How to Write an Appeal for a Speeding Ticket

By Contributor - Updated June 16, 2017
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Speeding tickets cost more than the amount of the fine. Increased insurance rates are the highest expenses of all.
However, you may be able to appeal your ticket if you have not had a ticket for at least 3 years, if your speedometer is incorrect, or if it is your first speeding ticket.

Don't be afraid to appeal your ticket, even if you know you were speeding. To write a letter of appeal, follow the steps below:


You are getting ready to ask for a favor--if you are guilty of speeding. Therefore, you want to have a humble attitude, without groveling--that's never pretty. You want to appreciate that the officer was doing their job, and to their best of their ability doing it well. Think about these things until you are convinced. No matter how angry you are and how many kinds of jerks you want to call the officer, repeat after me, "The officer was trying to do his job and to do it well. . .The officer was trying to do his job well. . .The officer was doing his job well. . ."

Now you're ready to appeal.

BEFORE WRITING YOUR LETTER, contact the officer who wrote the ticket.

In some states, highway patrol officers have the right to drop a ticket. Plain and simple. If you call the officer and explain your case, keeping your achieved attitude in mind, the officer will sometimes dig down into his heart and drop the ticket. If he doesn't, thank him for his time. And BE POLITE.


Without admitting guilt, admit that you were traveling in such and such a place at such and such a time and that you were issued a citation for speeding. Now state your case: You were traveling on an almost empty 4-lane highway on a bright sunny day, keeping pace with the minimal traffic that was on the road. An officer, traveling in the opposite direction, swung into an access path and followed you and pulled you over. You were not looking at your speedometer at the time, but neither were you in a rush or deliberately speeding. Use your sense of humor if it comes to mind.


This letter will be mailed to the assistant district attorney (ASA) who will be prosecuting your case. (This informatin can be gathered from the District Attorney's Office.)

So, your reader is a busy ADA who wants to clear the calendar. He or she is a work-a-day person just like you are. He or she has bills to pay just like you do. He or she is trying to do their job and do it well, just like you do. He or she may want to get elected to the positon of DA someday. Sooo, they have reason to work with a taxpayer such as yourself. Get your mind right. Keep the reader in mind. State your case.


As mentioned in the previous step, you can obtain the name of the prosecuting assistant district attorney for your particular court date from the office of the District Attorney. Be sure to ask for the proper spelling of the name of the ADA. Get the address right.


Your brief letter should close with an appreciation for the time the ADA has taken to read your letter and for their thoughtful consideration of your appeal. You should ask one more time for the ADA to drop the ticket. Provide contact information where you can be reached via phone, email, and US Postal service. Be professional, be real.


In NC, if you have not had a traffic ticket for the past 3 years, you can ask for a Prayer for Judgment and have the ticket dropped.

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