If you’ve already had two speeding tickets within the last year, getting a third may seem unlucky or like a frustrating annoyance, but in Ohio, it can actually result in a misdemeanor charge and possible jail time. You may not think it’s worth the money to hire a lawyer to fight a speeding ticket, but when you reach the point of having multiple tickets, then at least getting the advice of an experienced Columbus traffic ticket lawyer may be your best option for trying to avoid or reduce the consequences of multiple speeding tickets in Columbus.
If your daily commute includes traveling a route that includes a speed trap, you might find yourself quickly racking up speeding tickets if you’re not careful. Driving a few miles per hour over the posted limit may not seem like a big deal, especially when everyone around you is doing it, but technically any speed more than 1 mph over the speed limit can result in a ticket — and some officers are aggressive enough about speed that they’ll pull you over even if you’re going 56 mph in a 55 mph zone.
When Speeding is a Misdemeanor Offense
When you get multiple speeding tickets in the space of a year, it is no longer a payable minor misdemeanor ticket. You face more serious misdemeanor penalties in Ohio — including the possibility of jail time.
- Two Tickets In a Year — When you already have two tickets on your record within the previous year, your third ticket can be charged as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. If you are convicted, you may be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail and have to pay a fine of up to $250.
- Three or More Tickets in a Year — When you’ve gotten three or more tickets within a year, your fourth or subsequent speeding ticket can be charged as a third-degree misdemeanor. You face up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 if convicted.
Driver’s License Points
The number of tickets you have doesn’t affect the number of points applied to your driver’s license from an individual offense. Points for speeding are based on how much your speed exceeded the speed limit on the road where you got the ticket, and also by how high the speed limit is on that road. You can get 0 points, 2 points, or 4 points for a Columbus speeding ticket.
- 0 Points — Your ticket is for speeds of 1 to 5 mph over the speed limit, or 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit on a road where the speed limit is 55 mph or higher.
- 2 Points — Your ticket is for speeds of 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit where the speed limit is less than 55 mph, or 11 to 29 mph over the speed limit on any road regardless of the speed limit.
- 4 Points — Your ticket is for speeds of 30 mph or more over the speed limit on any road regardless of the speed limit.
Points from individual tickets are cumulative, and in Ohio when you reach 12 points on your license within 2 years, your license is suspended. So if you get three 4-point speeding tickets in 2 years, you can lose your driver’s license for 6 months and have to pay reinstatement fees to get it back when your suspension is over.
The BMV will send you a warning once you accumulate more than 5 points. Also, when you have more than 2 points but less than 12, you can complete a remedial driving course and get a credit of 2 points against your total. However, you can only get that 2-point credit once every 3 years, and you’re limited to a total of 5 credits in your lifetime. It’s also important to understand that the credit doesn’t actually remove points from your driving record, so if an employer checks your driving record those points will still show up.
Drivers who don’t live in Ohio, but who get speeding tickets here, should know that through an agreement called the Interstate Compact that they still face consequences for their driver’s license at home.
Through the Interstate Compact, participating states share information with each other about moving violations and traffic offenses, and you’ll face the same consequences at home as though you got the speeding ticket there. So even though you were an out-of-state driver, you can still get points on your license at home for an infraction committed in another state.
Other Effects of Multiple Speeding Tickets
When you get multiple speeding tickets, there are likely to be ripple effects beyond having to pay fines or possibly going to jail. Multiple Columbus speeding tickets are likely to hit you in the wallet for years to come in the form of higher insurance premiums, or making it harder to get a good job.
Some of the consequences you may experience include:
- Insurance Rates — When you get two, three, or more speeding tickets in a relatively short period of time, it’s likely that your car insurance company will consider you a greater risk and increase your insurance premiums. There’s no hard and fast rule about that — each insurance company makes its own decisions about risk and how violations affect premiums, usually based on actuarial tables and their own internal formulas. However, it’s a likelihood that you’ll pay more for car insurance after getting several speeding tickets.
- Loss of Commercial Driver’s License — Under Ohio rules, your CDL may be disqualified for some period of time when you get 2 or more speeding tickets in Columbus for speeds that are 15 mph or more over the speed limit. If your CDL is disqualified, you will not be able to drive a vehicle that requires a CDL for the duration of the disqualification.
- Background Checks — Because your third, fourth, or subsequent speeding tickets are criminal misdemeanors in Ohio, getting a conviction means you’ll have a criminal record that shows up in background checks for jobs or apartments, or any other activity that requires you to undergo a criminal background check. Some employers may not care when your misdemeanor is a traffic offense, but if driving is part of the job you should expect your speeding tickets to affect whether you can get the job. You also may find that your current employer puts you on probation, or even terminates you, for having multiple Ohio speeding tickets especially if you have to drive for work.
Fighting Your Multiple Columbus Speeding Tickets
When you have multiple speeding tickets and have reached the point where you face possible jail time, a driver’s license suspension, or higher insurance rates, then it may be a good idea to consider fighting the speeding ticket instead of just paying it and accepting the consequences.
With the help of an experienced Columbus speeding ticket lawyer, you may find that you have options to defend yourself or to try to negotiate a reduction in your charge or to get a prosecutor or judge to agree to sentencing alternatives so that you avoid jail time or a driver’s license suspension.
It may be the case that there were flaws in the method the law enforcement officer who issued your ticket used to check your speed. Radar guns or a technique known as pacing often may be used to allege that you were speeding, but there can be issues with the reliability of each method. A good traffic defense lawyer with experience at successfully challenging speeding tickets based on radar or pacing can explain whether these might be viable defenses in your specific case.
Call Luftman, Heck & Associates Today
Multiple speeding tickets can have many negative consequences, and hiring an experienced Columbus traffic ticket lawyer is the best way to mitigate those consequences. We can negotiate on your behalf so you can keep your license, avoid points on your license, and maintain employment. Contact us today at (614) 500-3836 or email us at email@example.com.