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Columbia Speeding Ticket Lawyer
Although sometimes considered a petty offense, speeding in Columbia can carry hundreds of dollars in fines and up to five points on an individual’s license. No matter the degree of the offense, it is important to hire an experienced Columbia speeding ticket lawyer to help prepare the best possible defense based on the specific terms of your case. An attorney can aid in minimizing any potential consequences and make sure to always have your best interests in mind.
Speeding Offenses in Columbia
Speeding is a payable minor traffic offense. For a first time violator in Columbia, the individual may not be fined for more than $500, and their license may not be suspended for more than two years. The penalty also depends on how fast the person was traveling. A Columbia speeding ticket attorney can aid in lessening any potential penalties.
The smallest speeding ticket a person can receive is for exceeding the speed limit by one to nine miles per hour. This comes with a fine of $80 and one point on their driver record. Penalties for an individual can increase all the way up to a fine of $500 and five points on their driving record. This can occur when the person has exceeded the speed limit by 40 miles per hour or more.
Columbia has what is called an absolute speed limit law. If the posted speed limit is 40 miles per hour and someone drives 41 miles per hour or more, they have violated the Maryland speed limit law. No matter whether a person is driving one MPH or five MPH over the speed limit, they are guilty of a speeding offense.
Types of Speeding Offenses
The fine for a first-time offense for exceeding the speed limit may not be more than $500, and the person’s license may not be suspended for more than two years. For reckless driving for a first-time offense, the fine is not more than $1,000, and the license may not be suspended for more than two years.
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor that is classified under the Maryland Transportation Article as opposed to the criminal law section. Some examples of reckless driving include driving on a shoulder, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic. It is common for a police officer to write a ticket that cites a specific violation as reckless driving.
However, a person cannot be charged with reckless driving just for speeding. The officer must consider other factors, such as how much over the speed limit the person was traveling and how erratic the driving was. There are also points assessed to an individual’s driving record depending on how fast over the speed limit the person is going. Specific infractions that incur demerit points on a license include:
- Speeding more than 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit – assessed two points
- Speeding more than 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit – assessed five points
- Reckless driving conviction – assessed six points
- Participating in a race or speed contest on a highway – assessed five points
- Exceeding in the 65-mile-per-hour posted speed limit by more than 20 miles per hour – assessed five points.
Other traffic laws or moving violations that do not contribute to an accident receive one point. Other traffic laws or moving violations that do contribute to an accident receive three points. Reckless driving is not a speeding ticket in Columbia, but speeding is one of the violations an officer will cite someone for when giving a ticket for reckless driving.
Proving a Speeding Ticket
To prove a charge of speeding, officers show that they are trained and certified in the method they use to check someone’s speed. Officers also show that the method they used was fully operational at the time they recorded the person’s speed. When speed reading equipment is used, it is extremely difficult for the defense to overcome.
Even with that being said, a person may be able to use two defenses against the officer’s determination of the speed.
- They can claim that an emergency forced them to exceed the speed limit to avoid damage or injury to themselves or others.
- A person can claim that the officer mistook their car for another car. With so many similar-looking vehicles, it is possible that an officer can see a car that was speeding, lose sight of it, and then wrongly pick out another individual’s car that was further down the road.
With any defense, the person is to find out the method the officer used to determine their speed. Then, through their Columbia speeding ticket lawyer, use specific arguments to attack that particular method in the case process.
Other possible consequences of a speeding offense are an increase in insurance rates. If an individual’s points are assessed by an insurance company, they may decide to increase the person’s rates. If someone gets enough speeding tickets and their points accumulate on their record, their license may be suspended or revoked.
Benefits of an Attorney
A Columbia speeding attorney will be able to understand the specific local driving laws in Columbia and will use his or her knowledge to help achieve the best outcome possible. This offense can carry a potential of hundreds of dollars in fines and up to five points on an individual’s license, making it crucial to have a strong defense against the prosecution. An experienced lawyer can help use the appropriate defenses to aid in getting a waiver of points and/or a fine.