Now you finally have the disclosure for your speeding ticket in front of you. Make sure to set aside at least one uninterrupted hour to go over everything in it in detail. Depending on how severe your speeding ticket is, the file may only be a few pages of notes and copies of pages from a manual, or it may be very large with accident reports and a history of any other offences you may have been charged with in the past. Big files can be very intimidating, but just take your time and read through everything included.
The first thing to do is to compare the officer’s notes to your own account of the incident. Remember how we said to write that down back at the beginning of this process? Now is the time to dust that off and use it to refresh your memory of the incident. Do the officer’s notes match your own? If there are discrepancies, what are they? Small differences might actually be very key, so it is important to make note anything that differs from your own recollection of what happened. It is better to make note of something that won’t be useful later than to pass over something you think is unimportant that could have saved your case.
Look for missing details in the disclosure for your speeding ticket. Anything that you made note of that the officer did not should be highlighted. Conversely, if there is something in the officer’s notes that you don’t remember, that should be noted as well. Determine whether you just forgot to include something in your own notes or if the officer has noted something that did not happen.
For your speeding ticket, make sure to see if they have included information on the equipment used to clock your speed. You should have the type and model of the speed measuring equipment, notes taken by the officer before and after testing and using the equipment, and details on just how the speed measuring device is meant to be tested. If the officer did not properly test the equipment or take notes proving that he or she made sure it was working properly, the speed they say you were travelling at will be suspect, and you can use that as part of your speeding ticket defence.
While you’re reviewing your disclosure for your speeding ticket, it is a good idea to be consulting defence resources. There are several useful books that can give you some insight into fighting your own traffic ticket. We have a list of some that we recommend here.
Most of the useful books are going to make references to speeding case law, which are used to back up arguments in court in which a similar situation had a ruling already made on it. If you don’t have access to case law, we suggest looking into getting it. Look online or consult a local librarian, as they will often be able to point you in the right direction to getting access. You can also consider consulting or hiring a law or paralegal firm, as they should have access to the right case laws.
It would also be a good idea to have the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) on hand, which you can find online here.
Take your time reviewing the disclosure for your speeding ticket. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break. Legal information can be tough to slog through, and getting upset won’t make it any easier. Ask for help if you need it.