Most of the time when someone gets a speeding ticket, they might grumble a little or think they were pulled over unfairly, but ultimately pay the fine and move on. However, there are circumstances in Ohio when speeding is more than a simple infraction. Sometimes speeding can be a criminal misdemeanor that is punishable with possible jail time, and that can have a detrimental effect on your life in the form of points on your driver’s license and an increase in your car insurance premiums. Don’t delay contacting an experienced Columbus speeding ticket lawyer to learn how they can help you.
Paying a ticket is the same as a guilty plea, but you may have options for fighting the ticket and saving yourself some of the long-term costs of having a speeding violation on your record. An experienced Columbus speeding ticket lawyer can explain your options for defending yourself and whether that might be worthwhile in the circumstances of your case.
Penalties for Speeding
Most of the time, speeding is going to be a fairly simple ticket and your only penalty is a fine. However, speeding can be a more serious misdemeanor charge with increased penalties when you have multiple prior tickets, or when your speed exceeds certain thresholds in certain places.
Ohio Rev. Code 4511.21 treats different speeding scenarios as follows:
- Minor Misdemeanor — Most speeding tickets are minor misdemeanors. The only penalty for a minor misdemeanor is a fine of up to $150. Speeding is typically a minor misdemeanor unless you’ve had two or more speeding or assured clear distance violations within the preceding year, or unless your speed was higher than 35 mph during certain hours in a school zone or business district in a municipality, or higher than 50 mph in other parts of a municipality.
- Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Speeding can be a fourth-degree misdemeanor when you have two previous speeding or assured clear distance tickets in the preceding year. You also may be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor for speeding when your speed exceeds 35 mph in a school zone when children are on recess or coming or going from school; when your speed exceeds 35 mph in a municipality’s business district; or when your speed exceeds 50 mph in other parts of a municipality. A fourth-degree misdemeanor may be punished with up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
- Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Speeding is a third-degree misdemeanor when you have three or more previous violations in the preceding year. A third-degree misdemeanor can carry a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
- Construction Zones — Speeding in a posted construction zone doubles your fine.
Driver’s License Points
Whether a speeding ticket results in points added to your license depends on how much your speed exceeded the speed limit where you were driving.
In Ohio, points for speeding tickets break down like this:
- 0 Points — Typically, when your speed is within 1 to 5 mph over the speed limit, you don’t get points on your license for a ticket. You also don’t typically get points for driving 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit in a zone where the speed limit is 55 mph or more, such as on an interstate.
- 2 Points — When your speed is 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit in a zone where the speed limit is less than 55 mph, such as a residential district inside a town or city, you’ll accrue 2 points on your license for the violation. You’ll also get 2 points for speeds that are 11 to 29 mph over the speed limit in any type of zone.
- 4 Points — When your speed is 30 mph or more over the speed limit in any type of zone, you get 4 points on your driver’s license.
Other Consequences of a Speeding Ticket
In addition to fines, or possible jail time if your speeding ticket is one of the more serious types, a speeding ticket can affect your life in several other ways.
- Increased Insurance Rates — Each insurance company has its own policies for how a ticket will affect rates, but there is a chance that a speeding conviction on your record will result in your company raising your premiums.
- Effects on Employment — When your speeding ticket is one of the types that is charged as a fourth-degree misdemeanor or third-degree misdemeanor, a conviction means that you’ll then have a criminal record. When a background check shows that your conviction was for speeding, it may not have much effect on your life. However, there is a chance that it could affect your employment or your ability to get a job, especially when the job involves driving in any capacity.
- Drivers License Suspension — If your speeding ticket adds enough points to your license to push you over the threshold for a driver’s license suspension, then you may lose your driving privileges.
- CDL Disqualification — Your commercial driver’s license can be disqualified under some circumstances when you get two or more speeding tickets for driving 15 mph or more over the speed limit.
Because of an agreement called the Interstate Compact, most states in the United States have agreed to share information when someone is convicted of a driving-related offense. So if you’re on vacation in Ohio, or just passing through, and get a speeding ticket, in all likelihood your ticket will get reported to the agency overseeing driver’s licenses in your home state.
One part of the agreement results in your home state applying penalties to your driver’s license as if you got the speeding ticket there instead of in Ohio, so an Ohio speeding ticket can add points to your license in another state. Additionally, if you have an unpaid ticket or conditions of a sentence that haven’t been fulfilled, your ability to renew your driver’s license at home or to change your driver’s license when you move to a new state may be affected. An experienced Columbus speeding ticket lawyer can help you avoid impact on your license in your home state.
How a Columbus Speeding Ticket Lawyer May Approach a Defense
Many people think that when they get a speeding ticket, they have no recourse but to pay it and take the black mark on their driving record. However, there often may be flaws in the way that a law enforcement officer or highway patrol trooper measured your speed that may give you a chance at fighting the ticket.
How you are able to fight a speeding ticket will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. However, a couple of common possible defenses that an experienced Columbus speeding ticket lawyer may use on your behalf are:
- Radar — You may be able to challenge the reliability of the radar device or how it was calibrated or maintained. If the device wasn’t properly calibrated, then the result in your case may be invalid and you may have a defense to the speeding charge.
- Pacing — Pacing is a method of determining speed that basically involves the officer matching your speed on the road to see if you’re over the speed limit. However, pacing is more of an art than a science, and there could be any number of factors that throw off an officer’s calculation of your speed. If your ticket is based on pacing, there may be ways to challenge the result of the speed test and fight the speeding charge.
These defenses can rely on understanding very technical information and nuances of Ohio law regarding the use of these technologies. If you want to fight a speeding ticket based on the results of a radar speed check or the officer’s use of pacing to gauge your speed, you stand your best chance if you get the help of a good Columbus speeding ticket lawyer who has a track record of getting results in these types of cases.
Receive an Ohio Speeding Ticket? Contact a Columbus Speeding Ticket Lawyer Today.
Ever gotten lost in thought on a stretch of highway, maybe when there’s a song you really love on the radio, and looked down at your speedometer to find that you’ve stepped on the gas a little too hard and are over the speed limit? Even the most careful driver might sometimes experience a momentary lapse, and if you happen to do that in view of a law enforcement officer, then you might find yourself facing an Ohio speeding ticket.
A speeding ticket could result in fines, points on your license, hikes in your auto insurance premiums, and possibly even jail time. Don’t let your speeding ticket tarnish your record. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and fight your Ohio speeding ticket. Many times we are able to get the charges reduced, and at times, dismissed altogether. Contact a traffic ticket lawyer near Columbus today at (614) 500-3836 or email us at [email protected].