Can I avoid paying the fines on out of state speeding tickets?
May 3, 2004 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Out of state speeding tickets. Any way to avoid paying the fine? Non owner, busted in Arizona, live in Mass, liscense from NJ. Which state DMV or RMV do I need info from?
posted by brent to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
Thanks for asking brent. I'm awaiting notification of my court date. I'm going to drive from Seattle to Bend, OR to contest a ticket I got there recently. $250 dollar ticket and I know the officer just guessed at my speed. So I too am eager for tips.
posted by vito90 at 10:37 AM on May 3, 2004

Bend Oregon's sole reason for existing is to give out tickets.

My wife has one in Colorado that is still there almost a decade later. With post 9/11 data sharing, they will never, ever go away.
posted by mecran01 at 10:41 AM on May 3, 2004

IANAL. From recent personal experience, there may not be a way to avoid the fine, but you may be able to avoid having the ticket on your driving record, getting any points, or having your insurance rates increased. You might also be able to avoid appearing in court.

I got a ticket in Delaware, and live in North Carolina. I got something called PBJ (probation before judgment) which meant that as long as I paid my fine and court costs, and kept my nose clean for 30 days after the judgment was entered, the ticket would miraculously disappear as if it never existed. I also didn't have to travel back to Delaware for court. I had to get a lawyer to make this happen, though, but traffic attorneys don't usually charge too much.

The underlying theory here, I believe, is that the state/municipality where you got your ticket is most interested in your money. Therefore, it's relatively easy to cut this kind of a deal. I've heard of coming back with a claim of faulty equipment or something, but again, you'd need a lawyer (in Arizona) to get that squared away.
posted by jennyb at 10:45 AM on May 3, 2004

I've been able to avoid hiring a lawyer or returning to the foreign state (VA in this case). In my case, I called up the clerk of court and explained my situation, she told me I could write a letter to the judge, and plead my situation in the letter. I then only had to call up after the court date to learn of the decision.

In my letter I asked to do traffic school and have the ticket dismissed. The judgement was court costs only, and traffic school. After sending in the certificate from traffic school, the ticket was dismissed, and I have no record of the incident. Everyone is happy I guess. I think court costs were $47, traffic school was around $50 and 8 hours of my saturday.
posted by reverendX at 11:33 AM on May 3, 2004

In 1976 I received a speeding ticket in Williams, Arizona for doing 35 in a 30 zone at 8:00am on a Sunday morning or something equally ridiculous. Anyhow, I still haven't paid it (I'm a resident of California). They haven't started extradition yet... I may be safe.
posted by Daddio at 1:26 PM on May 3, 2004

Response by poster: I was coming from Williams, Arizona on I-40 at 8:25 on Saturday coming back from the Grand Canyon. Odd circumstances Daddio. Since I don't own a car, I'm a insured resident of Mass with a liscense from NJ that I've kept current. Just trying to find a way to avoid my first ticket of any sorts from hurting too much once I do get a car.
posted by brent at 1:31 PM on May 3, 2004

An ex-girlfriend of mine has outstanding warrants in the states of Texas and Arkansas, due at least partially to undealtwith traffic violations. Her plan, and apparently it works fine, is to just drive around the offending states until the statute of limitations takes over. Your mileage, as they say, might vary.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:51 PM on May 3, 2004

I have a friend who simply avoided Texas for seven years, which was apparently the statute of limitations. However, I tried this on Nebraska about a year and a half ago, and they caught up with me in Utah and threatened to suspend my license. I therefore don't recommend the ignore-and-avoid route.

I have also had good luck contacting the court and cutting deals.
posted by weston at 11:58 PM on May 3, 2004

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