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  1. #1
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    I got a speeding ticket because of my speedometer not working.If fixed can it be void

    I recently got a speeding ticket because my speedometer was broken while my mechanic was working on the car, I went and got it fixed if I show proof that i got this fixed and i take the ticket to court can i have it removed?

  2. #2
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    I can't speak about where you are from, but here it would MOST LIKELY be dropped to improper equipment, small fine with no points or insurance hits. Obviously it differs depending on where you are from.
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  3. #3
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    I would have to say "maybe" only because I've seen some unusual stuff in court. Odds area against you, but it may be worth your while to try. Who knows, you may get a sympathetic judge.

    On that note, here you would have to plead "not guilty" - or request to waive arraignment - to get a trial in order to explain your "predicament", as you would not be allowed to do so at arraignment or if you plead nolo. Most traffic tickets here are not "must appear" summonses, so check with your court (not the PD or whatever LE agency gave you the ticket). If there is any chance of getting things your way, you need to work with the court.

    Be aware that if the officer has a good standing with the court, they will be much more apt to take him/her at their word with no corroborating evidence, whereas you will need to provide proof of your situation and maybe some witnesses. If it was my case, you would have to have Jesus, the Pope, the judge's mother and probably Charlton Heston on your side to even stand a chance.

    I've dealt with such 'defective equipment' cases before. If you did win your speeding ticket, I'd just cite you for defective equipment before you left the room, as by law you would need a functioning speedometer or be in violation of inspection requirements. Trust me, any good prosecutor will 'devil's advocate' his/her own cases, and I have indeed had additional summonses waiting for folks who stood a snowball's chance of avoiding the original charge. I've only had to serve them once in 17 years, but it is an example that you could be up against such things. As long as it is not double jeopardy it is legal.

    Like I said, I've seen some unusual stuff in courts. Give it a try if you like, but do your homework with the court first.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonm0303 View Post
    I can't speak about where you are from, but here it would MOST LIKELY be dropped to improper equipment, small fine with no points or insurance hits. Obviously it differs depending on where you are from.
    Where in the heck in the south are you? There is no reason this citation should be dropped. You were speeding regardless of whether or not the speedometer was broken or not.

  5. #5
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    Not guilty by reason of insanity may be just as effective!

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  6. #6
    Forum Member CruiserClass's Avatar
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    Its possible the judge or prosecutor could cut you a break. Not likely, but possible. There's no need to prove you knew you were speeding or were intentionally speeding to find you guilty of the traffic offense.

    That said, did your speedometer work at all or was it off? If just off, enough to mean you weren't actually speeding at all?

  7. #7
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    Around here, assuming you were successful in fighting the speeding citation, you'd just get slapped with a faulty equipment ticket. Depending on your speed, the cost could be in the same ballpark.

    You may have a better case on the civil side. Have you considered asking the mechanic who broke the speedo to pay for your ticket and to offset your insurance premium increase? If not, you could take him/her to small claims court and argue your point there. Civil cases tend to be a little looser than traffic court, and you may get a better chance to explain your side of the story.

  8. #8
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    I'm just curious as to how fast you were going and what was the speed limit? That could make a difference. If your 20+ over, highly doubt it gets dismissed. Good luck with it though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoken View Post
    Where in the heck in the south are you? There is no reason this citation should be dropped. You were speeding regardless of whether or not the speedometer was broken or not.
    I agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoken View Post
    Where in the heck in the south are you? There is no reason this citation should be dropped. You were speeding regardless of whether or not the speedometer was broken or not.
    Here's how it usually happens for people with relatively clean driving histories: You issue Joe Citizen a citation for say 50 in a 35. Joe receives fifty letters in the mail from various law firms in the area who state they can help his cause. He picks the cheapest one and mails off a check for around $175-$200 to the law firm. On the scheduled court date the lawyer shows up and talks to the DA who then will make sure you are okay with it (usually), and they reduce the charge to improper equipment. The lawyer will then pay the fine, whatever it is, out of the original amount you sent him and everyone leaves happy. Joe Citizen thinks he won because he keeps his insurance down and keeps the points off his license without even having to show up to court in person, the defense attorney gets his paycheck, the DA doesn't have to screw with another speeding cite and you made Joe slow down that day and come out of his pocket a couple hundred bucks to take care of it. I'm from NC and this happens a lot here. Sure you can always make sure Joe holds one in the end if you really wanted to but for someone who has a decent driving history and was cool on the original stop this is a fair possibility/option.
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  11. #11
    Verbal Sniper Smurfette_76's Avatar
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    Jon's right. LOL And I knew he was NC before I read it. Happens frequently here. People make mistakes. Equipment is off without them knowing it. If they man when and got it checked and fixed AND his record is pretty good, it'll probably be reduced to improper equipment or he'd get a PJC.


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    Interesting

  13. #13
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    I drove from age 16-19 in a 1984 Olds(yes the car was older than I was) with a broken speedometer and never once was I pulled over. Find a better excuse.

