Receiving a speeding ticket may not be quite as severe as some of the criminal defense charges we defend our clients against, but it’s inconvenient nonetheless. No one wants an offense on their record because they were driving just a few miles per hour over the limit. And if it’s not your first speeding ticket (or second, or third…) your penalties may be more severe – especially if you have received tickets in the past for running a red light, reckless driving, and other traffic violations.
Just because you’ve been pulled over for speeding, it doesn’t mean you must blindly accept the ticket. But if you plan to fight your ticket in court, there are certain things you can do to make the process easier for yourself. While there is no perfect answer for what to say to the officer when you are pulled over for speeding, here are a few things you should definitely not say when you are pulled over.
Do Not Admit Wrongdoing
Do not admit to speeding, not knowing the speed limit or wrongdoing of any kind. Refuse to answer any questions in regards to your speed or your knowledge of what the speed limit is. If the officer asks whether you know how fast you were going, one good response is to say that your lawyer told you not to answer those types of questions. And if the officer simply states you were speeding, choose a noncommittal response like, “I see” or “Is that so?” and continue to follow the officer’s lead. Now isn’t the time to be a comedian or debate what they are saying.
Do Not Be Rude or Combative
Make sure you are polite and courteous to the officer, no matter the situation. Rude behavior or an unpleasant attitude won’t get you anywhere. Also, be sure that you never argue with the officer, because anything you say to the officer can be used against you in court. If you let your temper flare you could slip up and provide information that will help the cop’s case.
It never hurts to ask the officer how his or her day is going, it may not change the outcome of the traffic stop but it’s always a good idea to humanize yourself to the officer. You never know; this small question could save you several hundred dollars!
Do Not Use Your Status to Influence the Outcome
This advice doesn’t necessarily come from a legal perspective. It’s just a helpful tip that may prevent your situation from escalating. Law enforcement officers don’t care if you’re the school board president, or if you know another police officer at their department. Even public figures like politicians, local business owners, and celebrities are not above the law. The “Do you know who I am?!” approach is rarely helpful, and it can quickly turn a routine stop into a high-temper situation where you might end up with something much worse than a speeding ticket – like a criminal charge.
Do Not Be Afraid to Consult An Attorney
If all else fails and you receive a ticket, you can still request a hearing and contest your ticket. There may be much at stake for you if you’ve received moving violations in the past, so don’t be afraid to consult with a Minnesota criminal defense attorney before your hearing. We can help you prepare for all possible outcomes.