Everyone knows the feeling of driving down the interstate and seeing a law enforcement officer in the median…your stomach drops. You quickly glance at your speedometer and realize you were going well over the speed limit. Before you know it, the police officer has turned on their lights and pulled you over for speeding. On any given day, many Ohio drivers find themselves in this very scenario. Perhaps the most common traffic violation, a speeding ticket has more consequences than you would think. Depending on your traffic record, profession, or driver’s license status, a person should be prepared to fight their ticket in court. While such cases can be minor, you should know your rights and be informed.
What are the Consequences for a Speeding Ticket?
Under Ohio law, there are no set amounts for a speeding ticket fine. The amount you are fined will vary depending on the jurisdiction in which you are cited. A fine for a speeding ticket will usually range from $150-$500. Other than a fine, and perhaps most importantly, drivers should be aware that a speeding ticket results in points being applied to your license. These points can make your personal car insurance rates increase dramatically. Depending on how fast you were going and what the speed limit is, you could be assessed two or four points. It is important to keep track of your points because as an Ohio driver, once you have twelve (12) points, your license is suspended.
A speeding ticket can have a detrimental effect on one’s profession. If you are a truck driver, a speeding ticket is a serious matter for your Commercial Driver’s License. It is important that you consult with an attorney and try to avoid any moving violations or points on your driving record. Further, if you or your employer have pooled car insurance, points being applied to your license could drastically increase a business’ insurance expenses. The most commonly impacted professionals are CDL holders, car dealership owners and employees, and outside sales people.
Can I Fight My Speeding Ticket?
Yes. The government has the burden of proving the radar, laser, or method to estimate the pace of your car was accurate. More times than not, however, speeding tickets can be resolved without a trial through a plea bargain. For a variety of reasons, prosecutors are often willing to work with attorneys to resolve speeding ticket cases, so the accused does not have points on his or her license. These plea bargains are often legal fictions. The following is an example:
A commercial truck driver is stopped for speeding in his passenger vehicle. The prosecutor offers to amend the speeding citation to a non-moving equipment violation like “no taillight” so that the operator does not risk losing employment.
The example above is a good plea because the plea involves a non-moving violation that does not carry points for the operator’s license. It is a legal fiction because the taillights were in good working order. The taillight violation gives the prosecutor and court the ability to fine the driver and the driver the ability to avoid the points.
If you have been cited for a speeding ticket or any criminal matter, please call us at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima. Our criminal team has extensive experience in all traffic and criminal cases. Our consultations are free, and we would be happy to discuss the options that best fit your case.