  14. #14
    Retired Sergeant - CHP SgtCHP's Avatar
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    In CA, a speedometer is not a required piece of equipment. If you get a ticket for speeding because your optional equipment is broken, that is your issue. Stay with, or just below, the traffic flow and you won't get stopped for speeding.
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    Most traffic violations are "strict liability" crimes, meaning that there is no criminal intent involved. If the prosecution can prove that you were traveling above the speed limit then there is really no defense other than "choice of evils" defense, which you don't have.

    In fact, if you go to trial and state that your speedometer wasn't working, then it will be a slam dunk for the prosecution.

    Go to court and get a plea bargain.
    Last edited by PRESSHRD5COPIES; 04-30-2009 at 12:25 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
    Jon's right. LOL And I knew he was NC before I read it. Happens frequently here. People make mistakes. Equipment is off without them knowing it. If they man when and got it checked and fixed AND his record is pretty good, it'll probably be reduced to improper equipment or he'd get a PJC.

    LOL, me too. He described the process spot on.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonm0303 View Post
    Here's how it usually happens for people with relatively clean driving histories: You issue Joe Citizen a citation for say 50 in a 35. Joe receives fifty letters in the mail from various law firms in the area who state they can help his cause. He picks the cheapest one and mails off a check for around $175-$200 to the law firm. On the scheduled court date the lawyer shows up and talks to the DA who then will make sure you are okay with it (usually), and they reduce the charge to improper equipment. The lawyer will then pay the fine, whatever it is, out of the original amount you sent him and everyone leaves happy. Joe Citizen thinks he won because he keeps his insurance down and keeps the points off his license without even having to show up to court in person, the defense attorney gets his paycheck, the DA doesn't have to screw with another speeding cite and you made Joe slow down that day and come out of his pocket a couple hundred bucks to take care of it. I'm from NC and this happens a lot here. Sure you can always make sure Joe holds one in the end if you really wanted to but for someone who has a decent driving history and was cool on the original stop this is a fair possibility/option.
    And, your agency got to pay overtime / take an officer off the road / move schedules around to get you into court- because if you hadn't been there the defense attorney would have demanded the case be dismissed!

    My policy (and generally our DA office) is no deals on the day of court- if you make the officer show up then there will be no deal. Deals are made prior to the court date.

    On the primary question here- in our state you aren't required to have a speedometer, much less have one that is working. However, you are still required to obey the speed limit. Having no / a faulty speedometer is not a defense to speeding.
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  18. #18
    Forum Member drjordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAA951 View Post
    My policy (and generally our DA office) is no deals on the day of court- if you make the officer show up then there will be no deal. Deals are made prior to the court date.

    On the primary question here- in our state you aren't required to have a speedometer, much less have one that is working. However, you are still required to obey the speed limit. Having no / a faulty speedometer is not a defense to speeding.
    Wow, that must be nice. I don't know how many times I've arrived at court only to have the yahoo checking us in inform me that they just plead and that I was free to go. How aggravating!

    You have to have a speedometer here and you can get a ticket if it's not working. I normally allow at least 15 if not 20 over before issuing a speeding ticket, so the "oh, I didn't know how fast I was driving" excuse isn't really going to cut it when you're driving 66 in a 45.

  19. #19
    Forum Member jchughes05's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if faulty speedometers are covered by Repair Orders...

    But yea, I think the judge here MAY drop it if you can somehow prove that it was broken, like a receipt from a mechanic showing that it was fixed, if not, oh well.
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  20. #20
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    Ca does not matter. Unless you are exceeding 65 mph you are cited for unsafe speed, which has nothing to do with your speedometer.

    I guess a broken speedometer could make a difference if you were only a couple of miles over the limit, but those days are long gone. Most officers today allow eight to 15 mph over the limit before they issue a ticket. But not all officers are like that.

  21. #21
    Forum Member Fuzz's Avatar
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    As has been stated...... it really depends on how fast you were going and what the speed limit was. Hard to use the speedo broken defense if you are going 30mph over the limit....any lay person can tell they were going too fast.

  22. #22
    Forum Member Taylor1430's Avatar
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    Here, you would likely be found guilty of speeding (because you were), however, the judge would take into consideration that there was a problem with the speedo and that you paid to get it fixed (and have the paperwork to say as such).

    Many times on the street and on the road, people use the excuse that their speedo was broken. Its not an excuse for speeding.

    Remember, guilty or not guilty is if you did the violation or not....its not the reason you were speeding. But the judge would take into consideration when points/fines are assessed.

  23. #23
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    You were speeding and your speedometer was defective as well, just pay the ticket and get on with your life.
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  24. #24
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    Answer for Alabama. No. You were speeding. Get your speedometer fixed. That may help solve the problem.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheeldep View Post
    Ca does not matter. Unless you are exceeding 65 mph you are cited for unsafe speed, which has nothing to do with your speedometer.

    I guess a broken speedometer could make a difference if you were only a couple of miles over the limit, but those days are long gone. Most officers today allow eight to 15 mph over the limit before they issue a ticket. But not all officers are like that.
    CVC even takes it one further....there is a section (around 22350ish) that specifically states that a broken/malfunctioning speedometer is NOT a valid defense for a speeding violation.
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