At some point or another everyone has likely went over the speed limit. What happens when you do and you’ve been caught? What happens if you don’t think you were going as fast as what the officer told you? This week’s #TuesdayTips article is about speeding tickets.
Depending on your clocked speed and the speed limit will result in various penalties. The faster you go the greater the fine and number of points that will be charged to your license. When you are caught speeding you will receive a ticket. Your ticket will give you three options: (1) plead guilty and pay the fine, (2) plead not guilty and request a trial, or (3) guilty with explanation or request a waiver hearing. The first plea is self-explanatory. If you select the first option you will have the points added to your license and have to pay the fine. If you choose the second or third option, you will have to appear in Court.
By pleading not guilty you are asserting that you did not speed or question the accuracy of the clocked speed. The Court will summon you and the ticketing officer to appear in Court. After you plead not guilty, the Court will move on with a trial where you will need to assert defenses and question the officer. For example, you may want to question (a) when and if the radar gun was calibrated, (b) the weather conditions, (c) the traffic conditions, and/or (d) whether the officer’s vehicle was moving when you were clocked. If the officer can’t answer these questions, give his notes, etc. you may very well win your case. Or the Court may dismiss your case all together if the officer fails to appear.
By pleading guilty with explanation or requesting a waiver hearing, you are admitting you were speeding but have an explanation justifying your speed. For example, you were in the middle of a medical emergency. The Court will summon your appearance but the officer will not need to appear. In these situations, Judges may take into consideration the reason you were speeding and find that it was justified or perhaps lessen the penalty given your justification.
If you have a poor driving record, a commercial license, a provisional license, etc. you may be inclined to fight the ticket to avoid losing a job, losing your license, seeing a spike in your insurance payments, or many other possible consequences.
If any of these reasons or potential consequences resonate with you, call the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC at (410) 919-1790 and ask about our fixed fee services!