"Continuance for dismissal" - Paying for a break

Some drivers find that cash can make the ticket go away


In Hennepin County, most cities allow qualified drivers to get a deal, called a continuance for dismissal, simply by going to the courthouse and getting the OK from a hearing officer. The ticket's fines and fees are dismissed and replaced by "prosecution costs" which go entirely to the city, along with a state surcharge. The total bill can run as high as $325 in some cities, far above the $145 or so that the speeding ticket would have cost.

If the driver doesn't violate traffic laws for a specified amount of time -- often a year -- the ticket is dismissed. If the driver is convicted, both tickets will appear on the record.

Prosecutors who issue the deals say they are giving relatively law-abiding drivers a break and encouraging them to drive with care in the future.

Each city sets its own parameters for which speeding situations qualify for a continuance. Many require that there was no accident, that the driver cooperated with police and wasn't going more than 15 or 20 miles per hour over the limit.

Minnetonka prosecutor Rolf Sponheim called it a compromise; motorists have to pay more while the city is "compromising our goal of having the person's driving record reflect their driving conduct."

Attorney Steve Tallen, a long-time prosecutor for several cities in Hennepin County, makes no apologies for charging prosecution costs of $250 in speeding cases.
Comment: Interesting. More on here.  I still have not been charged with anything. It's been 3 months!


  1. This is very interesting but I'm sure that a driver that exceeded the speed limit once will do it again in 12 months so it's almost impossible to take advantage of this offer.

    My last speeding ticket Toronto was dismissed by my lawyer and it was cheaper than paying the ticket....off course my insurance is intact and so it's my license...just think about this option.

  2. Looks like I will be charged with a gross misdemeanor. In the grand scheme of things it is not the worst thing. Probably a fine (> $ 500). I have not received a summons yet but was advised by the Plymouth attorney's office that it will be coming soon.

  3. I would personally be very interested in seeing the revenue vs. cost of issuing tags each year. With my cars--$70 cost of registering, two mailings to get me my tags--I'm guessing that the state about breaks even on the deal.

    I'd be glad to have a nickel increase in the gas tax in exchange for the elimination of the registration tax. I pay less taxes, the state might actually get more real revenue after implementation costs, and a Mickey Mouse category of prosecutions is eliminated. Goodness all around!


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