Should I Just Plead Guilty to a Speeding Ticket?
If you received a traffic citation for speeding, you have two options. The first is to enter a plea of guilty and pay all of the court costs and fines. Doing so my result in points on your driver’s license and could therefore result in increased insurance premiums. If you plead guilty or are convicted of travelling in excess of 5 miles per hour over the speed limit, you will incur points on your license. Your second option is to enter a plea of not guilty and obtain a summary trial date for your speeding case. By pleading not guilty, you will avail yourself of the opportunity to receive a negotiation concerning the issued charge. Therefore, in most instances, it is recommended that you plead not guilty upon receiving a traffic citation.
Speeding cases are fairly technical in nature. The Commonwealth, usually being represented by the police officer who issued the citation, must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The officer must prove the date, time, and location of the offense and that you were operating a motor vehicle on the highways or trafficways in Pennsylvania. Of course, the officer must also establish that you were operating your motor vehicle in excess of the posted maximum speed limit. While this may seem straight forward, there are specific issues that an officer must address or the case may be dismissed due to insufficient evidence. More specifically, the officer must prove that he utilized a state approved speed timing device, such as radar or vascar. In addition, the officer must prove that the specific speed timing device utilized was tested for accuracy and was properly working during the time period at issue. The officer also must prove that the device was calibrated within a certain period of time of the traffic stop. Finally, the officer must prove that the testing facility that tested the device for accuracy is a facility that has been approved by the state. Failure to prove any one of the above listed criteria can be grounds for dismissal.
Incurring points on your driver’s license can result in you having to take an administrative exam to maintain your driving privileges or in some instances, could result in a driver’s license suspension. Retaining an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to represent you concerning your traffic citation may help you avoid incurring significant consequences. We encourage you to contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your individual case.