My town has speed traps everywhere this year. I was caught in an area I thought was 35 mph but the officer told me I was in a 30 mph zone. He said I was going 41 - and I don't believe I was. There were other cars going by as well. Can you tell me if I can fight this?
Fighting speeding or traffic violations is a fairly tough proposition in general. Can you fight it, yes. The grounds on which to fight a speeding violation are very narrow. First, you can prove that there was no visible sign posted in the area. Second, you would have to challenge the reading on the officer's radar unit, which as you can imagine comes down to your word you were not speeding to the officer's word that he saw 41 on his radar unit and without some other evidence to disprove the officer's testimony, this will not win your case. Third, you can challenge the certification of the radar unit by obtaining the certification records from the prosecutor and also the certification records on the operator. However, the problem you can see above is that those challenges are all fairly limited. The only other challenge you can bring is witnesses that can somehow testify that you were not speeding at the time you were stopped. Other than these challenges mentioned, you can plead not guilty and hope the officer does not show up on the date of the hearing and then you can get the ticket dismissed. However, the WY laws do not prohibit this type of speed enforcement, so you would bear the burden of proving either the area was not posted with the proper speed or one of the other grounds I mentioned above.
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If I plead innocent and he shows up is there anything worse than just paying the ticket?
No, if you plead not guilty and he shows up, you can still change your plea and pay the fine. You can also speak to the prosecutor about perhaps reducing the fine to 5 miles over the limit instead of 11 over and many times they will make a deal with you.
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