First speeding ticket. Should I go to court and try to fight it or just pay out and take the hit?
I was leaving my school from the east entrance (there are two) headed west and got clocked as going 41 in a 25 mph school zone (normally the speed limit is 45 mph). The officer pulled me over and gave me a ticket for doing 34 mph, just $160 and 1 point. Had he not lowered it, it would have been $300 some and 4 points.
However, there are some other reasons why I think I may be able to get out of the ticket:
- I am normally a very good driver, I keep speeding to an absolute minimum (2-3 mph over)
- This is my first infraction of any sort
- No accidents
- MOSTLY: The flashing sign that tells you that the speed limit is 25 mph is 275 yards west from the exit where I turned out of
I think that I may be able to get out of the ticket because the speed limit sign was not visible.
If the judge were to say that I should know when the school zone time were, here's my defense to that:
- In the morning traffic is so thick coming into school that nobody really goes over 10 mph anyway, so the speed limit signs don't do very much anyway.
- In the afternoon, I make it a point to either leave before (last period) or after all of the traffic is cleared out (and I'm guessing the school zone flashing lights are over, but I'm not sure because you can't see the signs) [reason why I was leaving at that time below]
- I had just finished a calculus final, and my brain was a bit frazzled to remember the non-visible flashing lights. Had there been a sign telling me school zone, I'm almost positive I would have slowed down.
- I'm almost positive that the sign has to be visible for the ticket to be valid
I don't know if it matters why I was leaving then, but I was taking my brother and his friend to a sports practice across town immediately after school, otherwise I wouldn't have been leaving at that time anyway. I don't normally take them, but my mom had chemotherapy that day so she needed me to give them a ride.
I am not familiar with the "get a ticket, go to court" gig. I've never done this before. If I were to go to court, could the court argue that I was actually going 41 when the cop only wrote on the ticket 34? I would much rather just pay what I have now than possible face paying that much and that many points. Or is my defense solid enough to not worry about it?
Last minute pertinent information:
I am already planning on calling and rescheduling my court date (thanks past MeFi's!). I live in Colorado. I am 18. Again, the normal speed limit in that area is 45.