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10. “But I Am A Member Of The 100 Club”

Persons who give to the 100 Club do so to enable the charitable organization to raise funds to assist the dependents of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty in Houston and surrounding counties.   This excuse does not convince the officer to drop the ticket.  To do so would mean individuals who donate to the 100 club or similar charitable organizations would give the donor carte blanche rights to drive as they please and ignore the traffic laws. Furthermore, giving a threat to get a desired action is most likely to infuriate the threatened person.

9. “I Was Testing My Car”

This excuse relies on an unacceptable premise.  The excuse does not work because the underlying sentiment is one of guilt.  The driver in essence by stating “I was testing my car” implies he/she was speeding but the reason for the excessive speed was because he/she was testing the limits of what the vehicle was capable off. Another reason this excuse does not work is the statement gives the impression that the driver is using the public roadways as their private speedway to test the limits of their vehicle and is not considering the safety of others on the roadway.

8. “I am Generally A Good Driver Can You Give Me A Warning?”

The driver is telling the officer this one time I went over the speed limit but because they are generally a good driver they are asking for leniency and requesting a warning.  The excuse generally does not work because similar to the excuse “I was testing my  car” the underlying sentiment of this statement is guilt.

7. “Shouldn't You Be Going After Real Criminals”

The statement is classic deflection.  It does not say the driver is not guilty of the offense. Quite frankly the opposite is implied.  It's really thumbing the nose at the speed limit because what the driver is telling the officer is so what if I was speeding surely you must have bigger cases to catch criminals than this one little ticket.  It typically does not work, because it insults the officer in the job he/she is performing.  It makes it seem as though the enforcement of speed limits is a waste of time and the officer's time would be spent wisely going after some other form of crime.

6. “I Thought the Speed Limit Was More”

A mistaken speed limit is a relatable error.  No human being is immune from making a mistake. However, from the perspective of an officer tasked with enforcing the speed limit, this excuse implies the accused was not paying attention or was unaware of the speed limit.  The excuse does not work because mistake of law or fact is not an excuse or defense to a traffic ticket.  It is worthy to note that Texas class c misdemeanors such as speeding over a posted speed limit requires no mens rea (intention or knowledge of wrongdoing) to enable the State to prosecute. 

5. “I Am Sick and Just Want To Get Home”

Other alternatives to this is my child is sick or my family member (mother, father, brother, sister etc) is sick or in the hospital.  Unfortunately, officers are not able to decipher in most instances the veracity of this statement by just looking at an individual.  Some officers are willing to dismiss the ticket upon further verified proof in court. Others are of the opinion that when illness distracts a driver to the extent that traffic laws are ignored the driver, in that instance, should not operate a vehicle.

4. “I Have To Get To The Restroom”

The reason this excuse does not work is because a safer alternative exists. From the officer's perspective stopping somewhere before getting home and using a public restroom alleviates the problem.  It is safer than rushing on the public roadways, jeopardizing the driver's safety and the safety of other drivers just so the driver can get to the comfort of their home restroom.

3. “Someone Is Chasing Me”

With the rise of road rage, it is not impossible for a person to genuinely be in this situation. If a driver finds themselves in this situation, do not confront the other driver.  Take your safety seriously, find a crowded place to pull over and call the police.  The reason this excuse does not work well is because by the time someone is pulled over the alleged chaser is long gone.  Officers hear a variety of reasons each day as to why an accused should not get a citation.  It is also not uncommon for others to take this situation and lie to law enforcement to try and get out of a ticket. Unfortunately, this excuse without further backing sounds like any other excuse of someone trying to get out of a ticket.  

2. “I Sped Up To Get Away From The Crazy Driver Next To Me”

We have all been in this situation.  You find yourself near the driver who is weaving in and out of traffic, driving on the shoulder to avoid traffic and/or driving well above the posted speed limit.  The inclination is to find a safer spot on the roadway and you surely do not want to fall prey to their bad driving.  Thus, you do anything to get away from the Tasmanian Devil on wheels.  The reason the excuse does not work on law enforcement are safer alternatives exist in this situation as well.  A driver can slow down or pull over to get away from a bad driver. Engaging in unsafe driving practices to get away from a unsafe driver does not look well for the accused speeder.

1. “I Was Going With The Flow of Traffic”

The problem is the vague nature of the statement.  The statement does not deny guilt.  Rather it implies since the driver was going with the flow of traffic and going above the speed limit, then others on the roadway were violating the speed limit too. Thus, why weren't the other drivers stopped as well?  However, other persons breaking the law on the roadway will not deter the State from prosecuting those who are caught.

If you are the recipient of a speeding ticket and need assistance in keeping the offense off your record, contact our firm to find out how our representation in your case could be beneficial to your interests.

Author's Information: Attorney Tracey A. Beecher represents persons accused of class c misdemeanors and city code ordinance violations within the City of Houston Municipal Courts, Harris County Justice of the Peace Courts and Fort Bend County Justice of the Peace Courts.  

Legal Disclaimer: Each person's situation and circumstances are unique. As such, this article is given to provide general information only. It is not legal advice nor is it intended as a substitute for legal counsel. Should the reader need legal advice or counsel, it is appropriate to seek the assistance of a licensed attorney.

Photo: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.