Most people have received a ticket for speeding at some point in time. Speeding is one of the most common traffic offenses. If you receive a ticket for speeding, you may wonder what it means to your driving record and whether the offense is considered criminal in nature. You may want to consult with a criminal defense attorney to determine the best course of action and what you can do to fight the charges.
A speeding violation can be more than just an inconvenience. If you are found guilty of speeding you will assess points on your driving record. You will also be required to pay a fine. Sometimes, your car insurance rates will go up because of speeding or other violations. Depending on the circumstances, you could have your driver’s license suspended. In addition, some speeding violations are more serious and if guilty, you will face criminal penalties such as a jail sentence, community service, and more.
Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I represent myself on a traffic ticket?”
Speeding is driving at a speed that is higher than the posted limit. A speeding violation may also occur in a situation where a driver is driving at a speed that is too fast for conditions, regardless of the posted speed. In North Carolina, the speed limit law is absolute, which means that a driver could be found guilty of speeding for going even one mile over the limit. A finding of guilty of a speeding offense will result in a fine of up to $1,000, a maximum of 60 days in jail, and a suspension of driving privileges for up to a year, along with up to three points assessed to your license.
Speeding in a School Zone
School zones are areas designated for drivers to operate their vehicles at a lower speed on school days when children are present. A school zone will have signs showing where it begins and ends and may also have flashing lights or other signage. If you are charged with speeding in a school zone you will face a fine of $250 if guilty. You will also get points assessed on your driving record.
A charge of reckless driving may apply in situations where someone is “driving carelessly or heedlessly in a willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others.” It may also mean driving at a rate of speed that is 15 mph or more over the limit in an area where the speed limit is at least 55 mph. Therefore, you could be charged with reckless driving if you are caught driving at 70 mph or higher on the highway. Reckless driving is a Class 2 criminal offense, a misdemeanor that could include up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, as well as a 4-point assessment on your driver’s license.
Should I Pay a Speeding Ticket?
Generally, motorists have the option to pay moving violations, including speeding tickets, online or by mailing in the required fine amount. It is important to note that if you pay the ticket, you agree that you are guilty of the offense, and points will be applied to your driving record. It can be beneficial instead to defend the charges in court. You may be able to defend the charges with help from an experienced attorney.
There are various options for defending speeding charges. For example, if the officer utilized a device to obtain your speed, did he or she use it correctly, and was it properly calibrated? If there were other vehicles around you, is the officer certain he clocked the correct car? In some instances, there may not be enough evidence to support the violation, and the judge may drop the matter. The judge may also consider your prior driving record and the speed you were traveling over the limit, along with other factors.
It is best to seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney to determine the best way to handle your case. Contact our legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to request a consultation.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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