1. talk to the prosecutor before your hearing
Call the prosecutor ahead of time, or arrive early the day of your hearing to speak directly. Some prosecutors will work with you on your ticket before it gets to the judge.
If you're lucky, the prosecutor will make you an offer.
It's not entirely uncommon for prosecutors to reduce the speed charged, or even wipe the ticket and replace it with a minor infraction. Judges normally don't like to tie up our already overworked legal system with small potato cases. If you're lucky, the prosecutor will understand this and make you an offer.
Other times, some judges will hold your case open for a period of time, such as six months, and will dismiss it if there are no interim violations. If the judge throws you this kind of bone, consider yourself lucky, and chalk it up to your flawless driving record.
2. go to court, reduce your penalty
Basic speeding tickets can sometimes be reduced to something along the lines of an "equipment violation." Depending on what state you're in and what law applies, this usually carries fewer demerit points than a speeding ticket. Also, insurance companies might pay less attention to these types of convictions, which could save you money. To reduce it to an "equipment violation," you'll probably need proof that your equipment was broken, such as the speedometer. A repair slip from an auto shop may do the trick.
If you're nailed with a 6-point ticket, consider whether it could be amended down to a "Failure to Obey an Official Sign" which in Wisconsin is a mere 3-point demerit. Also, in Wisconsin, "Inattentive Driving" is usually a 4-point demerit. 4 points are a bummer but not as bad as the 6 you might face otherwise. If your ticket is too much for you to handle, consider calling up a local attorney
Don't get in over your head - if your ticket is too much for you to handle, don't hesitate to call up a local attorney familiar with the local laws that apply to your situation. He or she should be able to give you an idea on what your rights are. Consulting a local traffic law expert, if there are mitigating circumstances, could get your ticket wiped away from your record altogether. Or you may discover that it's not worth fighting at all. This could cost you some legal fees, but might be worth it especially if it avoids further expenses in the long run. No ticket can someitmes mean no hike to your insurance premium.
3. don't let insurance rates rocket
If you're lucky and a smart, safe driver, you've already scored a sweet auto-insurance policy. Know, however, that insurance companies that offer discounts for flawless driving are sometimes the same companies that kick you to the curb after one accident, even if it's not your fault.
The same goes for speeding tickets - sometimes the mere issuance of a citation and its indication on an accident report can be enough for an insurance company to hike premiums or cancel policies. The lesson to be learned here: check your policy and talk with your company to ensure you have the kind of policy that best fits you.
4. go to summer school
Summer school's a bummer, but with speeding tickets, it may be necessary. Some states offer a "point reduction course" where if you enroll in a driver safety class, you can improve your driving record. In Wisconsin, if you complete a simple course on traffic safety and defensive driving, 3 demerit points are wiped from your record. You can do this only once every 5 years. Some states offer a "point reduction course" to improve your driving record.
Courses like these are offered regularly at technical colleges and night schools. There are some associated fees, and you probably will have to file some sort of paperwork with your local DOT after you've completed the class.
Author's Note: This information presented on this website is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be construed or used as legal advice.
The reader understands that no attorney-client relationship can or will be formed by reading this article, because legal advice must always be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Without knowing someone's particular factual situation, it is impossible to be able to provide the reader with any legal advice.
Every effort has been made to assure that this information was accurate at the time of original publication, but it is expected to become out-dated as time passes because laws constantly change. It is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area. It should never be used as an alternative to conferring with a lawyer.
Article updated: 06/02/2009