At Rohan Law, we have helped countless people fight traffic speeding tickets. After years of listening to our clients tell us about their experiences, we have noticed that most speeding tickets happen because drivers are not paying attention to road signs. They do not intentionally speed. They simply don’t realize that they are going past the limits. A simple way to avoid getting a speeding ticket is to pay attention to road signs as you drive to prevent unknowingly exceeding speed limits. While it is true that there are instances where you can legally exceed limits to keep up with the flow of traffic, you need to make sure that your speed is in close range to the road sign limits in the area. Speeding limits can vary by road type and by zone. You could be driving within the speed limit one minute and going too fast the next if you cross over an area where the limit changes. So keep an eye on road signs as you drive.
If you get pulled over for speeding, one of the first things you can expect the officer to ask you is, “Do you know how fast you were going?” This information is critical because the potential legal consequences can vary based on your speed relative to the actual speeding limits in the area. Higher levels above the speeding limit can result in points on your license. In addition to driving up the cost of insurance, too many points can result in a suspended license, so it is essential to know if your speed is above a range that can get you points. In Georgia, for example, there are roads where the speed limit is 30 miles per hour, and going 45 can result in getting points on your driver’s license because the speed is 15 miles over the speeding limit. You could get 2, 3, or 4 points on your license depending on how fast you were going compared to the speed limit. The type of road you are on can also make a difference. Exceeding surface road limits vs. highway limits is not the same. You can get super speeder penalties in addition to points depending on the speed and type of road.
Speeding can lead to having your license suspended if you accumulate too many points. Drivers with 15 points or more on their license can get their license suspended. So a speeding violation that results in two points for a driver that already has 13 points can result in a suspension of driving privileges. If you are under 21 years old, the consequences for speeding can be more severe because the limit of points you are allowed is a lot lower. If you are under 21, the chances of a license suspension are significantly greater if you are a repeat offender or if your velocity is high enough above the speeding limit to get you enough points. While drivers over 21 can accumulate up to 15 points on their license before a license is suspended, younger drivers can get theirs suspended after accumulating just 4 points.
If you are a young driver, under 21 years old, you also do not have the option to plead “Nolo,” which stands for Nolo Contendre or no contest. This plea helps drivers charged with misdemeanor traffic offenses avoid getting points on their license. It’s not quite a get-out jail-free card. You are not exactly admitting guilt, but you are also not declaring your innocence. You still have to pay fines, and the judge presiding over your case has to accept your plea. You can also leverage this plea to avoid points once every five years in the state of Georgia. Drivers over 21 have the option of pleading Nolo, but if you are under 21, you do not have this option available.
Most speeding can be managed without the help of an attorney, especially if the consequences are fines and no points or other penalties. Depending on your situation, you may decide to accept the charges and pay for the speeding ticket fines. You pay fines in person or even pay online without an attorney.
If you have multiple tickets or are concerned about points, you can also try negotiating for lesser charges without an attorney’s help. For example, you can go to court and ask the judge to reduce your charges, or you can even call the prosecutor’s office in the county where you were cited and try to negotiate better terms. If you are in Atlanta, you can search for District Attorney offices by county. Below you will find the phone numbers for the top four counties that our clients ask us about:
Hall county: +1 770-531-6965
Fulton county: +1 404-612-4981
Cobb county: +1 770-528-3080
Gwinnett county: +1 770-822-8400
You may be surprised by how flexible these counties can be if you contact them and explain that you are sorry and willing to take responsibility for your mistakes. Your chances of getting reduced charges and negotiating fines are more significant if it is your first offense. If you have unpaid tickets or have missed payments, you can explain your situation and ask for payment plans.
If you have additional charges like drug possession or are concerned about multiple or unpaid tickets, arrest warrants, license suspension, you can still try to contact the district attorney’s office yourself. However, if you try and fail to negotiate successfully on your own, it may be worth your while to hire an attorney to help you with your case.
At Rohan Law, we also recommend seeking legal representation if you are not a US citizen to avoid any unwanted repercussions that a citation can have on your status in the country. An experienced attorney can help you negotiate the charges and reduce them so that you can avoid accumulating too many points and avoid other legal consequences. This is especially important if you are not a US citizen because some infractions can hurt your chances of adjusting your status or of staying in the country legally. While Rohan Law is not an immigration law firm, we have a lot of experience working with immigrant drivers, including DACA recipients, who need special handling of their criminal cases to avoid negatively impacting their status in the country.
Here at Rohan Law, the most common criminal cases we handle are related to misdemeanors. Traffic violations such as speeding tickets are the most common types that come through our office. But we turn away more cases than we take because it is our policy not to convince people to hire us if they don’t need us. We invite you to contact us if you find yourself in need of an attorney who can help you with a speeding infraction and want an honest opinion about your case. You can count on us to be honest and forthcoming enough to tell you if it can benefit you to hire representation or if it won’t.