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If the cop suggested fighting the ticket and then shows up for the hearing as he should, your son will be able to work something out with the cop in the hallway before going in to see the magistrate. The cop will tell the magistrate what you've agreed to (probably something with a fine but no points). The magistrate might ask for an explanation, and then will finalize it the deal. If the cop who wrote the ticket is willing to work something out, the whole process is really easy.
DO NOT plea guilty with an explanation. The kid will automatically get the points and the license consequences. The judge or magistrate really doesn't give a shit what his "explanation" is since no matter what your son says, they are gonna maybe chip $50 bucks off the standard fine. Your insurance man will love you to death if you do this.
In order to "fight it," as the cop suggested, you have to deny responsibility and show up in person. If you want to admit responsibility, you can then do that to the magistrate verbally when you tell your story.
If he told you to fight it, my guess is the cop intends to not show up; In this case they will just automatically throw out the ticket. Worst case scenario by denying responsibility and going to the magistrate is that you get the $150 and 2 points. However, if the cop has to show up on their off-day, it will cost you like another $20. Also, for your high-school kid, it will provide a first-hand look at the legal system. He will probably learn more from this than attending his government class.
OK, so he will "deny responsibility" when he sends this in. When we deny responsibility, according to the ticket, we will have an informal hearing, unless we request a formal hearing. Here is the difference:
1) Informal Hearing: Appear in person in court before a magistrate, referee, or judge; Neither side may have an attorney.
2) Formal Hearing: Appear in court before a judge. An attorney will be with the officer. You may be represented by an attorney.
So, now I need to know should I just go with an informal hearing, or request a formal hearing?
I world do informal first because you can always appeal the informal hearing. A formal hearing you don't have to but you may want an attorney present. Informal you have a shot. I believe you reference someone getting an essay. I got an essay when I was 16 too for speeding.
And as someone said earlier, dress nicely, go in apologetic, and hope for the best. I would be confident if I were you since the freaking cop told you to do it. Makes me think even the cop thinks your kid will get the essay.
Think of this more as an annoyance than something to stress over.
I also had a magistrate knock down my 10 over in a construction zone down to 5 over non construction. Saved me two points I believe.
In the end, no matter what, I promise you your kid will not get any points if you do what I said.
Ask for an informal. Again, your son will likely work something out with the cop ahead of time. The magistrate will then formalize it.
I agree that it sounds like the cop isn't going to show up, in which case they'll just throw out the ticket.
I got a speeding ticket right after high school, at age 18. I chose the informal hearing because I was hoping to catch the cop in the hallway and work out a deal. I couldn't find him beforehand, so I was freaking out, not sure what I was going to say to the magistrate. However, the cop just hadn't shown, so no ticket.
I think the cop will show. They just have him plea to a zero point infraction. End of the day, they want the cash.
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