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Speeding Ticket Violations

Speeding Ticket Violations

Many drivers get at least one speeding ticket or other traffic violation in their lifetime. It is considered a strict liability crime, meaning if you break the law, you can be found guilty regardless of whether you intended to exceed the speed limit. It doesn’t matter if you were trying to avoid another vehicle, passing, or even getting out of the way of an emergency vehicle. If you speed, you can be convicted.

In order to convict you though, the District Attorney must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were, in fact, speeding. Most of the time when you are charged, an officer will have your speed locked in on a Radar gun or a Lidar device. The officer does not have to show you the reading, and likely won’t, but he can testify to it in court. Before testifying to it, he or she will need to testify to their visual estimation of your speed. In North Carolina, the results of a speed measuring device will only be used to corroborate the officer’s visual estimation. What does this mean to you? If the officer can’t remember his visual estimation, your speed can’t come into evidence and your case will likely need to be dismissed. Also, keep in mind that officers in Raleigh and the rest of Wake County write quite a few speeding tickets. Even though speeding is low on the priority list, the officers must be able to remember you and your case. If he or she can’t remember, he or she can’t testify and your case will likely need to be dismissed.

Over the years, we have learned the ins and outs of speeding tickets. We know what issues can lead to a dismissal and we know when we should look for the best possible plea deal. We are experienced traffic lawyers who handle hundreds of speeding tickets every year. Let us put our experience to work for you to find the disposition that is best for your traffic ticket.

Improper Equipment Offenses

One reason we have learned the ins and outs is because, until recently, it was worth it to challenge every ticket written by an officer. We would continue the case and speak with the charging officer to determine whether we could have your ticket dismissed. However, with the election of a new District Attorney come new policies. In an effort to streamline the courts and better use the resources available to her to prosecute more serious offenses, District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has authorized her Assistant District Attorney’s to offer a plea to Improper Equipment in certain circumstances.

Improper Equipment offenses are non-moving violations that generally imply a part of your vehicle was not functioning properly, usually the speedometer. This means, while it will appear on your driving record, neither DMV nor your insurance company can use the conviction against you. It is a sure way to keep your insurance rates from increasing, and it is our recommendation in all eligible cases.

However, if an Improper Equipment is the desired outcome, the case must be handled prior to our opportunity to speak to the charging officer. That way, the DA can free up the courts from speeding tickets and concentrate on more serious offenses. For this reason, when you contact Mahlum Law Office to discuss your speeding ticket, you will speak with an attorney to go over your options and whether you are eligible for an IE. If you are eligible and so desire, we will get the necessary documentation and resolve your ticket with a plea to Improper Equipment for a reasonable fee above the required court costs. If we determine that you are not eligible or you do not want an IE, we will be happy to represent you with the goal of getting your ticket dismissed.

Speeding Tickets

Not all charges are eligible for a reduction to IE, and you may not be eligible based on your prior driving record. If that is the case, we will put our experience to work for and try to have your case dismissed. If we were unable to have your ticket dismissed, we would negotiate a plea pursuant to North Carolina’s Safe Driver Incentive Program, the point system your insurance company must follow in determining whether to raise your rates.

Please keep in mind, there are potential consequences to a non IE plea. Rarely do we agree to a plea that would revoke a driver’s license (although sometimes it is necessary), but a license can be suspended for too many points, two convictions for going over 55 MPH within twelve months, a conviction for more than 15 miles per hour over the limit, or a host of other reasons. We use this knowledge and our experience to evaluate and obtain the best outcome possible for your speeding ticket.

Speeding Zones

Speeding in a Work Zone and Speeding in a School Zone are two distinct offenses that carry stiff penalties. Both have a mandatory fine of $250 on top of court costs, and School Zone tickets are not eligible for the “9 over exception” in the Safe Driver Incentive Program. These tickets require special attention and planning. Contact us today to discuss your options if you are facing a Speeding in a Work Zone or School Zone ticket.

Exceeding a Safe Speed

Exceeding a Safe Speed and Exceeding the Posted Speed are more general offenses. They may be charged when an officer can’t determine your exact speed for some reason. While these charges are infractions and therefore lower offenses, they are often less desirable than an exact speed for insurance purposes.

Careless and Reckless Driving

North Carolina General Statute 20-140 creates the charge of Careless and Reckless Driving. An officer can charge you with this for driving upon a highway or public vehicular area “carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others” or “without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.”

A conviction for Careless and Reckless can carry serious insurance implications, and may suspend your license. While the wording of the charge may be general, the State must prove specific actions that were careless and reckless, which can be difficult.