The New York Criminal Law Blog

Can You Talk Your Way Out of a Speeding Ticket?

Who says you need a lawyer? If you've been caught speeding, you don't have the luxury of having a lawyer present.

And besides, it's really not always worth it to hire a lawyer so that you can fight a pesky speeding ticket. After all, your legal fees might be more than the ticket itself.

So you need to know how to smooth-talk your way out of a speeding ticket. Here are five ways it can possibly be done:

  1. Break out the water works. Tears have been known to work. As one ex-cop tells SmartMoney, crying profusely has been effective. Well, at least for women. We don't want to imagine what would happen to a man who tries that tactic. It would likely backfire.

  2. Make it a calm experience for the officer. Turn off your engine. Make it easy for the officer and lower your drivers' side window before he gets there. Place your hands on the steering wheel and don't fish around for papers or documents until asked. This puts the officer at ease and less stressed when dealing with you.

  3. Don't volunteer information. When the officer asks you if you know why he's pulled you over, it may have been for something other than what you initially presumed.

  4. Be nice. Don't pick a fight with the officer and show respect to the officer. Stick in a polite "sir" or "ma'am," or better yet, just "officer" at the end of every sentence. And just don't argue or pick a fight. The bigger jerk you are, the more chances that the officer will have it out for you when you decide to appeal your ticket. You've heard that some officers just won't show up in court when you fight your ticket, right? Well, if you're rude, you'd better believe that the officer won't make that mistake.

  5. Ask the officer for a warning. This might be your only bargaining chip. You have nothing to lose if you ask politely. Or, you can ask the officer if he can write you up on a lesser speed. Of course, this won't always work, but if all else fails, it's worth a try.

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