Many Ohio traffic violations are also serious criminal offenses. And while various traffic citations can be resolved quickly, severe traffic offenses can involve jail time, fines, license suspensions, or vehicle forfeiture.
Due to the nature of certain traffic violations and the potential inability to drive, it is crucial to contact a skilled traffic lawyer if you are facing a significant traffic violation in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati traffic & speeding ticket lawyers with Luftman, Heck & Associates have successfully defended hundreds of individuals charged with traffic violations. Our knowledge and experience in traffic court will help you resolve traffic issues as favorably as possible. Call (513) 338-1890 for free consultation today.
Speeding Tickets in Hamilton County
Even the most conscientious drivers might occasionally look down at their speedometers and find they’re driving faster than they intended. Unfortunately, a lapse when a police officer or state trooper is nearby can result in a costly speeding ticket.
Speeding Penalties in Ohio
Ohio law treats speeding differently depending on the circumstances. A speeding ticket may be a simple infraction punishable by a fine or a criminal charge punishable by jail time and other penalties.
The difference usually hinges on how fast you were driving, whether you were driving in a particular zone, or whether you had prior violations.
The penalties for speeding in Ohio break down as follows:
- Minor Misdemeanor — A basic speeding violation is punishable with a fine of up to $150.
- Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Speeding can be a fourth-degree misdemeanor when you have two prior speeding violations or assured clear distance violations within the last year. Speeding also may be a fourth-degree misdemeanor when driving faster than 35 mph in a school zone. If convicted, the punishment may include up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
- Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Speeding can be a third-degree misdemeanor when you have three or more prior violations within the last year. If you’re convicted, you can be punished for up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
When you’re alleged to have been speeding in a construction zone, fines double if you plead guilty or are convicted.
Speeding’s Effect on Your Ohio Driver’s License
In addition to fines or possible jail time, a guilty plea or conviction for speeding can affect your driver’s license. Remember that paying the fine on a ticket is the same as pleading guilty, and you may accrue points or even face a driver’s license suspension.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles could add points to your driver’s license for speeding based on how much you exceeded the posted or legal speed limit on the stretch of road where you got your ticket. Your license is suspended when you accrue 12 points on your driving record in Ohio.
Other Traffic Violations in Cincinnati, Ohio
Here are some of the other types of traffic violations you could be dealing with in Cincinnati:
The privilege of driving is easy for anyone to take for granted. You may not realize how much you rely on your driver’s license until you do not have the option of driving.
Driving without a license in Ohio is not punished lightly if convicted. Regardless of whether you know how to drive or operate a motor vehicle, it is illegal to do so without a valid license.
Ohio drivers are required by law to stop after a motor vehicle accident, regardless of how much damage or whether the vehicle was attended. In Ohio, drivers must provide information to anyone involved in the accident.
Reckless driving and operation occur when anyone operates a motor vehicle in a manner that purposefully or intentionally causes harm or danger to other drivers or property.
A reckless driving conviction in Hamilton County carries jail time, fines, and points. Further reckless driving convictions may result in your driver’s license being suspended or revoked.
Eluding or fleeing a law enforcement officer can result in serious jail time and expensive fees. If you are caught, you need an experienced Cincinnati traffic ticket attorney.
Moving violations can result in points, criminal penalties, and increased car insurance premiums. If you’re charged with a moving violation, you should seek the legal advice of an experienced traffic attorney who can help weigh your options.
Ohio laws penalize street racing to protect the public. If you’re charged with the crime of street racing, you need a traffic ticket attorney who can defend you against those allegations.
Vehicular assault charges can result in harsh penalties as well as collateral consequences. If you are arrested for vehicular assault, seek help from an experienced traffic ticket lawyer immediately.
Consequences of Pleading Guilty to a Traffic Offense
When you get a speeding ticket, it may be tempting just to pay it and forget it. However, a speeding ticket can sometimes be more than a simple infraction.
Even when it is just an infraction, there are unexpected costs. It’s important to understand that paying the ticket is the same as a guilty plea. The potential effects of pleading guilty to a speeding charge can include:
- Paying more for car insurance
- Loss of employment
- CDL disqualification
- Liability in a civil lawsuit if your speeding resulted in an accident
- Jail time under some circumstances
- A permanent criminal record under some circumstances
An experienced Cincinnati traffic lawyer can help you fight the speeding ticket and avoid some or all these consequences. Depending on the context of your ticket, you may have a chance of getting your speeding ticket dismissed or the penalties reduced.
Consequences for Out-of-State Drivers
If you’re a driver from outside Ohio, you may face the consequences at home for an out-of-state speeding violation.
Under the Driver License Compact, driving offenses that you get in states that are parties to the agreement — all but a few — are reported to the driver’s license agency in your home state. That may result in your getting points on your license or a driver’s license suspension in your home state, just as if you had gotten a speeding ticket there.
It may be worth talking to a Cincinnati speeding ticket defense attorney about your options for contesting your ticket. A traffic lawyer may be able to get the ticket dismissed or reduced so that you don’t feel the consequences at home.
Should You Pay a Traffic Ticket in Ohio?
Though you may be tempted to pay a traffic ticket so you can put the experience behind you, doing so is effectively pleading guilty to the charges against you. If you hope to fight your traffic ticket, you need a dedicated traffic attorney by your side to help you understand the process and clear your name.
Traffic tickets often require negotiation with government officials and at least one court appearance. You may be facing steep fines and other penalties. It’s best to seek the assistance of a Cincinnati traffic ticket attorney if you are facing a traffic violation.
Consequences for Out-of-State Drivers
When you get a speeding ticket in Ohio, the allegation is typically based on measuring your speed. However, police officers or troopers’ methods to calculate your speed may be flawed.
If your Cincinnati traffic defense lawyer can demonstrate that the calculation was inaccurate, you may have a chance at fighting the ticket.
A few common defenses to speeding involve challenging the use of radar or pacing to measure your speed.
- Radar —Ohio has specific rules about how radar devices must be calibrated or maintained. If those rules weren’t followed, your lawyer might be able to claim that the results are invalid.
- Pacing — When an officer uses pacing to claim that you were speeding, that involves the officer trying to match your speed on the road to see if you’re over the speed limit. However, pacing is an inexact way to measure speed. If your ticket is based on the results of a pacing test, there may be several ways to challenge the results.
When you choose to fight a speeding ticket in Cincinnati, you may need to present evidence that is technical and complicated. Your defense also may involve shades of gray in Ohio law. A Cincinnati traffic defense lawyer with experience handling speeding tickets may be in the best position to get you the results you desire in your case.
When you’re facing a Cincinnati traffic charge, don’t delay. Call A Cincinnati traffic & speeding ticket lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates today.
Your defense attorney will walk you through your legal options and begin building a defense to reduce or eliminate the penalties you face. Contact LHA today at (513) 338-1890 or contact us online. We are available 24/7.