Despite our wishes to the contrary, the Stamford Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit has not gone away. In fact, they appear to be dialing up their efforts to snag and ticket Stamford drivers with their speed traps, and school bus stop sign stings. You do not have to look very far or very hard during morning or afternoon rush hours on Bedford Street, Summer Street, Newfield Avenue or elsewhere. Stamford Traffic Police are on a mission—to keep the streets safe by burying Stamford motorist with speeding tickets.
So what do you DO—or DON”T do—when you are pulled over by Stamford police? Is there any cost-effective way to beat them without having to take a morning off from work or spend an arm and a leg hiring a top Stamford speeding ticket lawyer? The answer is Yes. n
Here’s the secret…
The first thing to DO when you see sirens behind you is to pull over as quickly and safely as possible. DON’T accelerate or drive ahead a few more blocks—that can be construed as engaging police in a pursuit (a separate crime under CGS 14-223(b)). Once you pull over, DO have your driver’s license and car registration in hand, ready for the officer. Some of our clients wait for the police to ask them to produce these documents. Sometimes these clients are nervous and shake when they shuffle and fumble for this paperwork which will unnecessarily lead a traffic officer to believe they may be intoxicated. Thus the best way to avoid any of these suspicions is to have the documents ready for the officer.
Exactly how you verbally and personally communicate with the traffic officer has a ripple effect on the disposition of your ticket in court (or perhaps during the traffic stop itself). DO be polite. DO let the officer run the discussion. DON’T interrupt the officer. DO be apologetic. DO have humility. DON’T be accusatory or aggressive. If you were en route to somewhere like work, school, your children’s school or doctor’s appointment, then DO let the officer know this. DO thank the officer for assisting you.
As the best Greenwich and Stamford speeding ticket lawyers and attorneys acknowledge, it is common practice for Greenwich and Stamford police issuing Speeding tickets and Traveling Unreasonably Fast tickets to notate on the ticket the attitude and demeanor of the driver. The officers know that the prosecutors handling your ticket in court will read and use this information to grant you leniency in court, or conversely, be tougher because of an accused bad attitude.
One important DON’T is to question the officer’s authority or right to pull you over. DON’T argue with the office on how fast you were going. It is a losing argument roadside (in court you will have plenty of chances to make these arguments in front of a judge or magistrate). By pulling you over, the officer had probable cause to suspect you of CGS 14-219 Speeding or CGS 14-218 Traveling Unreasonably Fast. You were likely tracked by radar or laser and the officer is not going to change his mind if you start arguing with him. The best thing to DO is be as polite as possible and ask the officer will issue you a warning ticket rather than a speeding ticket.
Tickets written for violations of Connecticut General Statutes § 14-219 usually accuse drivers of traveling 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, but below 85 miles per hour. The lesser charge of Traveling Unreasonably Fast, as detailed in C.G.S. § 14-218a, accuses a driver of going over the speed limit, but no faster than 19 miles per hour above the posted limit. Both of these charges are infractions and not crimes. Each charge, however, can cost you a point on your Connecticut DMV driving record and consequently affect your auto insurance rates. Fines for these infraction tickets range from $100 to $150. Note that driving 85 miles per hour or over on any road or highway usually results in a misdemeanor criminal charge of Reckless Driving charges under C.G.S. § 14-222. So if you were caught going 85 miles per hour or over in Connecticut, and a cop gives you only a Speeding Ticket, consider yourself lucky.
In addition to Speeding Tickets, Stamford and Greenwich police are writing up plenty of tickets for Running a Red Light, a violation of CGS § 14-299, Failure to Obey Traffic Control Signals. If you plead guilty, this is a TWO POINT violation on your driving record. Also, a guilty plea to CGS 14-279, Failure to Stop for a School Bus under C.G.S. § 14-279 results is a fine of $450 for a first offense, and up to $1000 for a second offense, as well as FOUR points on your driving record. If you receive tickets for running a red light or running a school bus stop sign, it is a good idea to call a top Stamford traffic ticket lawyer / attorney to learn how they can help you.
So if you are charged in Stamford with 14-219 Speeding or 14-218a Traveling Unreasonably Fast, or any other moving violation in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, or Westport, DON”T wait any longer. Here’s one thing you must DO: call an experienced Stamford speeding ticket attorney at Mark Sherman law today. Our fees are reasonable and we are available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.