Monday, April 18, 2011
How to Beat a Speeding Ticket - The Cop
Believe it or not - not everyone pulled over for exceeding the speed limit drives away with a ticket.
Why is that?
Well, one thing that you want to keep in mind when you're interacting with a [police officer is that - no matter the formality of it all (from the uniforms, to the badges, to the high-tech squad cars and investigation tools) - in the end you're dealing with another human being; someone with feelings and emotions just like you and I.
Here are somethings to keep in mind - from the moment you're pulled over.
How's your attitude? What do you do, when you want someone to like you - or when you want him or her to do something for you? Do you argue or fight with that person? No. The first thing you should keep in mind when you meet up with the officer is that you need to work to make him like you if you want him to do something nice for you.
How are your surroundings? Believe it or not, pulling over someone over can often be one of the most dangerous (if not the most stressful) aspect of an officer's job - because often he does not know what he is in for when he walks up to that driver. Therefore, one thing that you'll want to do is to make sure the situation is as comfortable as possible.
Turn your car off, remove the keys from the ignition (place them on the dash where they can be seen) and put your hands on the wheel at the 10 & 2 positions. You should also remove any sunglasses or hats - and if it is nighttime, turn on your vehicle's interior light.
In short, think of what might make the situation tense for the officer - and then do the opposite. The more comfortable the cops are, the more amenable they might be to being lenient with you.
How's your cooperation? When you're pulled over, know this - the officer is in charge. If he wants your identification and vehicle insurance information - provide it to him without delay. (As a matter of fact, if you're going to need to be reaching around inside the vehicle, to comply with that request, you may want to also consider explaining to the officer what your doing - such as if the insurance card is in the glove box ... you should signal to him that's why your reaching in that direction.) Then, only after all his business is out of the way, should you even consider making your case.
The questions. Often the trickiest aspect of being pulled over is the questioning from the officer - because, more than curiosity as to whether you'll guess correctly -when asked "do you know why I pulled you over?" - what he is really trying to do is to get you to do is to do his job for him.
Remember, if you guess "because I was speeding" - you've gone along way toward helping the government make its case against you.
The answers. If you truly don't know why the officer pulled you over (and seriously, how could you know what's going on inside his head, right?) - you should politely explain that you're not certain as to why you were pulled over and that you'd hate to make an incorrect guess. On the other hand, if you know you broke the law - not only should you consider admitting as much, but you should also seek to praise the officer for having had stopped you. In doing so, not only are you demonstrating your respect for him and the work that he is doing - your honesty may be just what he needed to hear and as such he could decide to not seek any additional punishment for you.
Your questions. If you've developed some rapport with the officer - you should consider asking him a few questions. One you might want to try is - asking what speed detection device he used to "clock" you. Then, ask if you can see it. Now, he may say "no" - if that's the case don't push the issue (that's what court is for.) After that, you might want to ask about when the last time was that the unit was checked - to see if was working properly - and/or whether when the officer assessed your speed was he was moving or not.
When you do this - keep in mind - be respectful. Again, your trying to build a relationship with the officer ... one in which he might consider doing you a favor - not the other way around.
Plead your case. Once the formalities are out of the way, in your most sincere way --- ask for mercy. (Or as you might want to think of it - practice some dignified begging.) Make it sincere and let the officer know that this is a a big deal for you.
The end. No matter the outcome on the side of the road, leave the stop in such a way so that there's nothing too memorable about it. If you ultimately end up having this matter litigated in court, the less the officer remembers about it - the better.
Like any arrest, a ticket is serious business. If you have questions about your rights - your best, next step should be to discuss your case with an experienced Minnesota Defense Attorney.