How does a driver with a squeaky-clean record (previous to this) handle a speeding ticket from a town that has national notoriety for a history of shady ticketing practices?
I've never been issued a speeding ticket before, and was issued a ticket this past Saturday, about 45 min outside the city I live in. Details: 83 in a 70 mph zone, on the interstate on a clear day. I was tagged by a laser, as opposed to a radar gun, apparently, as well. The fine is approx $210, and the officer said I can probably attend driving school to get points removed from my license -- this school costs about $125, on top of the fine, of course.
I'm looking for any advice about what to do about this ticket, and whether to contest it in court. I've gotten such a wide variety of conflicting answers in my internet search and chats with locals. I don't know what court fees will cost, yet. I suppose I can find this out A lot of people asking this question online seem to have multiple offenses, and dont mention this driving school option, so I guess I'm trying to weigh the court/contesting route against paying for everything like fine and or/the school. I'm also a freshly minted Ph.D. with no signed contract on a job yet, so, yeah, money is a bit of an issue.
But, perhaps even more of an issue is that I found out from local friends that this particular city is a notorious speed trap. Then, in looking this up on the internet, I found several articles that chronicle the speed trap reputaion, and the town's move to remove the mayor, based on mandates regarding ticketing, and possible racial profiling.
local paper: State sues to remove mayor
New York Times
This confuses me even more, in terms of my ability to contest or argue down my charges/fine. On one hand, this news makes me want to argue against it more. (I'm not hispanic, but I'm multi-ethnic. Apparently hispanic looking enough that people will walk up to me and speak spanish. "Solomente un pocito espanol! lo siento!")
Then again, I think to myself, "Without documented proof of your speed, how can you ever beat this?" In general, I'm NOT an ass or speed demon on the roads, like a lot of people. However, I'm getting tanner with every sunny day. This can't possible help me showing up in court, I'd imagine.
Thanks in advance for the help.