How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in California
Speeding can occur anywhere you drive, whether it's a residential street or the freeway. There are obviously different speed limits for different areas, but in California, the maximum speed limit overall is 65 MPH (70, in some marked areas). Depending on how far above the speed limit you are traveling and where in the state the violation takes place, the fines you'll have to pay if found guilty will vary. Your insurance premium will also go up, and points will also be added to your driving record.
What Are The Points I Get For A Speeding Ticket, And How Many Will I Get?
The DMV has a point system in place that rates each individual's driving record. Every driver starts out with zero points on their record, but tickets and violations cause points to be added to the driver's record. The point of this system (no pun intended) is that it lets the DMV know if you are not being a safe driver, and if they need to revoke or suspend your license. Speeding tickets are typically considered minor moving violations, which are penalized with one point. But if you get too many tickets in too short a time span, your license may be in jeopardy. And the more points there are on your record, the higher your insurance rate will be. These costs can add up, so it's a good idea to understand your rights and how the California traffic court system works. If you feel you were wrongly charged with a speeding violation, you may wish to fight your ticket.
California Traffic Ticket Laws
There are a few necessary steps to contesting a ticket in California. First, you'll need to go to court in the county where you got the ticket, even if it's not your home county. This will be your preliminary hearing, and it's where you will enter your plea.
You can ask that you have a trial through the mail instead, provided you do so a minimum of one week before the date of your appearance. There will be a bail amount you must pay on the day of your preliminary hearing. After this, you will be assigned a court date, where you can tell your side of the story. You can have a traffic ticket lawyer represent you if you would like. If you are found not guilty, you will have your bail refunded, and the ticket will be masked. If you are found guilty, you will have to pay the fine assigned to you.
Commercial Drivers and Speeding Tickets
The penalties for commercial drivers are stricter than those for noncommercial drivers. For every one point a noncommercial driver would get on his or her record, a commercial driver gets one and a half. Drivers with commercial licenses risk losing their jobs if they get too many points on their record, if they use their commercial license for work, so it's especially important for them to watch their speed on the road.
California speeding tickets can cost you a lot of money, time, and hassle, so it's best to simply avoid going over the speed limit. If you do commit a speeding violation in California, though, you have the option of fighting your ticket, which is a nice choice to have.