Mel Leiding, an attorney from Anaheim, California and author of a 53-page guide titled "How to Fight Your Traffic Ticket and Win," says he would rather be mugged than get a traffic ticket. Why? Getting mugged is faster, cheaper and has no long-term repercussions, such as increased insurance premiums, loss of a license or being forced to attend traffic school.

    According to HowStuffWorks.com, millions of traffic tickets are issued annually in the United States with many tickets costing $100 or higher. It's a billion dollar business. If you pay the ticket by mail, you're admitting guilt and will pay the maximum fine. In addition, the ticket will be part of your DMV record for three years.

    Here are the only two legitimate ways you might be able to wiggle out of it. The key word is "might." Good luck!

    1. Ask for a warning.

    When you're pulled over by a police officer for speeding, remain in your car. Never get out. When the officer comes to your car window, look contrite. Be very polite. Do apologize -- profusely. And ask very nicely for a warning instead of a ticket. Never answer such questions as: "Do you know why I stopped you?" or "Do you know how fast you were going?" Say "I'm not sure," instead of saying something that admits your guilt.

    2. No matter what the facts are, plead "not guilty" and ask for a court date.

    Never pay the ticket by mail since that is the same as admitting guilt. Remember, this is the United States where you are innocent until proven guilty. Even if you think the evidence is solidly against you -- after all, there is that radar gun the cop was using -- don't give up. There are many ways the police can make mistakes that will result in your ticket being dismissed. Leiding says that as many as half of the traffic tickets issued in this country are dismissed because the police officer who wrote the ticket doesn't come to court. Those odds notwithstanding, when you do go to court, be prepared to fight the ticket. Consider hiring an attorney, which could be cheaper than the increased insurance premiums you'll have to pay if you're found guilty.

    How to avoid getting a speeding ticket in the first place:

    • Know the speed limit. While you want to keep up with traffic around you, try to not exceed the speed limit by more than nine mph.
    • Don't drive in the left lane. Use it only for passing. More tickets are given to drivers who are in the left lane than other lanes.
    • Realize that police officers with radar guns position themselves so you can't see them until it's too late, such as in parking lots or around a bend in the road.
    • If you see a police officer giving someone else a ticket or driving on the opposite side of the highway, don't assume you're safe. The police could still be tracking you.
    • Don't call attention to yourself. Keep the bumper stickers and vehicle modifications to a minimum. Make sure your car isn't loud.
    • And what about speed cameras, the hottest new tool to catch speeders? Forget it. You're stuck with that bill. The only good news is that it's not reported to your insurance company or your DMV record.

