Speeding laws in America vary from state to state. Generally, all states have two types of speeding laws; civil and criminal. Civil laws regarding speeding are based on a motorist going over a over the posted speed limit, generally referred to as the “maximum speed limit” by less than 20 miles per hour. Criminal speeding laws tend to occur when a motorist goes over an excess amount over the maximum speed limit, which is over 20 miles per hour in many states. Also, the punishment, violations, and fines are different between a civil and criminal violation. A criminal violation can lead to imprisonment and revocation of the motorist licenses for a stated amount of time.
All states, however, have both a “maximum speed limit” and a “minimum speed limit.” The maximum (or absolute) speed limit is generally the speed limit that is posted on the signs on the road. The signs are seen on both streets and on interstate highways. The minimum speed limit is generally the rate of speed a motorist must travel at when driving on the highway. Going over the speed limit is a strict liability crime, meaning that regardless of the intention a driver may have, whether he indented to speed or not, he is strictly liable for going over the posted speed limit; even if it just a few miles above the speed limit. Going over the absolute speed limit is generally punishable by a fine and if found guilty, can add a certain amount of points to your driver’s license.
In order to fight a speeding ticket, a driver must first determine whether the ticket was for going over the absolute speed limit or the presumed speed limit. In order to fight a speeding ticket or a traffic violation for going above the absolute speed limit, there are certain defenses a driver can argue. An absolute speed limit violation is quite simple to understand; if the posted limit on a sign is 65 mph, like in Arizona, then that is the absolute limit. If you are going 70 mph, you are violating the absolute speed limit. Although the defenses for a speeding ticket violation are limited, some of them include the following:
1. The drive can state that he was speeding because of an emergency. This emergency must have made the driver speed in order to avoid serious injury to yourself or others
2. The driver can also challenge the determination of your speed. A traffic ticket will often have your tracked speed written down on it and the absolute speed limited that was posted mentioned as well, and you have the right to challenge this statement. Most officer use certain devices such as a radar guns or lasers, besides basic sight to determine the speed the driver was going. In to make a valid defense you must determine which method the officer used first and then either attack the method used or the officer's implementation of that method. Additionally, one thing to note is that if you've received a traffic ticket that is a major offense such as DUI or reckless driving, it's important to hire a criminal lawyer to help you resolve the case. You can see our directory for a list of traffic ticket lawyers listed by states. Because traffic tickets involve the criminal portion of the legal system, that's why it's important that you get a competent lawyer to help with your case.
3. The driver can also challenge the officer's identification of the vehicle and claim that the officer was mistaken with a similar car that was driving next to you at the time of the ticket.
There are also ways to fight a speeding ticket under a presumed speed limit. If you have been given a ticket under a presumed speed limit, meaning the officer gave you a summons for driving at an unsafe speed for the conditions and circumstances present at the time. There are two general defenses to such a ticket:
- First, you can
challenge the officer's determination of speeding, just as if you were
challenging an absolute speed limit violation
- Secondly, even if you were driving above the posted speed limit, your driving was safe for the conditions at the time of the ticket.
Choose a state you are interested in to view their speeding ticket laws:
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