How should I plead in traffic court?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 58,676
    Attorney Steve Duckett discusses how you should plead in traffic court.

    Steve Duckett

    Steven L. Duckett, Jr. was born and raised in the DC suburbs of Northern Virginia.  He attended Paul VI High School (1990), University of Richmond (1994) and Valparaiso University School of Law (1997).  Mr. Duckett has spent the entirety of his legal career practicing in criminal and traffic law.  He created the law firm of Steven L. Duckett, Jr., P.C. in April 2001. 

    Host: How should I plead in traffic court?

    Steve Duckett: Well, if it's your intention to fight the speeding ticket case, then you need to plead, not guilty . The most common mistake that I see people making when they walk into a courtroom, is they go up and they say, well, guilty with an explanation . People think that that's somehow going to excuse in the guilty plea. Once the judge accepts a guilty plea, that would be self-serving guilt finding, which means, you plead guilty, you're found guilty. It's a synonymous thing. So what you need to do is always plead not guilty. If you go up and say, guilty with an explanation and then tell the judge sad story about how your speedometer wasn't working properly and here's the calibrations and I have never done anything like this and look at my perfect record, the judge is going to say, Thank you very much; I find you guilty, but I'll suspend your fine; but you still have a conviction. So it's very important to remember, not guilty.