Will the judge believe me and dismiss my speeding ticket if I tell him that I didn't know what the speed limit was?

Asked about 2 years ago - Greenville, OH

I am 16 years old and I have had a license for 3 months. I recently got a speeding ticket. However, I did not know what the speed limit was. I thought it was 35 mph while it was only 25 mph. I was going 39 mph. I was on a road that connects with a 35 mph road. The road I was on was also a wide road-not the normal width of a 25mph road. I saw no speed sign to tell me how fast to go. This is also my first ticket.

(the officer even said that it was a common mistake)

Will the judge believe me if I tell him the case stated above? Are there any tips to also help my case? I don't want to get an offense for an honest mistake...

Attorney answers (4)

  1. John Robert Sauter

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Ignorance of the speed limit is no defense. If it was, everyone could walk into court, claim they didn't know what the speed limit was, and get their ticket dismissed. Your best shot with the judge may be getting your fine reduced because of your age, inexperience, and/or financial situation. Good luck.

    Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through this... more
  2. David Keith Greer

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You mentioned there was no speed limit sign in the area, and that could be a defense.

    The placement of speed limit signs is regulated by the Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Failure of the government authorities to comply with the OMUTCD signage requirements makes the speed limit unenforceable. State v. Tobin (2008), 147 Misc.2d 108, 113. Also, 25 mph is only a prima facie speed limit. Therefore, according to the Tobin case, you have two possible defenses: (1) whether you were given fair warning of the speed limit, based on the posting of the signs; and (2) whether your speed was unreasonable for conditions, even if it was greater than 25 mph.

    If you wish to challenge your speeding citation in juvenile court, and keep your driving record clean, you should contact a lawyer.

  3. Barry Franklin Poulson

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . More likely he will believe you and then convict you, because not knowing the speed limite is no defense at all. Better to make a deal for a lesser speed. Or, have your attorney do it.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I... more
  4. James M. Osak

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . In traffic court . . . judges
    typically BELIEVE the cops.
    Traffic courts are there to
    generate revenue for the city.
    Try talking to the cop to
    see if he'll reduce the ticket;
    If NO then talk to the city
    attorney to see if he'll
    reduce the ticket; If NO
    ask the judge for an
    as you "wish to retain
    an attorney." This'll buy
    you some additional time.
    Then retain a traffic/attorney
    who knows their way around
    this particular court. Good
    luck and watch your speed.


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