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Speeding tickets are frustrating when they happen, and unfortunately, they fairly regularly to drivers across the United States — in fact, over 40 million people get a speeding ticket each year across the country. But whether this is your first speeding ticket or your fifth, they are still stressful experiences that result in some surprisingly steep penalties. If you have gotten a speeding ticket and are not sure what to do, call our offices to get in touch with an experienced speeding ticket lawyer right away.
In a society as mobile as ours, it is very easy to not pay close attention to your speed when you are driving to and from work, school, errands, or travels. You may be unaware of the speed limits in unfamiliar areas, and sometimes speed limits change on stretches of roads without warning. Often traffic is moving faster than the posted speed limit, especially on major interstates and highways, and it can seem unsafe or impractical to drive more slowly than the other cars on the road. And in some cases, you simply need to be somewhere quickly and choose to drive just a little faster than the speed limit.
Unfortunately, police officers are rarely sympathetic to the reasons why you were speeding if you get caught. In fact, most police officers will not hesitate to give you a speeding ticket, because many states require that they write a certain number of speeding tickets each year as a way to raise money. This means that a simple mistake on your part can almost always land you with a speeding ticket if you are caught, and that ticket can cause you serious problems down the road, such as expensive fines or surcharges and penalties on your driving record or license.
Although the exact penalties will vary by state, most states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, have fines that you must pay if you get a speeding ticket, as well as some kind of point system that adds points to your driving record for every traffic violation (such as speeding) that you commit. In some cases, your driver’s license may be suspended if you were caught speeding, meaning that you will not be able to have the freedom to drive yourself around as you wish. In addition to these state mandated rules, many car insurance companies choose to increase your monthly payments after you receive your speeding ticket, thinking that you are a greater risk as a driver.
The number of points added to your record, the amount of the fine you will have to pay, and the length of time that your license could be suspended usually varies based on how fast you were speeding. For example, in Pennsylvania, if you only drove between 6 and 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, you will only have two points added to your license, and your fine will be around $50. However, if you drove over 31 miles per hour above the speed limit, you will have five points added to your record, your license suspended, and a fine around $100. The amounts vary between states, but most follow a similar pattern of increasing penalties the faster you were found to be speeding.
You are only required to deal with these penalties, however, if you plead guilty to your traffic ticket — in other words, if you accept that you were speeding and do not contest the ticket. In most states, however, you have the option of pleading not guilty to your ticket and presenting your case to a local traffic court judge. It is then your responsibility to convince the judge that you should have your ticket dismissed, or at the very least, have the penalties from your ticket reduced.
You should know, however, that the police officer who wrote your ticket is also allowed to explain to the judge why he or she wrote your ticket in the first place. If you go in unprepared, it is very likely that the judge will not sympathize with you and will instead believe the police officer.
This is when an experienced speeding ticket attorney can step in to help. Your lawyer will help you prepare your defense to present to the judge, which will make them more likely to believe you than to believe the police officer. Our attorneys know the best things to say to have your ticket dismissed or your penalties reduced. If you are facing severe penalties from a speeding ticket, do not wait — call our offices right away so we can begin preparing your case.