The only circumstances in which a person must appear in court to deal with their speeding ticket are if they choose to go to court or if they do not have an attorney. Otherwise, the individual does not have to go to court. Instead, they could pay their traffic ticket or elect to go to driving school if they are eligible and not appear in court.
If the person hires an attorney, it is up to the attorney to find technical or legal grounds to get the case dismissed. If they are unable to do that, the lawyer finds factual grounds to get the case mitigated and reduced to the lowest possible penalty.
Contact our attorneys at Leifert & Leifert about appearing in court for a speeding ticket in West Palm Beach. Let our team of seasoned speeding ticket lawyers advocate for you and help you understand your options.
What Courts are Speeding Tickets Heard In?
Most speeding tickets are heard in traffic court in Palm Beach County. The only time a speeding ticket is heard in the criminal court is when the driver was going more than 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. This does not mean the driver must appear in court as they could hire an attorney to go for them.
The case is heard in criminal court because when someone is alleged to be driving more than 30 miles per hour over the legal limit, their driver’s license could be suspended. That can only be done legally by a Judge and not a traffic magistrate. The traffic court does not have the authority to suspend a person’s license.
What to Expect From a Speeding Ticket Hearing
At a speed ticket hearing, one should expect the Law Enforcement officer to be present and testify against the individual about why they pulled them over. The officer testifies as to what they wrote the ticket for and how are they going to prove the person was speeding. They may come forward with evidence from radar, laser, calibrated speedometer, or a calibrated stopwatch used in an airplane. When it is an airplane, the pilot who did the measuring and the other trooper who wrote the ticket must appear in court to testify.
The defendant’s lawyer cross-examines the witnesses and asks them about the calibration, the certification, and their training. The lawyer asks about weather conditions, their visual estimation, the visual contact with the driver, and their personal contact about how they identified the driver. All of those things could be used for disputing the officer’s claims and get the case dismissed.
A speeding ticket hearing is like any other hearing. The government brings someone into court to say the defendant did something wrong. If the defendant makes the government prove it, they have to prove it to a judge or to a magistrate beyond a reasonable doubt. To prove it, they need witnesses and evidence.
The defendant has the right to an attorney. They should expect their attorney to fight the officer’s evidence and challenge their testimony and recollection to initiate reasonable doubt in the case and get a Judge or magistrate to question the validity of the ticket.
Challenging a Speeding Ticket
An individual could respond to a speeding ticket by challenging the results of a calibrated speedometer and digital evidence from the patrol car. The defendant may have a witness in their car or they might claim they were using cruise control. If other vehicles were around them and were speeding, the individual could question whether the officer targeted a different vehicle. When there was something mitigating such as a disabled vehicle or a truck in the left-hand lane, the person may have speeded up to get around it.
However, when the police officer has proof that someone was speeding based on radar, laser, stopwatch, or calibrated speedometer and the defendant claims they were not, the Judge believes the officer.
The best way to respond is with an explanation to mitigate their situation such as they were rushing to the hospital, they have documented medical conditions, or they were distracted.
Contact a West Palm Beach Lawyer About Appearing in Court for a Speeding Ticket
The best way to respond to a speeding ticket is to obtain an experienced and local attorney. Our lawyers at Leifert & Leifert have appeared before a Judge or magistrate many times and has experience fighting traffic tickets. Call our team today about appearing in court for a speeding ticket in West Palm Beach.