how to get out of a ticket


You always wear your seatbelt — even when playing Grand Theft Auto. You yield to pedestrians — who have yet to be conceived. You drive so defensively that Chuck Hagel calls you for advice. You are The Most Careful Driver in the World!

traffic ticket

Okay, you might not be The Most Careful Driver in the World. But you’re probably more careful than this guy.

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The Surprising Mathematical Benefits of Not Speeding

This is the part of the article where I’m supposed to nag you about the dangers of speeding. Or maybe I’m supposed to bluntly say “just stop breaking traffic laws and you won’t get tickets.” But that stuff’s obvious.

What’s less obvious is the strange mathematical truth that speeding rarely gets you to your destination faster. This is especially true in high-traffic areas. For example, the slow-but-steady bicyclist somehow keeps pace with your car. And the aggressive jerk changing lanes every five seconds still winds up next to you (and the bicyclist) at every traffic light.

The point is, extra speed doesn’t pay off. But if you’re goal is to pay more for car insurance while funding your local police department — then keep on speeding!

Cop Magnet vs. Invisibility

Okay, so you’ve gotten your speeding habit under control, but you’re still getting pulled for bullshit violations. Now what?

The problem might be with cops profiling you or your badass ride. Unfortunately, there’s almost nothing you can do if police profile you because of your race. And because police can legally stop you for numerous traffic violations, you can’t know for sure if you’re being profiled.

So now’s the part of the story where I’m supposed to tell you how to make your car boring and invisible, like my gray Toyota Corolla. You can check here for all of the vehicle compliance laws in all the states. But it’s up to you to weigh the costs and benefits of expressing yourself vehicularly.

Because life is just better when we have a little bit of this.

jumprope car

And this.

traffic ticket

And this is just totally tubular.

traffic ticket

Learning to Love the Traffic Ticket

So you’ve decided to make your car as invisible as Wonder Woman’s jet. And you’re taking things real slooow. But then all of a sudden.

Mother hugger! You’re getting pulled for yet another frivolous infraction.

Time to use some smooth talk (or crying) to get yourself out of that ticket. Right? Wrong. Pleading with the officer or complaining about a traffic ticket rarely helps. (And don’t believe any of that junk about how refusing to sign the ticket will help you out in traffic court.)

The smart play is to stay calm, cool and even respectful without licking Officer Friendly’s boots. Here’s why this works: Police officers have the power to disregard your traffic ticket. They may do this by simply not entering your ticket into the system.

But here’s the rub: You won’t know if they’ve tossed your ticket until after the encounter is over and you’ve checked on its status (usually online). Remember that cops hate when people try to talk their way out of a ticket. So the best way to improve your odds of getting the officer to rip it up is to pretend like the ticket is a special gift from heaven.

Take the Ticket, Keep Your Rights

The second benefit of embracing the ticket is that it will block the cops from using it as bait to trick you into complying with search requests.

Police are legally allowed to lie, so never let a cop trick you into thinking they will toss your ticket if you agree to be searched. You have the right to refuse. Politely take the ticket, and ask if you are free to go.

Getting a traffic ticket always sucks. But the bright side is you can always fight the ticket in traffic court. Anyway, it could be a whole lot worse. Just ask anyone at the courthouse who’s facing criminal court.