Should I Just Pay My Speeding Ticket?
Q: I was going to work. I was a bit late and was driving above the speed limit. I was pulled over and given a citation. Should I just pay it and forget about it?
A: If you’ve driven in Las Vegas, you’ve seen people get speeding tickets. If you received one, you should not ignore the ticket. However, there are two good reasons to attempt to negotiate your citation rather than to simply pay it.
First, depending on the speed you were driving, your citation can carry points. The DMV keeps track of your points. For example, driving 11-20 mph over the speed limit carries 2 points; 21-30 mph over the speed limit carries 3 points; 31-40 mph over the speed limit carries 4 points; and if the officer thought you were reckless, well it carries 8 points. If you receive more than 12 points on your record within a 12- month period, your license is suspended. Keep in mind it is points from the date of the conviction, not from the calendar date of the citation.
Avoiding points is one good reason to negotiate. A second reason to negotiate is to avoid insurance rate increases. If your citation is amended to a non-moving violation, then there are no points and your insurance rates will generally not increased. So why do courts or prosecutors negotiate citations? Well, its economics. An individual accused of a crime, has a constitutional right to a trial, regardless if it is for a minor infraction. A prosecutor will have to subpoena the officer and the officer will have to testify and be cross-examined. Prosecutors and officers generally prefer to focus their attention on more serious crimes. Not that driving at an excessive speed is not dangerous. It is, and you should definitely not do it. However, given a choice of focusing a burglar or a murder charge, or focusing on a 10 mph over the speeding limit charge, the prosecutor will hopefully focus his or her attention wisely and make you an offer to resolve your case. Such offers benefit you and the court system as well. If you do not have time to go to court, you can hire an attorney to handle your traffic matter. When I handle traffic cases, my goal is always to try to avoid points, avoid traffic school, and/or reduce the fine amount. Please call me at (702) 474-0404 if you have more questions or would like attorney representation.