Regardless of what our government would have us believe, these are tough times, and they don't look like they are going to be getting better anytime soon.
No one seems to have any extra money laying around, and the last thing anyone needs is an unexpected speeding ticket with a bill that can easily exceed $250.00. If you were unlucky enough to get pulled over, (and you didn't read my article giving you tips on how to avoid getting a ticket if you are pulled over by the police), you're probably wondering how you're going to manage to pay for it.
Well, what if you didn't have to pay for it at all or could delay paying it for almost a year? Would you want to know how to get out of paying a speeding ticket? And this tip isn't just for speeding tickets, it's for all traffic tickets issued in Florida.
As you know, when you get a ticket in Florida, you only get 30 days to tell the court how you wish to proceed.
Basically, you can pay the ticket within 30 days and get points. You can pay the ticket within 30 days, elect traffic school and pay for that as well. Or you can choose option 3, which is to fight your ticket.
In past articles, I've given many reasons why I feel fighting a ticket is your best option. Most of the reasons are based on not getting points on your license (which will cause your insurance to increase), and the intense desire of most people to avoid attending traffic school (and having to pay for the school).
However, never have I explained how choosing to fight your speeding ticket could also have an immediate economic benefit. Here's why.
Most of the courts are backed up as a result of layoffs at the clerk's office, and because they have more tickets than they can process, are not setting matters for court until 2-3 months after the citation was written. What that means for you, is that you can get out of paying for your speeding ticket for the first 29 days by going to the clerk's office and having your matter set for trial, and then you will also not have to pay it for the next 2-3 months while you wait for a court date.
In other words, the day before your ticket is due, if you elect to fight your speeding ticket (by pleading "not guilty"), you will not have to pay for it. Your matter will be set down for court and you will get a letter in the mail with an upcoming court date (usually 2-3 months after the date you plead "not guilty").
Now in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, the first court date is your pre-trial conference, not your trial. Technically, you can delay having to pay for your ticket for ANOTHER 2-3 months by attending your pre-trial conference and maintaining your plea of "not guilty."
Your matter will be set for trial and then you have 2-3 months before you have some decisions to make. So for your scorecard at home, so far, you've delayed having to pay anything for 4-6 months from the date you received your ticket. Not bad.
I would hope that during this time you've been saving your money, because at some point, you may have to pay the piper. I say "may," because so far all you've done is delay your paying of your speeding ticket.
The final decision on what to do, now must be made. Do you want to walk into the clerk's office and tell them you've changed your mind and want to pay it? If so, you will have to pay the original amount and take the points (not my first suggestion, but hey, at least you've been able to keep your money an additional 4-6 months after the original deadline, so stop complaining).
However, you can also decide to stick with your decision to fight your ticket (my suggestion for most tickets). This can be done by yourself or with an experienced traffic attorney. If you're not sure if you should pay it or fight it, you can read this article I wrote.
Most traffic attorneys will represent you for less than $100 and in many cases, either get your matter thrown out (in which case you'll pay nothing for the ticket), or reduce the amount you would have had to pay and keep the points off and keep you out of traffic school.
But here's another benefit. By fighting your ticket, if you do have to pay court costs, you will usually get additional time to pay. So, in theory, if you've pushed everything off by fighting your ticket, you may not have to pay that speeding ticket for up to 7-9 months after you received it. By then, hopefully, you'll be in a better position to make the payment.
Final note in all this, whatever you do, don't ask for a continuance unless there is a valid reason why you need one. By asking for, and receiving a continuance, you've eliminated one of your defenses if you choose to fight the ticket. If you want to know which one, click the link below about how to get out of a speeding ticket.
If you've decided to fight the ticket and want a traffic attorney to assist you, my office will be happy to give you a FREE consultation at 866-374-8355.