traffic ticket blog

What we think . . .

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Barry D. Kowitt is one of the founding partners at Unger & Kowitt, where they have helped over 500,000 people fight back. 

In this blog, he shares with you his views on the traffic ticket system, as well as providing traffic ticket solutions that really work, no gimmicks. Hint: saying "my car doesn't go that fast" isn't going to cut it.

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How to Fight a Speeding Ticket. . .and Win in Florida

 

how to fight a speeding ticketHere we go with another installment in how to fight a speeding ticket in Florida. 

Almost all speeding tickets will be written after an officer captures your speed on a speed measuring device.  This device is basically a machine that determines how long it took you to go from one point to another and does some quick math and BOOM! your speed pops up.

There are times an officer will witness your speed independent of any electronic assistance and issue you a ticket, but you would have to be flying and probably committing some other offense such as weaving in and out of traffic for this to happen.  Even in that situation, the chances are an officer would cite you for something other than speeding because of the difficulty of proving your speed with nothing more than an eyewitness evaluation.

So, if we agree that most speeding tickets are going to be written with the aide of a machine, does this mean you are dead in the water?  Hardly, these machines all make mistakes, just like the human beings running them.

The first thing you need to know is that every one of the different types of devices used by the police must be checked, certified and calibrated every few months.  The purpose of this should be quite obvious.  If the government is going to rely on a piece of equipment to determine your speed and issue a speeding ticket, they need to be certain that the device is actually working properly.  If you are travelling at 35 miles and hour, the device can't say you were going 59 mph. 

As you can imagine, the more "requirements" the government has as it relates to having to prove anything in court, the more "opportunity" you have when they can't meet their requirement.  Paperwork can get lost or misplaced before your trial, and if the officer can't produce what's necessary, the case will be dismissed.

Now in addition to being able to show that the device the officer relied on was actually working properly, the officer is required to keep a daily log showing that the machine was tested the day your ticket was issued.  Again, if this document is not ready on the day of your trial, you're looking pretty good.

The other important piece of paper the officer must be able to produce is one that relates to the officer's ability to work these various speed measuring devices.  I mean, let's be honest, there must be more to using a radar gun than just aiming and shooting moving targets.  Thankfully there is, and the officers must undergo training and complete all the required testing in order to become "certified." 

If you're following the pattern, you will probably see this coming, but certification requires documentation and if they don't bring it to court, you can try and get the case dismissed on these grounds.

It's important to know that when you challenge a matter in court, the State (in a traffic matter, the police officer represents the state) has the burden of going first and presenting all the evidence against you.  You (or your attorney if you've hired one) have the right to look at this evidence and question the validity or inquire as to the accuracy of what's being offered against you.  

If you feel intimidated or overwhelmed, you can hire an attorney to go on your behalf.  I've written extensively on this blog about some of the benefits to hiring a traffic attorney, but you can read the five questions you must ask before hiring a traffic attorney by clicking this link or the button below.

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Comments

What you don't tell potential clients is that if they lose their case, they are in for additional hefty fines and court costs in addition to legal fees.
Posted @ Monday, August 19, 2013 7:41 AM by Huck Fine
Huck, 
 
Thanks for commenting on our blog. When you say “lose a case,” what exactly are you talking about. I assume, when you say “lose” you mean points, court costs (or fines) and any other penalties the court determines are fair. In our office, our success rate is very high, so that is rarely an issue. However, there are plenty of times, clients end up with court costs and we discuss them in depth on our blog. 
 
Court costs are something we talk about a lot here, and we’re happy to address them.  
 
In past articles, we've stated, “Fifteen years ago, the average court costs were between $40-$80 for a normal speeding ticket. Today, that cost has jumped to approximately $175-$250. Wow!” 
 
In another article, I detail what you can expect after hiring a lawyer as evidenced by this quote,  
 
“But what about the amount you are going to have to pay AFTER the case goes to court??? 
 
What you ask? "There's MORE money? It doesn't end after paying the attorney to take the case?" 
 
Before anyone can become a client of ours, we explain everything in detail and have clients sign documentation that clearly explains everything.  
 
I’m curious, we don’t have any clients named “Huck Fine.” Are you talking about a personal experience? If you give us a call, we're happy to discuss any and all aspects of a case. 
 
Barry 
Posted @ Monday, August 19, 2013 9:59 AM by Barry Kowitt
Can you please share the list of the devices which are used by the officers to measure the speed.
Posted @ Thursday, October 24, 2013 3:39 AM by Jimmi
Jimmi, 
 
Thanks for your question. Most of the speeding tickets in Florida are issued by police using either radar, pace clock, or Vascar (this one is used by the police in a plane or other high vantage point). 
 
Hope that helps. 
 
Barry
Posted @ Friday, October 25, 2013 2:06 PM by Barry Kowitt
What if a cop doesnt write a measuring device and everything was based on eyesight? Is thisvcase automatically thrown out? I got a ticket saying i was doing 49 in a 40 zone and no measuring device since he was at the stoplight begind me driving.
Posted @ Saturday, February 22, 2014 9:55 PM by neil
Neil, 
 
Great question. The simple answer to your question is "no", it's not automatically thrown out. I'd certainly argue that a speeding ticket in Florida should have verification of some type of speed measuring device. 
 
Good Luck. 
 
Barry
Posted @ Monday, February 24, 2014 5:33 PM by Barry Kowitt
The DOT only stipulates that "The speedometer must be accurate to within plus or minus 5 mph at a speed of 50 mph" So all vehicle speedometers only have to maintain a 10% accuracy at 50mph and there is no stipulation at other speeds, so that 10% margin could be higher at say 70mph and still be within DOT requirements for the law of the land. So how can any tickets be issued for say 77mph in a 70mph zone? 
 
Add to that, laser/radar also has a tolerance of accuracy, all mechanical or electrical devices have. Plus they have user error and can be directed incorrectly at a vehicle or in traffic. Lets say that is also a 10% error, most mechanical/electrical devices have a range of accuracy between 5-10%. 
 
Again, 10% speedometer error is acceptable and 10% detector accuracy is probable. So being clocked as doing 60mph in a 50mph zone or 84mph in a 70mph zone could all be put down to equipment tolerance. 
 
Is my theory correct?
Posted @ Tuesday, March 18, 2014 9:36 AM by Mike
Mike, 
 
Sadly, you are applying actual logic to the law. Doesn't always work that way. The law doesn't require you to know you were speeding for you to found guilty of speeding. Meaning, even if your speedometer was broken, it's not a defense to a speeding ticket. It's only a mitigating factor a court can consider when determining a proper sentence for you. 
 
Barry
Posted @ Saturday, April 12, 2014 1:44 PM by Barry Kowitt
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