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Columbia Speeding Ticket Process
As with any ticket, the Columbia speeding ticket process is one that should be handled with attention and care. Normally a minor offense, a speeding ticket can be dealt with quickly and easily when acted on appropriately.
However, an individual should know that they also have the ability to challenge their ticket if they wish. If you have decided to defend yourself against your violation, it is important to hire an experienced speeding lawyer. The right attorney can help craft the best defense against their ticket while keeping the particular circumstances of your case in mind.
Speeding Ticket Procedures
The Columbia speeding ticket process is mostly straightforward. On the ticket, an individual should expect to see the methods that the officer used to determine their speed. If the officer used radar equipment, more than likely the alleged recorded speed will be on the ticket. Additionally, speeding tickets are payable traffic violations, and the accused person may choose to plead guilty and pay a fine without appearing in court.
An individual will know that they have a payable violation when the officer checks the second box under ‘notice to appear’ on the hard copy citation, or a payable fine appears on the electronic version. An individual should always read the notice carefully and make sure their name and address are correct.
Scheduling an MVA Hearing
If a person chooses to plead guilty by paying the fine, then the citation will automatically appear on their driver’s record. Further, the MVA may assess points to the individual’s license. An individual has the option to pay the fine in person, online, or through the mail. If they choose to plead guilty and would like for their fine to be reduced or waived, or they want to be given a probation before judgment, they must request the hearing within 30 days after receiving the ticket. To request a hearing, an individual must check ‘request a hearing’ on the return to court copy of the hard copy citation in the envelope, or on the electronic version of the form. A person must then sign, date, and mail the form.
The hearing will give the individual the opportunity to explain to the judge why they committed the offense and request that their fine be reduced or waived. An individual can also ask to be given probation before judgment. However, lowering a fine is always at the discretion of the judge. There is a possibility that the fine can actually be increased to as much as $500.
For the purposes of an individual’s driving record, if they pre-pay the ticket, it incurs the same consequences as pleading guilty. The citation will appear on their driving record. If the violation has points as part of the penalty, the points will automatically appear on the driver’s record as well. If someone does not pay a minor traffic violation or request the hearing, the MVA may send them a warning that they failed to pay the fine. The person may also be informed that if they do not address the unpaid ticket, their license and/or vehicle registration will be suspended on a certain date. If this letter is sent to the wrong address, their license and/or vehicle registration may still be suspended. This is all detailed as standard procedure in a Columbia speeding ticket process.
Verdict and Appeal
If the judge finds the individual guilty, they have the right to appeal within 30 days of their hearing. They can also request a trial by checking the ‘request a trial’ check box on the citation. At the trial, the officer who issued the ticket will testify, and the individual will have an opportunity to present their side of the case.
After hearing both sides, the judge will make a decision. If the person is found guilty, they will then have a right to appeal within 30 days of their hearing date. This is the typical procedures associated with a speeding ticket process in Columbia.
Uniqueness of Traffic Cases
Speeding ticket cases in Columbia are interesting because the judges in the Howard County District Court all have different opinions as to how serious each traffic violation is. Knowing how the judge will react is very helpful in determining the best way to mitigate an individual’s case. Columbia traffic cases are challenging because it is impossible to guarantee results, as it depends on several factors including the specific judge and whether officers and/or witnesses appear to the scheduled hearing.
If the accused individual is an out-of-state driver, they should still hire a Columbia speeding ticket lawyer. This is beneficial because the attorney will be able to request the hearing as well as waive the accused individual’s appearance and attend the hearing on their behalf. As such, the out-of-state driver will not have to travel back to Columbia in order to contest their speeding ticket.
Benefits of an Attorney
It is important for an accused individual to choose a lawyer who has handled a variety of traffic citations and has appeared before the Howard County District Court judges on numerous occasions. The right attorney will aggressively pursue the client’s best interests and will be available to answer any and all questions a client may have.