Jail Time For Speeder?
I had a client (let’s call him Jack as in Jack Rabbit) who was charged with going 140 mph in a 55 zone on the Ocean Parkway near Long Beach, New York. He was driving a Porsche Turbo Carrera late a night when he was pulled over by a Nassau County Highway Patrol Officer.
When we first discussed the case, I told him to bring his tooth brush with him to court. He asked why and I explained that he could be checking in to the Nassau County Correctional Facility. You see in New York a traffic court can impose up to 30 days of jail time for excessive speeding (excludes traffic courts in New York City, western Suffolk, Rochester and Buffalo).
At our first court appearance, it was readily apparent that this was no ordinary ticket. The Nassau County Traffic Violations And Parking Agency handles 300+ cases a day, many of which are speeding tickets. But, it is a rare occurrence to have such a high speed. One jaded court officer whistled in disbelieve when he saw with what Jack was charged.
We had no choice but to take this case to trial as this court does not plea bargain speeding cases 31 mph or more above the limit (let alone ones like Jack’s … 85 mph over the limit). In preparation of trial, Jack started to explain to me the details of his case. He adamantly insisted that he wasn’t going 140 mph. The following colloquy ensued:
Jack: I was definitely not going 140 mph.
Me: Are you sure?
Jack: Yes, there is no way I was going that speed!
Me: But, the officer is going to testify that you were going that speed.
Jack: He is 100% wrong!
Me: Well, how do you know he is wrong?
Jack: Because I was actually going 160 mph!
Without hesitation, I responded that I will NOT be allowing you to testify at the trial.
Fortunately, an eloquent plea and reasonable judge allowed Jack to escape with just a fine and points (keeping his liberty in tact).
Clearly, Jack’s explanation of going 160 mph (not 140 mph) qualifies as one of the funniest “defenses” to a traffic ticket.