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The practice of issuing speeding tickets in New York likely dates back to the widespread introduction of the automobile on the streets of this state. With so much time having passed since then, a wide range of effective and ineffective defenses have been raised by drivers in efforts to defeat those tickets. Here is a brief examination of some things you might consider if you have received a speeding ticket.

The most basic principle: If you want to fight the ticket, don't pay it.

If you pay the ticket before choosing to contest the allegation that you were speeding, you have generally already admitted to guilt as far as a traffic court is concerned.

Assuming that you have elected to have your day in court, there are a number of approaches that have been found to be ineffective, if not counterproductive, when fighting a ticket:

  • claiming ignorance of the law;
  • arguing that nobody was hurt (no harm, no foul);
  • complaining that others were also speeding and you were singled out (selective enforcement, even profiling depending on the circumstances); and
  • claiming the ticketing officer was biased against you.

Try these on a judge, and you are probably wasting his or her time, and yours.

A key to improving your chances of defeating a speeding ticket is to hire a defense attorney. You may represent yourself at trial, but an attorney will already be familiar with many of the methods that you can use to defend yourself.

An attorney will be more familiar with how the traffic court system works, and how to make its mechanics work for you on a tactical level. There are ways to improve your odds, such as focusing on the infallibility of human beings as well as technology, and especially when the two come together.

You may be able to learn how to fight a traffic ticket in New York from your own "trial-and-error" experience, but errors you may make at trial could be an expensive mistake. An attorney can help you by bringing his or her experience to your defense, so you do not have to learn on your own.

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