Defenses That Rarely Work

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Face it, saying "I didn't do it," or "the officer's lying," without presenting any specifics to back up your contention is highly unlikely to result in your being found not guilty. Similarly, generalized statements about the possible inadequacies of radar or laser techniques almost never result in your beating a speeding ticket. Even if you successfully point out minor inaccuracies on your ticket, such as the officer mistaking the color, make, or model of your car when writing the ticket, you will rarely get off (assuming, of course, the officer appears in court and convincingly explains why your conduct was illegal).

Below we present a laundry list of poor defenses:

  • You claim you were honestly mistaken about the law (as opposed to a particular fact, as would be the case with a hidden stop sign).
  • You argue your violation didn't harm anybody. The fact that your illegal conduct was not dangerous is not a winning defense, except when you are cited for speeding in states where it can be legal to exceed the posted speed.
  • "The officer was picking on me." This is called "selective enforcement" and is often raised by a motorist who claims the ticketing officer ignored others who were also violating the law. To win with a "selective enforcement" defense, you have to take a huge additional step and show that the officer had a specific and improper motive to pick on you.
  • Tell a sympathetic story. The fact that your child, your mother, or your parakeet was ill will not get you off.

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