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    1 - 14 of 14 Comments
    ZiggyT44 Mar 14, 2011 12:36 AM
    The let you go think is of course all up to the cop
    Report This
    letsdobizz Nov 25, 2010 1:15 PM
    JBZJAMS Police aofficers are very judgemental by nature,it goes with the job. If you look like your down and out,flat broke,or desperate such as a lot of the younger people in this Country,your more likely to be targeted. It's not a fair world and people get kicked mostly when their down. The sad part is these are the people that are least likely to be able to afford a ticket. The cost to society is they wind up driving without insurance or without a drivers license. Courtesy of our Law enforcement and Justice system.
    Report This
    rduke007 Apr 24, 2010 2:24 PM
    If you want to fight a speed ticket in court, you will need to attack the speed limit more than the method you were measured. The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices requires an engineering survey from a licensed engineer to establish the 85 percentile of free flowing traffic. Normally, that number must be rounded up to the next higher 5 MPH increment. The federal law requires that document be made public, for any roadway or bicycle path open to the public. You have to object to any testimony about the speed limit. There is no foundation for any testimony about speed limit until it can be established that the limit was a statute, ordinance or regulation having force of law.Ask lots of questions like "is there anything other than the fact the sign was present of which you have knowledge that could establish the formalities were properly followed?" "What year was the required engineering survey performed?" "Who was the engineer?" "What was the 85th percentile speed for the segment in question?" Much easier to show the speed limit to be improper than prove your rate of speed.
    Report This
    ttrelem942 Apr 14, 2010 4:00 PM
    I was riding along and saw a flash from a camera and looked down at the speed I was driving. I was 5 miles below the limit so I desided to go thru it again at 10 miles under the limit and the flash went off again. I told my self that I was going to go to city hall and really let them have it but desided to go thru it one more time at 15 miles below the limit and "flash" again. Now I knew I had them against the wall. Two weeks later I got three tickets for not wearing a seat beat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Report This
    tkyip888 Jan 26, 2010 11:31 PM
    There is no way to avoid a ticket if the police wants to give you one. I live in the same neighbourhood for 30 years. I know where my stop sign is and I never run through any stop sign. One afternoon, one police patrol stopped at the intersection and said that I ran through the stop sign almost knocked him down and gave me a ticket. I know what he did on purpose to give SOMEONE a ticket on that afternoon, perhaps he was mad at something. I took pictures on that intersection that he had no stop sign, why didn't he drive through and wrote articles on police to LA Times on such matter. I went to court, but the judge admits he is not 100% perfect but had to believe the cop. Because they are on the same payroll, I am an innocent loser. What a joke! Serve and protect????????
    Report This
    robertlo43 Oct 22, 2009 3:13 PM
    this article has some good advice in it. personally though i dont even have to worry about tickets anymore. http://www.ticketfree.ca
    Report This
    birthdefect350 Aug 09, 2009 8:25 PM
    Who polices the police? Most police think they're above the law. They drive above the posted speed limits, drive with nonworking head/tail lights, drive on the wrong side of the road, etc. etc. Then when it comes time for court proceedings, the first thing they do is lie under oath, swearing to tell the truth. I've been driving for fifty years, and (ALL) of this has happened to me at one time or another, and NO it's NOT just a "few bad cops" it runs rampant, and is covered up by fellow officers. I just feel ********* high time someone starts a POLICE WATCHDOG GROUP. There are too many out of control power mongers.
    Report This
    huberft Aug 09, 2009 8:09 PM
    Wear a law enforcement ********* not as silly as you think. I was once stopped by a Highway Patrol Officer for about 10 over the limit. I was wearing a Highway Patrol Cap and he seemed to let up a littlle bit after observing it. He asked where I got and then chewed my but out. The result was A WARNING and an escort to my front door befor he waved goodby. WHEE! UH! Lucky me.
    Report This
    tanker922 Aug 09, 2009 7:50 PM
    As a former patrolman for 9 years, the advice is correct. The more polite and apologetic a driver was the odds were i would give them a warning. the left lane is always watched, and to all that thinks so....there is not a 5 mile an hour rule or gimmie. The concealed weapons thing...do not show the weapon until the officer asks to see it then tell him/her your every move before you do the move to get to the weapon.
    Report This
    kcltsajfcfb Aug 09, 2009 7:42 PM
    those speed cameras r crazy
    Report This
    ralphr1 Aug 09, 2009 7:33 PM
    If stopped for a speeding ticket, it helps if you have a carry permit for a handgun. Tell the policeman you have a concealed weapon, show it to him, and give him the permit with your driver's license and registration. He will check on you but your possession of a gun permit proves you have been throughl vetted by your local sheriff (in North Carolina) and the patrolman will possibly just issue a warning.
    Report This
    mi7tankhill Aug 09, 2009 6:52 PM
    thanks, but i hope i never have to use this
    Report This
    ff00000007137880 Aug 09, 2009 6:35 PM
    Yes this is great advice because I have gotten pulled over in the past and I have slipped by with a warning several times. If you are honest and apologize for your mistake and you are not going too fast I think that the officer will give you a warning. Al least they will here where I live in AZ. That is great advice about fighting the ticket though and about driving in the right lane I didn't realize those were factors that had an effect. I will for sure pay attention to that from now on though. Thanks for the great advice.
    Report This
    bzbodyd Aug 09, 2009 5:05 PM
    Good advice! It really works. I was pulled over for speeding and instead of agruing I apologized. I was as polite as could be, the cop heard me out & I kept apologizing over and over and he actually let me go. Told me to slow down & get home safely.
    Report This
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