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Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

  1. #1
    Just Registered rolker's Avatar
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    Fighting a speeding ticket in NH


    Anyone have recent experience with a speeding ticket in NH?

    I just got pulled over this morning for doing 80 in a 55 on the Spaulding in Rochester. (A 6 lane highway with a reasonable speed limit of 55...)

    What sucks is that I was going with the flow of traffic, (70-75) and just momentarily sped up so I could switch lanes to catch the exit for 125 south without affecting traffic around me...

    So, what can I expect if I elect to plead not guilty and go to court? Can I get my $206 reduced or dropped? Pisses me off that the unreasonably low speed limit of 55 makes my "offence" seem more severe.

    The ticket states that I was going "at a speed greater than was reasonable and prudent under the conditions prevailing". Would it have been more reasonable and prudent to go 55? I doubt it...

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    Lifer
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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    I expected to meet with a Prosecutor or magistrate (as in a person in a suit), but instead was met by a trooper in uniform. As you might expect, this was just a repeat of the roadside chat. So I could either return on another date to actually face the judge, or pay. I was offered less points and therefore reduced fine, but even with a completely empty record, that took a bit of talking.

    I asked about ways to reduce the points to zero, possibly by accepting a plea for a non-points ticket. I was told that NH doesn't allow that. I think NH residents can benefit from taking a driving course, but I believe this only reduces points to avoid lose of license, it will not help you with your insurance company.

    I think your ticket is a 2-pointer right? You might at least benefit from a reduction to a 1-pointer.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Thanks for the info.

    It's my first speeding ticket, so I have no idea how this will affect my insurance or how many points its worth. So what's the practical difference between 1 or 2 points? I don't get pulled over often enough that I'm in danger of loosing my license, so do points matter in my case?

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Last spring I got tagged when I did something similar. I was traveling with the flow of traffic 75-80ish in the right lane down S-95. After coming out of the tolls I came upon an off ramp/on ramp at the NH Liquor Store and there was alot of traffic going off and coming on so to avoid being run over I signaled and goosed it to get out of the way and there was a statie there and i was pulled over and given a court summons in Seabrook. Show up to the hearing a month and a half later and the Trooper who was doing the prelim hearings hardly listened to my reasoning at all and told me I could pay $480 now or take my chances with the judge and possibly pay up to a grand! I again tried to explain to the officer that I was simply riding defensively to cover my ass in that high traffic area and he didnt care. ended up paying the $480.. BS. till that point I had a clean record for almost a decade.

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    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    I don't understand how a ticket can suddenly become a much higher fine simply by going to trial. Most likely a scare tactic.

    If you get picked up for shoplifting, do they offer you a plea bargain and say that it'll be upped to manslaughter if it goes to court? No.

    One option that has worked for people in the past is a request to the judge to pay the fine in full but considering the clean record of the defendant reducing the violation to a non-moving violation. (0 points)

    BTW, that whole thing about NH isn't allowed to bla bla bla bla is complete bullshit. I got tagged for doing 54 in a 35 in Lincoln NH on a group ride with some people here. Started gathering evidence (discovery request for records to the dept in the form of certified reg'd mail) after filing for a continuance and got a call from the officer who ticketed me. She asked what the issue was, I said it's not the fine, it's the points on my insurance for 7 years will be 10x the cost of the fine so my only option is to try to get out of it on a technicality. She said just to write a letter of apology and if I don't get another ticket for a year in NH, it goes away. And it did.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    So the purpose of the preliminary hearing is to intimidate you into paying before going to court?

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by rolker View Post
    So the purpose of the preliminary hearing is to intimidate you into paying before going to court?
    Yup. Why else would they do it?

    Remember, once it goes to court, they have to follow a lot more legal rules (assuming the judge holds them to it of course) than in just a regular hearing.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    BTW, that whole thing about NH isn't allowed to bla bla bla bla is complete bullshit. I got tagged for doing 54 in a 35 in Lincoln NH on a group ride with some people here. Started gathering evidence (discovery request for records to the dept in the form of certified reg'd mail) after filing for a continuance and got a call from the officer who ticketed me. She asked what the issue was, I said it's not the fine, it's the points on my insurance for 7 years will be 10x the cost of the fine so my only option is to try to get out of it on a technicality. She said just to write a letter of apology and if I don't get another ticket for a year in NH, it goes away. And it did.
    WTF. That's basically what I said too. I emphasized that my primary concern was insurance companies. I was told by a uniformed trooper they don't do that. How long ago was this? Because I thought NH had changed their process in the past few years?


