Most people, somewhere around 95 percent, would rather pay their fine than face a court dispute of their speeding ticket. Many don’t realize that the cheaper option is to hire a traffic attorney.
Although paying the fine is the easiest and quickest way to resolve a speeding ticket, it is far from the cheapest, as most believe. Some look at hiring a traffic attorney as something they cannot afford. Given that the fine is usually only one-fourth of the actual cost, the driver is deciding without all the facts. The increased auto insurance premium can add up to $1,800 to your expenses over the three years the paid fine or conviction stays on your record.
They should always discuss their options with a traffic attorney. But, yet again, this goes back to their thinking, “I cannot afford a lawyer.” Many traffic attorneys, like Bigger & Harman, APC, offer a free initial consultation. What’s more, they’ll give you an honest appraisal of your chances by phone or email, and offer you a flat fee to resolve your ticket. With a flat fee, there are no surprises. You always know how much you will pay.
The most significant advantage of hiring a traffic attorney is typically knowledge and experience. Certainly, any licensed attorney can look up the speeding ticket elements and put on a good defense in traffic court.
However, a seasoned traffic lawyer spends a great deal more time in traffic court and has in their arsenal every case they sat through while waiting for their case to come up in traffic court. On any given day, that could be dozens or even hundreds of cases per session.
The LEO Might Have Guessed at Your Speed to Give You a Speeding Ticket
This speed estimate is often how a law enforcement officer (LEO) determines the speed in a “too fast for conditions” speeding ticket incident. Quite often, the judge will allow this “guess” from an experienced LEO. You need a seasoned traffic attorney to counter this assumption.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22350, Speed Laws cautions drivers, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
Therefore, the primary questions are, what is “reasonable or prudent” and what speed would “endanger the safety of persons and property”?
The answer to these questions is subjective, depending greatly on the conditions. An experienced and knowledgeable traffic attorney can raise a “reasonable doubt” about your speed, notably when the LEO estimated your speed. Consult a traffic attorney about your specific circumstances.
Speeding Was the Safest Option
Let’s say you are passing a vehicle on a two-lane highway. Suddenly, another vehicle appears from ahead or turns into your lane from a side road. Isn’t it possible that the smartest and safest course of action would be to speed up and get back into the other lane?
Your Speed May Have Been Legally Justifiable
There are limiters to speed: basic, presumed, and absolute. A basic speed limit is like the first instance above; even 25 mph might be too fast when in dense fog. Going 30 would violate what is “reasonable and prudent.”
In CA, going over the speed limit could be justifiable if the road conditions are optimal and you drive safely; what’s the problem?
Also, a seriously ill passenger might make speeding justifiable under certain conditions. Say the passenger suddenly starts showing signs of heart problems or passes out. You could have another passenger phone ahead to 911, put on your flashers, and speed up.
Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) defines this speeding violation as a “defense of necessity.”
“Necessity: sometimes referred to as the “choice of evils,” the necessity defense allows an individual to engage in otherwise unlawful conduct if by doing so the individual avoids a greater harm.”
Consult a Traffic Defense Team That Regularly Resolves Speeding Tickets in Fresno, CA
I-5 and SR-99 are significant sources of speeding tickets for Fresno Traffic Court; call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, for assistance resolving a traffic citation. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We are a Bakersfield Traffic law team that represents CA drivers and protects their driving privileges.
The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf
The NOLO’s, article, Fighting a Speeding Ticket When the Cop Used RadarThe Cornell Law School’s LII definition of Defense of Necessity