A speeding ticket can happen to anyone. Even the most conscientious drivers might occasionally look down at their speedometers and find they’re driving faster than they intended because their attention wandered or they just stepped a little too hard on the gas. Unfortunately, a lapse at the wrong moment when a police officer or state trooper is nearby to witness it can result in a costly ticket.
Speeding Tickets in Ohio
When you get a speeding ticket, it may be tempting to just pay it and forget about it. However, a speeding ticket can be more than a simple infraction under some circumstances. Even when it is just an infraction, there can be unexpected consequences. It’s important to understand that paying the ticket is the same as a guilty plea. The potential consequences of pleading guilty to a speeding charge can include:
- Paying more for car insurance
- Points on your driver’s license
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- 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
However, there may be ways that an experienced Ohio speeding lawyer can help you fight the ticket and avoid some or all of these consequences. Depending on the circumstances of your ticket, you may have a chance at getting your ticket dismissed or the penalties reduced with an attorney’s help.
Ohio Speeding Penalties
Ohio treats speeding tickets in a few different ways depending on the circumstances. Your speeding ticket may be a simple infraction punishable by a fine, or it may be a more serious misdemeanor 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 type of zone, or whether you have prior violations.
The penalties for speeding in Ohio break down as follows:
- Minor Misdemeanor — A basic speeding violation is a minor misdemeanor punishable with a fine of up to $150.
- 4th Degree Misdemeanor — Speeding can be charged as a 4th degree misdemeanor when you have two prior speeding or assured clear distance violations on your record within the last year. Speeding also may be a 4th-degree misdemeanor when you’re caught driving faster than 35 mph in a school zone when children are going to or from school or are on recess. Another type of 4thdegree misdemeanor speeding involves driving faster than 35 mph in a town or city’s business district, or faster than 50 mph in any other part of a town or city. If you are convicted of speeding as a 4th-degree misdemeanor, the punishment may include up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
- 3rd Degree Misdemeanor — Speeding can be charged as a 3rd degree misdemeanor when you have three or more prior violations within the last year. If you’re convicted of a 3rd-degree misdemeanor, 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, the fines are doubled if you plead guilty or are convicted.
Effects on Your Driver’s License
In addition to fines or possible jail time, a guilty plea or conviction for speeding can affect your driver’s license. You may accrue points on your driving record, or even face a driver’s license suspension for speeding in Ohio.
Driver’s license points for speeding are based on how much your speed exceeded the posted or legal speed limit on the stretch of road where you got your ticket.
- 0 Points — If your speed was 1 to 5 mph over the speed limit in any zone, you don’t typically accrue points on your license. You also don’t accrue points when your speed was 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit when the speed limit was 55 mph or higher.
- 2 Points — You typically will accrue 2 points on your license when your speed was 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit in a zone where the normal speed limit is less than 55 mph. You also will accrue 2 points if your speed was 11 to 29 mph over the speed limit regardless of the posted speed limit.
- 4 Points — You’ll accrue 4 points on your license when your speed is 30 mph or more over the speed limit regardless of the posted speed limit.
Out of State Drivers
If you’re a driver from outside of Ohio, such as a resident of Indiana or Kentucky driving into Cincinnati, you may face consequences at home for an Ohio speeding violation. Under an agreement called the Interstate Compact, driving offenses that you get in states that are parties to the agreement — which is 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 the speeding ticket there.
It may be worth talking to an Ohio speeding ticket defense lawyer about your options for contesting your ticket. A good lawyer may be able to help you get the Ohio ticket dismissed or reduced so that you don’t feel the consequences at home.
How a Cincinnati Speeding Lawyer Can Defend Your Ticket
Typically when you get an Ohio speeding ticket, the allegation is based on some measurement of your speed. However, the methods that police officers or troopers use 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 couple of common defenses to speeding tickets involve challenging the use of radar or pacing to measure your speed.
- Radar — If your speeding ticket was based on the results of a radar device, your attorney may be able to argue that the device was unreliable. Ohio has specific rules about how radar devices must be calibrated or maintained, and if those rules weren’t followed then your lawyer may be able to claim that the results being used against you 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. The results of a pacing test can be affected by the curvature of the road or other factors. It isn’t really a scientific measure. If your ticket is based on the results of a pacing test, there may be a number of ways that your lawyer can challenge the results.
When you choose to fight a speeding ticket, 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.