To be found guilty for a speeding ticket, do the courts have to prove that i was traveling at the rate of speed the officer wrote on my ticket or just that i was going over the posted limit?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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To be found guilty for a speeding ticket, do the courts have to prove that i was traveling at the rate of speed the officer wrote on my ticket or just that i was going over the posted limit?

I passed a parked officer going 43 in a
40. When i asked him why I was being
pulled over, he lied to me and said he
got me going 56 in a 40. After I
explained to him that could not be true
and that i use an app on my phone that
measures and records my speed of travel
by GPS along with the dates and times
corresponding with my speed, he changed
his story. Now, instead of having caught
me on radar going 56, he now states that
when he was following me, prior to blue
lighting me, I was going 50. He
proceeded to violate several of my
rights before sending me on my way with
a speeding citation for goin 50 in a 40.
I will not admit guilt to something that
Im not guilty of. So my question is,to
be found guilty when I fight this in
court, does the officer have to prove
beyond a doubt that I was going the
stated speed that he erroneously and
falsely accused me of goin and that he
recorded on my citation?

Asked on September 25, 2018 under General Practice, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, to be convicted, it would have to be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt that you were going the speed alleged or claimed (the speed you were cited for).
2) The officer can "prove" that you were speeding just based on his testimony of the speed that  he clocked (paced, radared or lidared, etc.) you at. He does not need "hard" evidence. While it is possible that the court (there is no jury in traffic cases--just a judge) will believe you, not him, in my experience (I have practiced traffic law for four years) the judge essentially always believes the trained, sworn, neutral (no personal stake in the outcome) officer over the motorist trying to get out of a lawsuit. 
3) In my experience, your best bet is to talk to the prosecutor and try to get a plea to a lesser offense (no points or fewer points). If you have an otherwise-good driving record, you are likely to be offered such a plea.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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