Did you recently receive a speeding ticket in the Columbus metropolitan area? If so, you should give serious consideration to hiring a Columbus traffic attorney to assist you with resolving your speeding charge.
The fact that you received a speeding citation does not mean that you are guilty of speeding or that you will be convicted of this offense. Oftentimes, a traffic lawyer can resolve your speeding case without your having to go to court. Depending on the facts of your case, the resolution may result in a reduced violation, a no-points violation, diversion (resulting in dismissal upon completion of a defensive driving course and paying court costs), or even a dismissal.
You may have the option of prepaying your traffic ticket. But the cost of prepaying a ticket may be greater than you think. Prepaying a ticket is the functional equivalent to a guilty plea, and you will be convicted of the speeding offense charged in your speeding ticket. Aside from the financial cost that must be paid to the court, a traffic conviction for a moving violation may result in points being added to your driving record, increased insurance premiums, and potential employment sanctions if you are required to drive a company vehicle for your employer. A speeding conviction may appear on background checks run by current or future employers or professional licensing authorities.
Speeding usually is a minor misdemeanor. But there are exceptions. Depending on the facts of your case and whether you have prior predicate traffic convictions, a minor misdemeanor offense can be elevated to a more serious offense that carries the possibility of community control sanctions and even jail time. Additionally, your license may be suspended if you accumulate 12 or more points on your driving record within a two-year period. These are just a few considerations when deciding whether to hire a Columbus traffic lawyer to represent you in your ticket for speeding.
For legal assistance with your Columbus speeding ticket, contact us at 614.695.5000 or online. Below is summary of the traffic offense of speeding, including the potential penalty and the points assessed if convicted of this offense.
Speeding is prohibited by Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.21. This code section provides a lengthy series of rules governing lawful speeds. For instance, a 20 mph speed limit generally applies in school zones during school recess and while children are going to or leaving school during opening or closing hours. This school-zone speed limit applies at these times even if no corresponding sign is erected. This school-zone speed limit also applies at all times when such speed limit sign is erected. There are exceptions to this school-zone speed limit that are not discussed here.
These lengthy rules governing lawful speeds are too numerous to discuss here. As a practical matter, the typical speeding case occurs when a driver exceeds a posted speed limit, whether that be in a school zone, in a municipality, on a state route, on a highway, on an expressway, etc.
Penalty For Speeding
Speeding ordinarily is a minor misdemeanor. The potential penalty for a minor misdemeanor traffic offense includes the imposition of a fine of up to $150, up to thirty hours of community service, and court costs.
But if the offender has not previously been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of any provision of Section 4511.21 or any provision of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to this section and operated a motor vehicle faster than thirty-five miles an hour in a business district of a municipal corporation, faster than fifty miles an hour in other portions of a municipal corporation, or faster than thirty-five miles an hour in a school zone during recess or while children are going to or leaving school during the school’s opening or closing hours, then speeding is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. The potential penalty for a fourth degree misdemeanor traffic infraction includes the imposition of a jail term of not more than thirty days, an additional or alternative community control sanction plus reimbursement for the cost of this sanction, a fine of up to $250, and court costs.
And if, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to two violations of any provision of Section 4511.21 or of any provision of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any provision of this section, then speeding is elevated to a fourth degree misdemeanor.
And if, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to three or more violations of any provision of Section 4511.21 or of any provision of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any provision of this section, then speeding is elevated to a third degree misdemeanor. The penalty for a third degree misdemeanor traffic infraction includes the potential imposition of a jail term of not more than sixty days, an additional or alternative community control sanction plus reimbursement for the cost of this sanction, a fine of up to $500, and court costs.
Community control sanctions generally can include residential placement, house arrest, drug/alcohol testing and treatment, specified education and training, community service, curfew, probation, etc. Under certain circumstances, the court also may order an offender to pay restitution to any identifiable victim who incurred economic loss as a result of the violation.
Additionally, a court is required to impose a fine of two times the usual amount imposed for the given speeding violation if the offense occurs in a posted construction zone, unless the offender is determined to be indigent and unable to pay the fine.
Points Assessed For Speeding
A conviction on a traffic ticket for speeding carries the following points in Ohio on an offender’s driving record:
- 4 points for a speed exceeding the speed limit by 30 mph.
- 2 points for a speed of 10 mph or more, but less than 30 mph, over a speed limit of 55 mph or greater.
- 2 points for a speed of 5 mph or more, but less than 30 mph, over a speed limit less than 55 mph.
- 0 points for all other speeding offenses.
For more information on how the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) processes points for moving violations and the substantial penalty for excessive points accumulation, press Ohio BMV Points System.
Hire A Columbus Traffic Attorney To Represent You On Your Speeding Ticket
Frequently a lawyer can appear in court and resolve a traffic case in the client’s absence, provided both the court and the prosecutor agree. This saves the client the aggravation of taking time off from work, fighting traffic to get to court on time, waiting for potentially hours for the case to be called, standing in long lines, and potentially having to do it all over again if the case is continued.
If you are seeking a traffic lawyer, contact us at 614.695.5000 or fill out our online contact form. We offer legal representation to drivers charged with traffic tickets in the Columbus metropolitan area.
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