SpeedingFor lack of better phrasing, getting a speeding ticket sucks. It puts points on your license, and that raises your car insurance. If you’re speeding, you’re probably late for something. And getting pulled over is only going to make you later. And most importantly, speeding fines can cost a lot of money.

But there’s a simple step you can take to blunt Johnny Law’s blows. It’s actually pretty obvious, but most people still don’t do it. It’s a completely legal way to get your fine significantly reduced. It may get you less points on your license, so your insurance rates won’t go up as much. And if you’re lucky, taking this step may get your fine dismissed. So, what’s this magical secret that no one seems to know?

Go to court! Seriously. If you’re like most people, you pay the fine online. After all, it’s easy. It only takes 5 minutes to log onto your state’s official website and enter your credit card information. On the other hand, going into court takes time. You have to get up early, and may even need to take the day off from work. But if you want to potentially save some serious money you’ll do it.

The fact of the matter is most judges will reduce a fine when you show up for traffic court. They’ll usually fine you for less miles over the speed limit than you were actually going. And sometimes the officer who pulled you over won’t show up. If he doesn’t, all you have to do is plead not guilty. The judge will throw the fine out. So, no money out-of-pocket, and no points on your license.

Skip the pre-payment the next time you get pulled over, and go to traffic court. You’ve got nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.

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