Dear Attorney Cheng, I was driving along the freeway with my 3 girlfriends in the carpool lane. We were driving just over the speed limit, 70-75 mph. Suddenly, I saw the blinking lights of the police officer. He then told me that I was going 95 MPH and cited me! It is impossible that I was going that fast because I had another car in front of me and another car behind me. Is there any way I can contest this? In addition, he was very rude! Just because my English was not good he was very cold and told me to be quiet when I tried to explain myself. Jackie – Riverside
Dear Jackie, you have raised several questions that need answered. I will answer them in reverse order. First, if you ever feel that a police officer is treating you poorly you can always ask for their badge number. Asking for a badge number effectively allows you to complain about their actions. In many jurisdictions complaining about an officer is a permanent record on their employment file. Most likely, they will treat you with much more respect once you ask, so don’t be afraid to exercise your rights! Now, let’s talk about your speeding ticket. Most in jurisdictions, you have the options of contesting your ticket by writing in. (It is located on the back-side of the ticket in small print). The great thing about contesting a ticket by writing is that police officers hate to write. Many do not realize but an officer’s job duties require him to spend time writing, sometimes just as much as they spend patrolling. In fact, written work is one of the biggest complaints among police officers. Knowing that, I recommend that if you feel that you did not do something wrong, to contest the citation by writing. You will then force the police officer to do what they hate to do. I have found that the odds that the police officer will contest the ticket are greatly reduced when they have to write. Another issue people frequently ask is whether someone should contest the ticket in person. Normally, if you are debating between contesting a ticket in writing vs. in court I recommend the former. The reason is that police officers are more accustomed to speaking then writing. They speak for a living and only write when they have to. Also, I find that people write much better than they speak in court. Usually in Court, a person has a tendency to say much more than is necessary and
refuse to get to the point. Judges are turned off. In writing, one is usually concise and focused. Hence, the probability is much higher in contesting a ticket. Good luck. I hope you win!
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