Help prepare me for my day in court.
September 4, 2007 12:50 PM   Subscribe

What to expect if I contest a speeding ticket I got from a state trooper in Pennsylvania?

I got a speeding ticket for going 65 in a 55 on the highway near the Poconos. I have no tickets on my record. Does anyone else have any experience contesting tickets in PA? Will they most likely give me a lesser charge? Will the trooper likely show up in court?

Specifically looking for experiences from the state of PA. I know each state operates differently.
posted by hazyspring to Law & Government (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not just each state, each local court. In many towns the pleading system is quite organized. Show up with a reasonable driving record, agree to a higher fine (plus court costs) for a lesser no point violation. The town gets more money - win. You save on insurance - win. If this is not your town and you don't know anyone to ask, you might try calling the local prosecutor's office to inquire about the possibilities for pleading the speeding ticket.
posted by caddis at 1:55 PM on September 4, 2007

My case is in Ohio.

In my case I prepared well, and was offered a plea twice. The first time I smiled when I declined. The second time I asked if the prosecutor would recommend no points and a low fine. He recommended $25 and no points. Court fees were $85 plus a $5 for some copying fees caused me to pay $10 more than the original ticket.

This was the second ticket I received in 2 weeks, the prosecutor was well aware of this fact when we made the plea.

posted by TheDukeofLancaster at 2:25 PM on September 4, 2007

My best friend is a cop and we're in PA. He's not state, but local township so this might only apply to local cops. He suggests showing up early and trying to talk with the officer before the case is heard. I know several people who have done this successfully. His attitude towards you might sway the judge one way or another. It could also influence how he states the facts. I would also agree with the poster above about trying to pay more for less points. This is especially true if your job involves any driving making your license vital to earning a living.

My buddy also tells me that it is greatly frowned upon to miss court dates. This might be true in big cities where they're short-handed, but local cops usually get overtime for going to court. Almost every time my friend has a day off he has to go to court for at least part of the day, but he doesn't mind at all due to the overtime. I would guess state police are the same.

Despite the myths, I've found most cops to be very reasonable if you're not a jackass.

Good luck!
posted by bda1972 at 7:53 PM on September 4, 2007

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