Traffic Violations Law

Speeding Tickets

Many drivers go faster than the speed limit on interstates, state highways, or local roads. Unfortunately, sometimes you are the one who gets caught. Speeding tickets are some of the most common traffic violations, but they can still cause many problems. Speeding tickets can be expensive and increase your insurance rates.

There are ways to fight speeding tickets and keep the points off your driving record. Most traffic laws are based on state and local laws. For more information about challenging a speeding ticket in your area, find a local traffic violation lawyer for legal advice.

What Are the Penalties for Speeding?

The penalties for speeding depend on the type of traffic violation. Speeding is generally considered a violation or infraction instead of a criminal offense. However, serious speeding violations, like reckless driving or street racing, could be misdemeanor offenses.

Most speeding tickets result in fines, fees, and surcharges. Depending on your state, a speeding ticket can cost more than $300. Factors that could affect the penalties for a speeding ticket include:

  • Miles-per-hour over the limit
  • Multiple speeding violations
  • Speeding in a construction zone
  • Speeding in a school zone
  • Speeding while driving under the influence (DUI)

Many states have a points-based system for moving violations. For example, in California, most speeding tickets count as 1 point, but speeding over 100 mph can be 2 points. In New York, speeding can count from 3 to 11 points, depending on the speed over the limit. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to learn more about how your state handles traffic violations.

Getting too many points on your record can result in getting your driver’s license suspended. Points can also affect your car insurance rates. Drivers can see their auto insurance premiums increase 25% or more after a speeding violation. Insurance companies may continue to charge more until the violation is off your record.

What Happens if You Ignore the Speeding Ticket?

Some drivers may forget about or ignore a speeding ticket. Other drivers may be unable to afford a traffic ticket and avoid going to court. If you ignore your speeding ticket, it can end up costing you much more in the end. Consequences of ignoring a traffic citation include:

  • Warrant for arrest
  • Suspension of driving privileges
  • Increased fines and fees

If you can’t make your traffic court date, contact the court immediately to try and get a change of date. If you can’t afford to pay your ticket, contact the court about reducing the fee or payment options.

How Can I Fight a Speeding Ticket?

You can challenge a speeding ticket in court. Before you plan to challenge the speeding ticket, make sure you have a plan. It is generally not a valid defense if you say you didn’t know the posted speed limit or that everyone else was speeding. Fighting a traffic ticket with a traffic ticket lawyer can give you a better chance at winning.

Experienced speeding ticket lawyers understand state and local traffic laws. Your lawyer can review your case and present a strong defense in court. Some possible defenses include:

  • The police officer doesn’t show up in court to respond to your questions
  • The hearsay challenge for speed camera tickets
  • Challenging the accuracy of radar guns
  • Errors on the traffic ticket

Can I Go to Traffic School for a Speeding Ticket?

Most states have an alternative option for keeping points off your driving record by going through traffic school. Traffic school and traffic diversion programs are usually one-day classes that educate drivers about state traffic laws and the risks of speeding. Most states only allow traffic school if the driver has no traffic offenses within a certain period.

How Can a Speeding Ticket Lawyer Help?

Some drivers don’t call a lawyer because they think they can just pay the fine. However, the traffic fine is only part of speeding ticket costs. The combined cost of fines, court fees, and higher insurance rates can end up costing over $1,000. Drivers with a traffic violation on their record will also have to be more careful in the future because additional speeding tickets could mean losing their driver’s license.

An experienced traffic violation lawyer is familiar with state and local traffic laws, local law enforcement officers, and how local judges handle speeding violations. A lawyer could challenge the speeding ticket to keep it off your record or negotiate to lower the fees and penalties. Contact a traffic violation lawyer where you live for more information about your legal rights.

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John Devendorf, Esq. Attorney Writer
Tim Kelly, J.D. Legal Writer and Editor