    And rolker, it might appear that way. In MA, you meet with a magistrate for a hearing. It is not an intimidation moment. Maybe NH is doing things differently. As for the points, I thought they were used in the calculation of your premiums. But I was just trying to find info on that, and couldn't find anything worthy. So maybe someone else can help out there.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    WTF. That's basically what I said too. I emphasized that my primary concern was insurance companies. I was told by a uniformed trooper they don't do that. How long ago was this? Because I thought NH had changed their process in the past few years?


    And rolker, it might appear that way. In MA, you meet with a magistrate for a hearing. It is not an intimidation moment. Maybe NH is doing things differently. As for the points, I thought they were used in the calculation of your premiums. But I was just trying to find info on that, and couldn't find anything worthy. So maybe someone else can help out there.
    2005-2006 IIRC

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Thanks Clayton, I prefer your outcome over Brian's!

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    The main thing that bothers me about this ticket is that it's based on a speed limit of 55, which is a joke for this section of highway. I wonder if I can get some sort of report from the DOT that justifies that speed limit...

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    My method worked well with a small town cop who doesn't want to drive to court. My filing for a continuance based on lack of time for discovery of evidence, plus the discovery request sent to the chief asking for radar gun certification, training cert, speedo cert for the car (she was coming the other way), mechanical records for the car for the last 2 years (what if they cert'd the speedo, then changed the tires to a slightly different size?") etc showed that I know what I am doing and it was going to be a battle to get the fine out of me.

    Guilty or not, the prosecutions JOB, the one our taxes (and fines) pay for, is to PROVE you did what they say you did. Making their job easy is NOT in any way your responsibility. If they want my money, they better work for it.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    My method worked well with a small town cop who doesn't want to drive to court. My filing for a continuance based on lack of time for discovery of evidence, plus the discovery request sent to the chief asking for radar gun certification, training cert, speedo cert for the car (she was coming the other way), mechanical records for the car for the last 2 years (what if they cert'd the speedo, then changed the tires to a slightly different size?") etc showed that I know what I am doing and it was going to be a battle to get the fine out of me.

    Guilty or not, the prosecutions JOB, the one our taxes (and fines) pay for, is to PROVE you did what they say you did. Making their job easy is NOT in any way your responsibility. If they want my money, they better work for it.
    In my case, it was a guy standing by the side of the road with a laser gun, so fewer factors which may lead to incorrect readings. The problem with making them work to extract money out of me is how much of my time is it worth wasting to do so?

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    If your insurance premiums go up say, $20 a month for 7 years...

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by rolker View Post
    In my case, it was a guy standing by the side of the road with a laser gun, so fewer factors which may lead to incorrect readings. The problem with making them work to extract money out of me is how much of my time is it worth wasting to do so?
    I got bagged by a cop on the side of the road with a laser on Rt.9 in Wellesly MA. It was from over 1k feet away (ticket will state distance). At that range, the beam is over 10ft wide. I was in traffic. Magistrate asked my side of the story, I said a car that looked similar to mine had passed me, I believe the officer may of gotten him. Magistrate asked the rep from the police department "Is 1200 feet away a long distance when trying to see a particular car in a group?"

    Officer said it was. Found not responsible. NEXT!

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    I got bagged by a cop on the side of the road with a laser on Rt.9 in Wellesly MA. It was from over 1k feet away (ticket will state distance). At that range, the beam is over 10ft wide. I was in traffic. Magistrate asked my side of the story, I said a car that looked similar to mine had passed me, I believe the officer may of gotten him. Magistrate asked the rep from the police department "Is 1200 feet away a long distance when trying to see a particular car in a group?"

