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Why You Should NOT Plead Guilty To Traffic Tickets

UPDATE (November 7, 2016): I finally got to talk to a real cop regarding what happens when you get a speeding ticket out of state, which I will write about as a separate blog post in the near future (with a link to it posted here afterwards). I'll also start answering all the old questions in the comments section shortly (ALL NEW COMMENTS WILL NOW GET A REPLY WITHIN 24 HOURS). Stay tuned! :)

Today I'll show you exactly what you need to do if you get a traffic ticket, especially the one you get for speeding. The first thing you should do is figure out approximately how much the ticket will likely cost you. If you got a ticket while you were away from your car (broken tail light, expired registration tag, illegal parking, etc.), chances are it'll be on the cheaper side (meaning well below $100, and in the case of those "fix it" tickets, they typically get dismissed once you fix that tail light). But if you got a ticket for almost anything else, even a "rolling stop" will cost you well over $200 these days. No wonder why we see so many pathetic popos shooting radar guns behind trees and whatnot instead of doing their real jobs of catching rapists, murderers, etc. Read on to figure out how the court procedures exactly work and how you can fully take advantage of its dumbass system:

1) Your initial court date will most likely be at least three months away. Show up with your ticket (because sometimes the court might not be able to locate it because the cop was being lazy in submitting it, misplacement, etc.), get in line and go to the information booth first (paying close attention to where exactly you will need to go on the actual trial date), and just plead NOT guilty. The judge will set a trial date, which will most likely be at least another six months away. Afterwards, make sure to go to the room next door where you need to sign some paperwork before going home.

2) (Optional) Show up around a couple weeks before the trial date (by repeating the procedure above), and try to delay the trial date as much as possible. Make up some bullshit, saying you couldn't get a day off for the upcoming trial date due to project deadlines, etc. The judge will almost always give you an extension (as long as you don't show up like the day before, which is too late). The longer you delay the trial, the more likely that fucking cop will not show up (and you walk away free). But if he does, at least you'll have the pleasure of knowing that since he's trying to rape you of your hard earned money, you should at least return the favor and make the loser waste his worthless time by forcing him to show up too. Don't give up without a fight, right?

UPDATE (December 3, 2016): Make sure you know the deadline for delaying the trial date. Google "change court date" for more information (typically 10 business days), but it's best to call the specific court for 100% accurate information.

3) Show up on the trial date, do NOT go to the information booth, just go to the trial room (the information booth should've stressed this to you already to let you know exactly where to go on step #1). Don't be late, because once the judge starts calling names and if you're not there but the cop is, he automatically wins, you lose, AND you'll also have to pay an additional $300 fee called a civil assessment (or civil fine, civil penalty, etc.). But if you're there and the cop isn't, you just struck gold because the case will automatically be dismissed and you won't pay jackshit! Chances are though, both of you guys will be there (but again, you won't feel too bad knowing that at least you forced the cop to show up too, wasting his time). And here is where it gets interesting and where you need to pay special attention to what the judge does next. After the names are all called for, which will be associated with numbers (you should take a note of your number), the judge will most likely start asking if anybody wants to change their pleas. Unless you are absolutely sure you will win, this is where you want to change your plea (or else you will end up being guilty anyway and pay the fine in its entirety). The reason is that you will almost always get a reduction in your fine. Here's how it basically works:

A) You raise your hand.
B) If the judge asks what your number is, say it.
C) Approach the bench, and simply say: "Your honor, I'd like to ask for a reduction of the fine". Nothing more (he won't give a fuck whether you just lost your job), nothing less (he might not give you a reduction if you don't ask for it).
D) The judge will ask the pusillanimous five-o if you were cooperative when you got caught (which is why you should never argue with the fucker in the first place, as that will almost always work against you).
E) Assuming you were cooperative, the asshole will say yes.
F) The judge will grant you a reduction (typically up to 25% of total fees).
G) He'll also ask if you'd like to take traffic school, to which you should probably say yes if you have full insurance coverage (because it'll go up like a motherfucker) and maybe no if you just have the minimum required by law (because it won't go up nearly as much and you also most likely won't want to waste your precious time doing retarded shit that doesn't really teach you anything useful).
H) Go to the room next door where you need to sign some paperwork and either pay in full or set up a payment plan (there is an additional fee, but no interest whatsoever) before going home.

And that's it. The court system varies across the country, so YMMV (but the above is how everything typically works). Good luck.

P.S. So when should you consider just paying? First is when you're well off and don't have the time to fight the system. You can just pay the fine via mail and be done with it. Second, you got the ticket in the same state you live in but far away from home. In this case, you should most likely just pay (unless you're 100% sure it's not your fault, in which case you might want to dig deeper to figure out how the process works for long distance cases). And last but not least, if you got the ticket in a different state (while driving across the country or whatever), I believe it's kinda up to you: If you're not gonna visit that state ever again, there's no need to pay (because they won't suspend your license in your home state). But if you're gonna visit that state again in the near future, your decision whether to pay or not will probably depend on how many times you've already gotten a ticket in that state. Think about it. If you got a ticket a few years ago that you never paid, the dickhead cop will probably just give you another ticket and also strongly recommend that you pay the goddamn fine this time (as well as the old ticket). But if you have a history of keep getting pulled over for speeding, chances are you will eventually get arrested at some point.

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