Reporting Jim Donovan
By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Getting a speeding ticket is bad enough, but getting one out-of-state can pose even more problems. On Tuesday, 3 On Your Side’s Jim Donovan assists a local woman who got an unwelcome dose of southern hospitality.
“There was a car in front of me and a car behind me, and I think he pulled me over because of where I was from,” recalls Susan Griffin.
Griffin, who was returning home from her sister’s funeral in Georgia, was pulled over by a North Carolina State Trooper.
“I knew at that point I was probably speeding, but when he gave me the ticket, I immediately knew that I was not speeding as fast as he said I was speeding,” Griffin says.
The trooper had clocked Susan going 84 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone. According to Susan, “He said that…this was a mandatory court appearance and that I needed to return to North Carolina to appear in court.”
Unable to take off from work to go back and appear in court, Susan says, “I started looking for phone numbers, couldn’t find anything, finally found a court number, nobody would help me down there.”
Well, not exactly “nobody.”
“I got between 13 and 20 letters from lawyers wanting to represent me from anywhere from $200 to $500 dollars. It’s a racket, it’s a scam,” Griffin says.
That’s when she reached out to 3 On Your Side. She says, “You’ve helped people before, so I figured I could give it a shot.”
3 On Your Side did some research and found that in North Carolina, district attorneys often reduce the charges on moving violations when they see fit. They told us they do it all the time for out-of-state drivers so that those drivers don’t have to show up in court. All you have to do is ask, and that’s what Susan did.
As a result she says, “I don’t have to show up in court. They’ve lowered the speeding ticket to a more manageable fee.”
Making it another 3 On Your Side problem solved.
While 3 On Your Side doesn’t advocate speeding, any time you get an out-of-state speeding ticket requiring a court appearance, it’s worth your while to put a call in to the prosecutor’s office to determine whether that appearance is absolutely necessary. You may be pleasantly surprised.