71 MPH in a 40 MPH Posted
yesterday I got my first speeding ticket, ever. I had just gotten out of work(10am) and was trying to make it across town from Mesa to Phoenix to the VA hospital for a Dr Appt that was at 10:30. I wasn't paying attention to my speed as I was coming around the bend toward the turn to get onto the on ramp and there was 2 motorcycle Mesa cops sitting there clocking people with Laser. The first guy instantly got behind me and threw his lights on motioning for me to cross 4 lanes over and get off the road. I promptly pulled off the road, put it in park, rolled down my window and put my hands on the wheel. He came up and I greeted him and he asked me if I knew what the posted speed was. I said that I believe it is 45 in this area and he said no its actually a 40, do you know how fast you were going? I said I believe I was doing around 50 to which is said no you were doing 71. To which I didn't have much to say because I was kind of blown back by that. He then said give me one reason I shouldn't take you to jail right now for criminal speed to which I said "I apologize Officer, I'm trying to get to the VA hospital over in Phoenix and I was not paying attention to my speed". He glanced at my insurance card and took my license and temp registration back to his bike to run everything. He came back up and said, "I am cutting you two breaks right now, first I am not taking you to jail (criminal speed here is anything over 19 over the posted speed) and I am not giving you a ticket marked "Criminal speed" but instead of "Civil Traffic". He warned me that if he saw me going anywhere near that fast again that he would arrest me on site and said to drive safe. I thanked him and was on my way.
In Arizona you must have 24 months between the times you go to traffic school, I attended traffic school in October of 2008 for a "Failure to Control" ticket dismissal from an accident I was in. That was technically my first ticket but never went on my record because it was dismissed due to the school.
On the citation it says ;
SPEED- Approx 71, Posted 40, R&P 40 -- Speed Measurement Device; Laser
Violation; 28-701A ARS SPEEDING +31
So my two options are pay the ticket in the amount of $371.00 or go to the court date on July 6th and ask the judge to lower the fine due to this being my first offense. Some people say that it is worth it to goto court because sometimes the officer will not show and that is an automatic dismissal. My uncle who is a retired police officer said he thinks that going to court would be unwise because he believes that the judge can decide to change it to criminal speeding if he's having a bad day.
Bottom Line: I messed up, do not have $371 and would like some opinions of people who have been in similar situations before.
2011 V6 - Premium
6 Speed Auto, 2.73 Rear, K&N Drop-In
Black on Black, Mustang Club of America
20% Tint, Color matched mirrors, side rockers, & rear valance, Flat black calipers