Make sure your car says, “I’m law-abiding”
Most officers decide whether you’re getting a ticket or a warning before they even approach your vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to keep your car maintained in such a way that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to drive it to a job interview. Keep it clean, decluttered, and free of bumper stickers that are anti-police or pro-violence. Forgo aftermarket add-ons like spoilers, tinted windows, and neon undercarriage lights. You want to say “I’m responsible and law-abiding,” not “I hate the police, I speed all the time, and I’m trying to hide something from you.”
“I’d like a continuance, your honor”
The more time you put between your speeding encounter and your court date, the better, advise some ticket dodgers. Imagine how many people an officer pulls over in a month. How many of them do you think he’ll remember six months from now, especially if you take your ticket quietly and move on? The more continuances you can reasonably request, the more time you have to collect your evidence and prepare your defense—and the less specific that officer’s recollection of you will be. Getting a continuance also increases the probability that the ticketing officer retires, transfers to another department, or just doesn’t show up for your court date. In almost all of these extenuating situations, the case against you will be dropped.
“There was no speed limit posted”
There are dozens of ways to have your traffic violations reduced or dismissed—opportunities vary from region to region, so check to see if these apply in your state or province. Here is just a sampling: The issuing officer does not show for your court date. Two officers were in the patrol car when you received your ticket, and only one shows for the court date. In many jurisdictions, both need to be present to recount their testimony firsthand. A factual error on the ticket itself (your license plate number, name, date, or other inarguable fact is incorrect) may get you off the hook. There is no correct speed limit sign posted within a reasonable distance of where you were pulled over (in the U.S. this distance varies by state, but is usually about 1/4 mile). Here are 10 more secrets cops aren’t telling you about beating speeding tickets.