a "friend" hook-up but I highly doubt that they are going to use a favor to get you (a complete stranger) off.

Also, this doesn't apply to DUI/DWI.


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Now with a TBSP of love
 
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April 13, 2009, 09:38 AM

Thanks
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TPG - screw face
 
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April 13, 2009, 09:55 AM

i agree with this thread

Last edited by Oneway; April 13, 2009 at 09:58 AM..
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April 13, 2009, 10:40 AM

Yeah, and make sure you go to the right courtroom when you go in early...

I made that idiotic mistake once, thankfully I was early enough to make it to the actual court room on time, had to sit around for a long process, and ended up still getting out of all my infractions but if I hadn't broken a few infractions to get there in time, I would have been paying big $$$
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April 13, 2009, 10:47 AM

Good one.

If I may add something... if you can get "referral letters" and/or do some community service from the time of stop to the time of the actual court you will also increase your chances.


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April 13, 2009, 11:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MANIMAL View Post
Good one.

If I may add something... if you can get "referral letters" and/or do some community service from the time of stop to the time of the actual court you will also increase your chances.
Very good point!

There is absolutely nothing to loose by trying this method. By law you have the right to a continuance to get representation. Don't show up to the next date without a lawyer though They will f*ck you if you do...I've seen it happen.


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TPG
 
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April 13, 2009, 11:34 AM

definitely won't work in MD, you cannot speak with the officer ahead of time, there is no prosecuting attorney
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April 15, 2009, 07:12 AM

maryland traffic court is just a revenue generator. getting off is simply a matter of luck. you are always guilty unless you can prove you are absolutely innocent.
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April 15, 2009, 09:44 AM

3. Find your arresting officer and discuss with him/her different options. Explain your situation and ask for leniency

Where do you find the fella? Is he usually just walking around? Do you have to page him through the intercom?


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April 15, 2009, 12:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRaj View Post
3. Find your arresting officer and discuss with him/her different options. Explain your situation and ask for leniency

Where do you find the fella? Is he usually just walking around? Do you have to page him through the intercom?
They are typically waiting outside the courtroom just like you would be. I've never had an issue finding my arresting officer but if you can't find them you can ask the clerk.

They have to check in so the clerk should, at least, know if they are there or not.


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April 15, 2009, 01:43 PM

If you happen to go to Fairfax Court House. If you go in the main entrance, after the screening area you will see the information desk right in front of you. Directly to the left of that is the police check in. Every officer there for court will pass through that office. If you can't find your arresting officer in front of your assigned court room you can wait from them to pop out of this office.


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December 9, 2009, 11:28 AM

Tip 1. one thing i did to get my reckless driving (car) ticket reduced to a regular speeding ticket was to sign up for an online defensive driving course. www.idrivesafely.com is an example. it costs around $50 and takes a couple hours if i remember correctly. i printed out the certificate and receipt and brought it with me to talk to the commonwealth attorney (mentioned above). it is basically showing that you are being proactive and are willing to learn, which hopefully shows you won't be a repeat offender.
Tip 2. many times officers give you multiple tickets. if any of them have a prepay in advance option or anything that does not require you to come to court, then pay those and print out receipts and show them to the commonwealth attorney.

this might be in other threads already but i just saw this and thought i would put in my $0.02
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December 9, 2009, 11:50 AM

I am going to be trying this next week when I go to court for my reckless.





MY SPELLING SUCKS....DEAL WITH IT



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need more knee down
 
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December 9, 2009, 11:52 AM

wow this is old. Ill add to it though.

I got a 89 in a 55 ticket in PWC and after a continuance to provide my MD driving record I was still owned lol. it's finally off my record though....i think. This was a lil over 3 years ago when I still lived in MD. The judge didn't care about my good record and the attorney, cop and judge all said my speed was so high they just couldn't "sweep it under the rug". Of course some rich kid before me got a 87 in a 45 but since he had a lawyer he got speeding......i was bitter.

In terms of MD. I've had 3 speeding tickets tossed out with a PBJ (probation before Judgement). Now I haven't had a md ticket in over 3 years so it may have changed but if your record is clean and the judge calls you up, you can provide a "guilty with explaination" and basically pour on the butter. If you were respectful to the officer and you dress right, show some manners and can talk properly then it normally enough to get the judge to put a PBJ on you for a year. Literally, i had a PBJ on sa speeding ticket and 3 weeks after it ended i got another ticket. Because a PBJ is gone after the 1 year term, getting another one just shows you still have a clean record.


~Lou

Last edited by LVegaJr; December 9, 2009 at 11:55 AM..
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