Things You Need to Check Before Pleading Guilty to Speeding Ticket in Ohio?
Few Ohio drivers make it through their lives without receiving a speeding ticket. Some people can’t make it through most years without getting pulled over and ticketed. But that is not what keeps a Columbus speeding ticket lawyer like me in business.
The truth is that most people can take a citation for exceeding a posted speed limit in stride. The cost of simply signing the ticket and paying the fine and administrative fees does not represent a particular hardship. Likewise, only a certain percentage of drivers need to worry about more than the money and possible increase in car insurance premiums.
But you must always make sure to read your speeding ticket carefully before you plead guilty by mailing a check or submitting a credit card number. Here are three things to check specifically.
Is Speeding the Only Alleged Traffic Violation?
Columbus Ohio police and State Troopers can list multiple violations on a single citation. Common add-ons are distracted driving, faulty equipment, expired tags/inspection, and failure to yield. The fines and penalty points can add up quickly, and you may want to fight one or more of the charges. State and local laws allow you to pay some fines and request court hearings on others. A Columbus speeding ticket lawyer can talk you through how to do that.
Is Your Ticket Actually for Speeding?
It can be easy to mistake a reckless operation citation for a speeding ticket. As a general rule, speeding becomes reckless at 25 mph over the posted speed limit if the other circumstances support the filing of a reskless operation charge. The officer or trooper who issues the ticket also has broad discretion to determine that a driver was operating recklessly given the traffic, pavement, or weather conditions.
A reckless operation charge requires the driver to appear in court because one of the possible penalties is a license suspension. Jail time is also a possibility. If you just sign and return a reckless operation citation, you have pled guilty and agreed to go straight to a sentencing hearing without mounting a defense.
Definitely consult with a Columbus speeding ticket lawyer about a reckless operation ticket. Effective defenses exist and negotiating a plea to a less-serious traffic violation can be explored.
How Close Are You to Accumulating 12 Penalty Points Over the Past 24 Months?
Pleading guilty to a regular speeding offense in Ohio usually puts two penalty points on your license. Reckless operation is typically a 4-point offense. Drivers who accumulate 12 penalty points in a 2-year period suffer an automatic license suspension. The suspension will apply to their own driver’s license and each commercial driver’s license they hold. Ohio makes it a jailable offense to operate a commercial vehicle while holding a suspended CDL.
Be aware, too, that many traffic violations carry penalty points. Working with a speeding ticket lawyer to have charges dismissed or lowered to ones that do not carry point penalties can make all the difference in keeping you behind the wheel.
Colin Maher of The Maher Law Firm handles traffic defense in Columbus and all over Franklin County. He offers free phone consultations to all potential clients, and he takes speeding and reckless operation cases for a flat fee. You can contact us online or speak with Colin now by calling (614) 205-2208.