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How to contest a speeding ticket in Missouri

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Getting a speeding ticket can be a stressful experience, but knowing how to contest the ticket can provide drivers with a chance to potentially reduce or dismiss the charges.

There are various steps and strategies one might use when disputing a speeding ticket in Missouri.

Understand the citation

The first step is to thoroughly review the speeding ticket. This document contains important details such as the alleged speed, the speed limit in the area and the exact location of the offense. Understanding these details is necessary because they form the basis of any defense.

Decide on a defense strategy

There are several defenses that might work when contesting a speeding ticket:

  • Incorrect information: If the ticket contains incorrect information, such as the wrong date, time, or location, this could invalidate the citation.
  • Faulty equipment: Arguing that the radar gun or other speed-measuring device was faulty or improperly calibrated can also be an effective defense.
  • Obstructed speed limit signs: If something like trees or another sign blocked the speed limit sign, making it unreadable, one could argue they were unaware of the speed limit.

Choosing the right defense depends on the circumstances surrounding the ticket.

Gather evidence

Collecting evidence is a necessary step in disputing a speeding ticket. This might include photos of obscured speed limit signs, calibration records for the radar gun used during the traffic stop or witness statements if others were in the car or nearby.

Request a court hearing

To formally contest a speeding ticket in Missouri, one must attend a court hearing. Be sure to check the ticket for specific instructions on where and when the hearing is to be scheduled.

Prepare for court

Preparing for court involves organizing all collected evidence and possibly consulting with a lawyer who understands traffic law. While hiring a lawyer is not mandatory, having legal representation can increase the chances of a favorable outcome, especially in complex cases.

Be professional in court

During the court hearing, it is important to remain professional and respectful. Clearly present the gathered evidence and articulate the defense without becoming confrontational. The judge will appreciate a well-organized and straightforward presentation.

Consider court alternatives

Sometimes, if it is a first offense or the case is not severe, the court may offer alternatives such as attending a driving course in exchange for reducing or dismissing the ticket. It is wise to inquire about such options.

By following these steps, drivers can effectively contest a speeding ticket in Missouri.