Q: What’s the best way to ask for a dismissal of a speeding ticket?
I received a ticket for speeding in a special commissioners zone. Speed limit dropped from 55 to 40 in front of a State Park parking area but I don’t recall any yellow warning signs about the speed drop. The ticket is for 59 in a 40 and I’ve read that anything over 15mph over stays on record for 10 years in MN. I haven’t had a speeding ticket in almost 10 years. I have an arraignment date set but can contact the prosecutor beforehand. Is that a good idea? Can I ask the prosecutor for a dismissal before going to court? Is there a way to get a full dismissal or is the best option asking for a continuance without plea? If I go back to the area and find that the reduced speed signs, if any, are not current with the MUTCD can/ should I use that in my argument?
Ticket given in Northern MN
A: Representing yourself is never a particularly good idea. You have some misunderstandings about the law. First, a ticket, at least in Minnesota, remains on your driving record permanently. I've seen folks with stuff on their driving record going back decades to the 90's and even the 80's. Nothing will automatically come off of you driving record. You would have to pursue and expungement to get it off of your record. It says on the question form that you are in Atlanta. Right now, court dates are being handled remotely. That might end at some point. For that reason, it would make sense to get an attorney who can appear in court for you once in person dates start occurring again. Finally, the likelihood of a dismissal or CFD is impossible to know. You do not indicate in the question where this occurred. That is an important factor as such dispositions are far less likely the further out-state that you go. I'd suggest at least getting a consultation with an attorney if not outright retaining counsel. An attorney will be prosecuting you. Make it a fair fight if you are going to contest things.
William Bailey agrees with this answer
A: It's good to have a clean record for over five years since prosecutors will generally ignore prior speeds over five years old. You sure can call the prosecuting attorney to discuss settlement possibilities. I would not expect a prosecutor to dismiss a ticket outright. They will want something more than, nothing. A "Continuance Without a Plea" conditioned on payment of costs, might be something they'd agree to - or maybe not. There are a few other way to give them something, but still keep it off your driver's license record (but a "Minnesota Dimmler speed" may not work for an out-of-state drivers license, heads up). Of course you may find that you'll need an attorney. If so, I'd suggest finding one close to the county where it happened. I would not recommend arguing the merits of the ticket with the prosecutor, whether MUTCD or otherwise. Stick to "clean record" "willing to pay."
William Bailey agrees with this answer
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