We get calls often from Connecticut drivers who have been slapped with Greenwich and Stamford Speeding or Cell Phone tickets under 14-219, 14-218a and 14-296aa. I have been writing a lot about police departments in Stamford and Greenwich dialing up their speeding and distracted driving campaigns to a point where you may see dozens of speed traps and police stings in the area on any given morning or afternoon rush hour. So once you are pulled over, is there anything you can do to save yourself?
The answer is YES and it’s all in your attitude. Here’s how…
Almost anyone who has received a speeding ticket knows that feeling of anxiety and anticipation when an officer approaches your driver’s side window. “License and Registration” would be the most common words you will usually here, but some drivers are not so lucky. We’ve heard of Greenwich and Stamford speeding and cell phone cases where officers can immediately start being aggressive and confrontational with you with introductions like “Sir, Do you know how fast you were going?” or “Ma’am did you not see my lights flashing behind you” or “Get out of the vehicle and put your hands on the hood of the car.” Obviously any encounter with police that starts like this is going to be difficult to diffuse; however, as any top Stamford Speeding ticket lawyer or top Stamford cell phone ticket attorney will tell you, it’s very important to keep your composure with the police officer, be respectful, and remain calm and compliant.
Here’s why attitude matters.
Whether you are fighting a Stamford, Darien, Greenwich, or Stamford ticket for 14-219 Speeding, 14-218a Traveling Unreasonably Fast, or a 14-296aa Cell Phone Violation, the police will write a brief summary of their interaction with you on the back of the ticket that they submit to Superior Court (also known as the charging document). On the back of this ticket, the police recite their observations that provide the grounds for each charge. If it is a Stamford 14-219 Speeding or 14-218a Traveling Unreasonably Fast charge, then the ticket will include how fast you were traveling, the posted and legal speed limit, and the method by which the officer determined you were violating the law (i.e. radar, laser, or tailing you). If you are charged with a Greenwich or Stamford 14-296aa violation, then the ticket will relate the officer’s personal observation of what device you were holding in your hand while driving and exactly where on the road he observed you driving while operating a handheld device.
However, one of the most important police notations on the back of these tickets is the driver’s attitude. I cannot tell you how many times I have come into court fully prepared to argue the merits of a case (with photos, diagrams, powerpoints, etc.), expecting the prosecutors to fold and drop the Stamford Speeding ticket. Yet they don’t—solely because of a note on the back of the Stamford speeding ticket in big handwritten, capital letters “ATTITUDE: VERY POOR” or “ATTITUDE: DISRESPECTFUL.” This is the kiss of death in fighting a Greenwich, Darien or Stamford speeding ticket under 14-219 or 14-218a. (In fairness to the police, you should also know that we have seen plenty of tickets where the officers write complimentary and flattering notes about a driver’s attitude which helps the driver’s Stamford speeding and cell phone ticket lawyers get the cell phone and speeding tickets ripped up.)
Remember that the prosecutors / state’s attorneys who decide whether to give you a break or take your Stamford speeding ticket to trial are the same prosecutors who work with these same police officers on some very serious misdemeanor and felony cases in Stamford, Greenwich and Darien. Point is that they usually have a lot of respect for each other, and the prosecutors feel that if the police officer takes the time to write how poor (or conversely, how pleasant) a driver’s attitude is during the traffic stop, then the prosecutor will give that notation a great deal of weight during their pre-trial negotiation phase with the Stamford speeding ticket attorney.
So the bottom line is to be pleasant with the officer, no matter how grouchy, aggressive, or confrontational the officer may appear to be with you. “Yes, officer” and “No, officer” are the proper ways to address them. You do not have to admit to speeding or using your cell phone—remember anything you say to them may be written down on your ticket and used against you in your case. Plus, more and more officers are going to be wearing digital cameras and recorders on their uniforms so your statements and your actions will very likely soon be recorded and preserved for trial.
So, yes, attitude is everything when you are charged with Traveling Unreasonably Fast, Texting while Driving, and Speeding in Stamford, Darien, and Greenwich. As I write about often in this blog, these tickets can be extremely disruptive to your driving privileges, insurance premiums, and can result in hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in fines and fees, and could in some cases trigger a suspension of your driver’s license. So if you are pulled over for Speeding or a Cell Phone violation in Stamford, Greenwich or Darien, give one of the Stamford Speeding ticket attorneys and lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today. We will explain your options, your chances of success in getting the ticket ripped up, and help you decide if it’s worth the cost to fight the ticket. Call us today at (203) 358-4700.