Q. This is for the 52-3 District, which I hear is tough. I received a speeding ticket for 5 mph over. I know the usual advice is to contest, but money is tight so I can’t afford to throw away court fees (plus lost wages) if my only defense is to hope for a no show. Because I didn’t know the speed limit, I was still 5 over after adjusting my speed. I also stupidly admitted to driving 15 over (though the officer wrote down 16, which is reckless driving), but I do not know whether evidence exists for that, hence wanting discovery. If I ask the prosecutor for a plea to avoid court, would he likely accept, and would there still be extra fees? If I plead “no contest” at the hearing, is it possible they would up the charge to reflect my admission? If I fight it, what can I possibly argue?
I don’t know if this matters, but the ticket says my race is “W”, which I assume is white/Caucasian. Perhaps the system does not have a code for my ethnicity/skin color, but would this discrepancy help me at all?
A. Request a formal hearing and appear at court with the intent to make a deal. Let them know your circumstances and if you have a good record there is a good chance they will improve the ticket. Usually, the same fine applies although sometimes the fine is a little higher if you get a very good deal. No benefit to having the wrong race on the ticket. Sorry.