Whether fighting a speeding ticket is wrong or not depends on your viewpoint. Many would say it is wrong not to challenge every traffic ticket. It is not only the duty of the law enforcement officer (LEO) to point out your mistake, but to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it was you who was speeding.
How Do LEOs Determine an Individual Was Speeding?
There are generally three methods to determine if you were speeding, and none are 100% accurate or infallible. The first is Radar, which has been around a long time and is generally fairly accurate. Although, like any machine, it needs to be adequately maintained. If the machine was not calibrated within the last three years, the challenged speeding ticket might not stand up in court. Likewise, if the LEO was not trained on the equipment, the speeding ticket could get dismissed.
The second method is the Lidar. This is supposed to be a more accurate method to determine the speed as it uses a laser beam, which bounces off the vehicle and returns the speed to the device. Lidar is a fairly new technology, and though more accurate, fewer LEOs have had adequate training on this device.
Finally, the pacing method is another form of speed determination. This mode is perhaps the least accurate of the three methods because human error is possible. The LEO follows the vehicle suspected of speeding and paces the vehicle while consulting their speedometer, which must be periodically calibrated and certified as well.
State law does not require a minimum distance to pace your car, but most LEOs figure the further they follow you, the more likely they are to get a conviction if you do not challenge the ticket.
Speeding Ticket for “Too Fast for Conditions”
Oh, actually, there is one other method: guessing! That’s correct; a judge often allows a seasoned LEO to guess your speed, since their training requires them to accurately guess within 5 miles per hour what the vehicle speed is.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22350, Speed Laws, warns no one should drive at a “…speed greater than is reasonable or prudent… and, in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
These citations for too fast for conditions are typically the easiest for an experienced and knowledgeable traffic attorney to defend. That is why it is imperative to use an experienced traffic attorney. Many lawyers practice many disciplines of law and use traffic law as if it is a part-time job. That is not to say that they are not good at what they do. It’s just that a lawyer who solely practices traffic law generally spends much more time in traffic court and hears the ruling on many, many cases, not just that of their clients’.
Four Levels of Speeding Tickets & Consequences
Many drivers do not realize there are different degrees of speeding. The most common ticket is for speeding 1-15 mph over the limit or a too fast for conditions ticket. A conviction for this speeding ticket leads to a fine of $230-250, depending on the county. Secondly, 16-24 mph over the limit or safe speed carries a fine of $350-375. The third level of minor speeding infraction is 25 or more over the speed limit up to 100 mph, which has a fine of $475-500, usually $490.
Each of these convictions for a minor infraction comes with a DMV assessed one Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) point. When your auto insurance company learns of this conviction, they will take your “good driver’s discount” and put you into a higher risk premium category. That will likely lead to a 30 – 40 percent increase in premiums for three years.
The fourth level of speeding ticket is the 100+ mph ticket. This carries a mandatory court appearance, a $900 to $2,600 fine, two NOTS points, and a 30-day automatic driving suspension. Whether you think it’s wrong or not, you must hire an attorney and challenge the ticket, or pay tens of thousands of dollars in penalties. Over the seven years the conviction will stay on your driving record, you will probably pay more than $15,000 more in insurance premiums.
Central Valley Speeding Ticket Attorneys
Call Bigger & Harman, APC, call us at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We are Central Valley speeding ticket attorneys who help drivers resolve speeding tickets in Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Mono, and Inyo Counties.
Send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CVC 22350, Speed Laws