    Officer said it was. Found not responsible. NEXT!
    I just measured on Google Earth the distance from where he was and where I believe he got me, and it's about 1200 feet! I need to look into this discovery process so I can get the specs on the laser...

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Does it say on the ticket about distance measured?

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Does it say on the ticket about distance measured?
    No it doesn't. All the ticket has is the lat/lon of where the actual stop occurred.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by rolker View Post
    The main thing that bothers me about this ticket is that it's based on a speed limit of 55, which is a joke for this section of highway. I wonder if I can get some sort of report from the DOT that justifies that speed limit...
    You might be able to. Supposedly roads are required to be based on speed study data. Then they can adjust the posted speed within a tolerance window. But I forget how this works when dealing with federal roads vs state vs town. You could request speed study data to try and demonstrate that driving the posted limit is dangerous. I believe the speed study data has to be resurveyed every x years in order to re-validate the limit. It's been a while since I looked up all the laws on this, so you'll have to do some research.

    Figuring out who to get the data from was tricky when I did this, and it was for a town road.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    I wonder if the limit has been revisited since they improved that section. I agree the limit is silly low.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    asked what the issue was, I said it's not the fine, it's the points on my insurance for 7 years will be 10x the cost of the fine so my only option is to try to get out of it on a technicality. She said just to write a letter of apology and if I don't get another ticket for a year in NH, it goes away. And it did.
    I did nearly the same when I got a ticket in Manchester (happened on 93, but by a Manch 5-0), but it happened while meeting with an officer in a pre-hearing discussion. She asked what I was looking to happen, and I asked if it was possible to do a year "probation" essentially. She said we can do that, and I wouldn't have to pay the fine if I made it a year on "good behavior". It apparently still hit my record though, which she did say would happen. Still saved $200 off the ticket though.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Go to the prelim, point out your stellar driving record and do not admit to speeding. "How fast were you going?" "I do not recall the exact number." "It was 80, according to this" "Sir, I'm sorry I do not recall the exact number, I was traveling with the flow of traffic, and had to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. As you can see, I have no prior traffic violations, and take the safety of those around me very seriously."

    I got out of passing on a double yellow around a blind corner in the dark with a baby in the car using this tactic. Well, that and it was a straight-away passing zone....

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by mzdagrl View Post
    Go to the prelim, point out your stellar driving record and do not admit to speeding. "How fast were you going?" "I do not recall the exact number." "It was 80, according to this" "Sir, I'm sorry I do not recall the exact number, I was traveling with the flow of traffic, and had to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. As you can see, I have no prior traffic violations, and take the safety of those around me very seriously."

    I got out of passing on a double yellow around a blind corner in the dark with a baby in the car using this tactic. Well, that and it was a straight-away passing zone....
    I'll have to give something like that a try. Of course, I suspect that you are probably much better than I am at looking all cute, sweet and innocent as you tell your story, so it might not go as well for me...

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    you are 40 years old and this is your first speeding ticket?if the cop isnt willing to eliminate or suspend the ticket then id take my chances with the judge if i were you.
    the 55 speed limit there, while annoying, is legit. its only 3 lanes for a couple miles. i have it on good authority, from a NHSP trooper who patrols 16 regularly, that 70 is about all he will tolerate.
    with that said, if you do go before the judge, go prepared.

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    Re: Fighting a speeding ticket in NH

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    My method worked well with a small town cop who doesn't want to drive to court. My filing for a continuance based on lack of time for discovery of evidence, plus the discovery request sent to the chief asking for radar gun certification, training cert, speedo cert for the car (she was coming the other way), mechanical records for the car for the last 2 years (what if they cert'd the speedo, then changed the tires to a slightly different size?") etc showed that I know what I am doing and it was going to be a battle to get the fine out of me.

    Guilty or not, the prosecutions JOB, the one our taxes (and fines) pay for, is to PROVE you did what they say you did. Making their job easy is NOT in any way your responsibility. If they want my money, they better work for it.

    haha. Its traffic court. They don't have to prove a fucking thing. They just have to SAY you were doing xyz. Zero proof needed on the officers part. Absolutely zero.

    And the last ticket I got on radar was at 1697 feet. I argued the same thing and got told to basically shut up.

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