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What Are The Different Levels Of Speeding Offenses?

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You may think that all speeding tickets are the same, but there are actually different degrees of speeding offenses. The different degrees of offense merit different tickets, and there are different ways for how you can go about fighting your ticket.

Warning Only

Many states have laws where, if you are only a few miles per hour over the speed limit, you can only receive a written warning. A written warning is like a speeding ticket, except it doesn't have any fine or points. The point of the law is to not give people a ticket if their speed was in the margin of error of the radar gun, but should still allow the police a chance to pull people over and ask them to slow down. You may also be able to negotiate for a warning rather than a ticket, especially if you have a good driving record.

Too Fast For Conditions

"Too fast for conditions" means that you were operating at a dangerous speed whether or not you were within the posted speed limit. For example, during a blinding rainstorm, it may be unsafe to drive above half of the posted speed limit. This ticket is discretionary rather than based on a set speed, but it still carries a fine and points.

Because the ticket is based on officer discretion, there is more room to argue it in court. Every car has different handling and equipment, so what's unsafe for one car may be safe for others as long as no other drivers were impacted.

Higher Speeds

Not all speeding tickets are equal. There are higher penalties for higher speeds based on how much you were above the limit. You may see more points, higher fines, or even have your license automatically suspended. This means there is more potential benefit to hiring a traffic lawyer whether you want to fight the ticket or try to get it reduced to a lower speed.

Criminal Speeding

Very fast speeds or speeding combined with reckless driving can be criminal offenses. This is more than just a speeding ticket. It means you have a criminal charge and will be a convicted criminal if found guilty. Since this is a criminal charge, you have the right to a trial where the prosecutor must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and your attorney can dispute the evidence against you.

To learn more about the different levels of speeding offenses and how to handle a speeding ticket, a local speeding ticket law firm can help. Contact a local law firm for more information.