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

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


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 accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

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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 answer.

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3 lawyers agree


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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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.

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