How to Fight a Speeding Ticket
Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket. A lot of citizens get nervous just seeing an officer on the roadway. When a police car comes out of nowhere and the blue lights come on, your mind starts to race. Is the officer coming for me? How much could a speeding ticket be? Will a ticket put points on my license? What if a ticket raises my insurance premium? Will I need to take a day off from work to go to traffic court? What if I have a conflict with the hearing date?
What Happens When You Get a Speeding Ticket
There is no denying that getting a speeding ticket can sometimes have serious driving consequences:
- You could be required to pay hefty fines to the court
- You might be required to complete a driver improvement or defensive driver course
- Your insurance company could raise your car insurance premium
- You could end up with a restricted or suspended license if your speed was too high
Is it Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?
Yes, given the list of potential consequences, it is indeed worth fighting a speeding ticket. Contesting even a minor speeding ticket is in your best interest because undoing the damage from just one ticket can take years.
So, take a deep breath if you receive a speeding ticket. Do not immediately pay the citation. Doing so would be admitting guilt and could impact points on your driver’s license and affect your insurance premium. If you receive a ticket, your goal should be to reduce the severity of your consequences and regain peace of mind as quickly as possible. To achieve these objectives, contact a law firm that will fight for the best outcome they can get for you. You’ll be glad you did.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Speeding Ticket?
By hiring a lawyer, you can usually reduce your damages considerably. If your lawyer’s fee is reasonable, their professional expertise will be well worth their cost.
With a skilled lawyer, you can rest assured that your violation will be handled with minimal involvement on your part, and with a better outcome than you could obtain by showing up in court yourself or paying the fine outright. Your lawyer will represent you in traffic court so that you do not have to defend yourself before a judge.
Speeding tickets are resolved in different ways depending on the state, and every county within a state handles violations differently. A local lawyer will know the rules for the county in which you received your ticket.
How to Get a Speeding Ticket Reduced
Some of the different ways speeding tickets are resolved include:
- An Improper Equipment citation
- A Prayer of Judgement Continued (PJC)
- A Speed Reduction to 14 or 9 miles over the speed limit
Improper Equipment is one of the most common and best ways to get a speeding ticket reduced. This resolution does not result in license or insurance points. You will only have to pay the ticket fine and court costs.
Every county has different rules for when Improper Equipment can be granted by the county’s assistant district attorney. These rules might take into consideration your driving history and how fast you were speeding. Hiring a local lawyer who knows the rules can increase your chances of being granted Improper Equipment.
A Prayer of Judgement Continued (PJC)
A Prayer of Judgement Continued (PJC) is a bit like a Get Out of Jail Free card in the game Monopoly. It means that a person is essentially pleading guilty but the judgment is continued indefinitely. This results in no assessment of the typical fees and damages. Only judges, at their own discretion, can grant a PJC. For that reason, this resolution should never be counted on or used as a first option. Your lawyer will let you know if a PJC is a viable option in your particular case and in your particular county court.
Speed Reduction to 5 or 9 mph Over the Limit
Sometimes requesting a speed reduction is the best option. The court fees for this option are usually less than for Improper Equipment. Generally, a reduction to a speed of 9 mph or less will result in no assessed insurance points against you. With many DMV’s, more than 12 assessed points in a three-year period can result in a license suspension. If you accumulate 8 points within 3 years following the reinstatement of your license, you can receive a second suspension.
A less common speeding resolution is exceeding safe speed. This reduction option might be used by your lawyer if you have a serious speeding ticket or a history of other traffic violations. In North Carolina, for example, the most common reason a speeding ticket is reduced to exceeding a safe speed is that a reduction of over 9 mph would result in a suspension of your driver’s license. Your lawyer would fight to make sure that does not occur.
Can Lawyers Get Traffic Tickets Dismissed Entirely?
Do not expect a lawyer to be able to get your speeding ticket dismissed entirely. A defense that you did not think you were speeding will not, typically, get you a dismissal. Only in cases where your ticket is part of a plea arrangement might you be able to get a speeding ticket dismissal. For example, if you have multiple citations around your speeding ticket that are all being contested in court on the same day, you might get some of your citations dismissed or reduced. This possibility is another reason why having a skilled speeding ticket lawyer is a very good idea. Lawyers know all the nuances of ticket rules and know their county court better than anyone else.
How to Choose a Lawyer for a Speeding Ticket
When choosing a lawyer, select an experienced traffic violation lawyer who:
- Is experienced with your particular county’s court and will represent you in court
- Is experienced with negotiating with judges and prosecutors to have your charges dropped or reduced
- Will fight to keep you from losing your driver’s license or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) if applicable, or advocate for you to have driving privileges reinstated if needed
A skilled attorney will negotiate with the court’s judge by drawing upon your driving record and any other factors that can be taken into consideration such as the weather, traffic considerations, improper equipment on your car, etc.
An experienced attorney is also familiar with what options your particular court or judge will consider, the standard considerations in your particular county, and how best to navigate any and all legal hurdles to get you the best results possible.
Hiring an Experienced Speeding Ticket Lawyer can Make all the Difference
In sum, the benefits of hiring a lawyer for your speeding ticket are numerous. You cannot match the knowledge and experience a lawyer has with a particular county court’s rules and considerations. A good lawyer will handle everything needed to get the stress and consequences of your ticket behind you. Furthermore, you will not have to take time off from work, appear in court, or attempt to represent yourself.
The lawyers at Wilson, Reives & Silverman in North Carolina are prepared to help with all types of speeding tickets-minor and major tickets, first offense, or multiple offense tickets. The professionals at Wilson, Reives & Silverman can walk you through all the information you need to know about fighting a speeding ticket and what the expected outcome might be when your lawyer represents you in traffic court.
If you have received a North Carolina speeding ticket, call Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran today at 919-928-5983 or fill out our Tell Our Attorneys About Your Case Contact Form on our website. You’ll be so glad you did.