Speeding tickets are the most common type of traffic infringement, and in NSW there are heavy penalties for those who are given tickets, along with demerit points (sometimes there are also time periods of double demerit points), and automatic and immediate suspension periods for some offences. For mistakes that were once viewed as a simple minor indiscretion, people can now face the loss of their license, loss of employment (particularly for people who need their car to get to work or need a license to perform their role), and financial hardship.
Most people assume that if youre given a speeding fine, youll simply need to pay up and accept the consequences of your actions, even if you feel like youre in the right and you werent actually going as fast as alleged. But this isnt always the case, and when someone is adamant that a police officer is saying they were travelling faster than they were, it often turns out that theyre right.
Did you know that you can challenge your speeding fines in a Local Court? In fact, for particularly major speeding offences, instead of an infringement notice youll receive a Court Attendance Notice instead. That means that your speeding offence is dealt with in court, and you need to decide whether youll plead guilty or not guilty.
Remember that just because you have a fine or are charged with an offence doesnt necessarily mean youre automatically guilty. There are ways that you can successfully defend speeding allegations, and while it can be an expensive experience, obtaining competent legal advice about your chances of success is key before you decide to defend yourself in court.
Prime Lawyers can help with speeding fines, and there are two different ways that you can defend a speeding ticket:
- Defending it as a reasonable and honest mistake
- Challenging how fast you were going
If you truly believe that you werent exceeding the speed limit (it doesnt count if you thought the speed limit was higher than what it was), you may have a defence, especially if you were using cruise control and found to be over the speed limit. First youll need to have your speedometer tested, and if a mechanic finds that its not calibrated properly and therefore shows you the wrong speed, you can use this as your defence.
The prosecution will then try to prove that it wasnt an honest or reasonable mistake, and while this sounds simple, it can be difficult for a Court to rule in your favour, so be sure to get advice from experienced lawyers to let you know if you have a case.
The next defence is when you challenge the alleged speed. While many infringements are the result of speed measuring devices used by tickets, sometimes the tickets will be issued based on an estimate of your speed by a police officer. Since the police need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were travelling at the alleged speed, and radars can be wrong, this can be a valid argument to defend yourself in court.