4 Common Defenses to Speeding Tickets
Both North Carolina and South Carolina abide by what is known as a “basic” speed law. Under the law, no one is permitted to drive at a speed that unreasonable for the current conditions. Because of the statute’s wording, it is possible to be ticketed for going just one mile over the limit. Challenging your ticket is an option. If you choose to fight the citation, here are some common defenses to consider:
- You Were Not Speeding
Perhaps the most common argument is to state that you were not speeding at all. You will have to figure out how the officer determined your alleged speed and then attack the method. Be sure to gather any evidence you can, including photographs of the scene and a timeline of events. Also, the admitting that you were speeding but not going as fast at the officer cited you for is not a valid legal defense.
- You Had No Other Choice
In rare situations, drivers may be forced to pick up speed in order to avoid a serious accident. In these cases, you may use the necessity of speed defense. For example, you may choose to invoke this argument if you need to cope with a mechanical problem, swerve around traffic or handle a sudden and unexpected illness.
- The Radar Gun Was Not Accurate
Many law enforcement officers in the Carolinas use radar guns in order to clock a vehicle’s speed. However, these can be inaccurate for a number of reasons, including the following:
- The gun picked up another vehicle’s speed.
- There were reflective surfaces that interfered with the reading, such as utility lines, metal signs or power stations.
- The radar gun had not been properly maintained.
These arguments will require that you provide sufficient evidence to support your claim. For example, you may need to take photographs of the scene to depict the obstructions that would have prevented an accurate reading.
- There Were No Posted Speed Limit Signs
You may be able to make the case that you did not know the speed limit because there were no signs. Trees may have hidden the sign, or perhaps the sign was not posted in compliance with regulations. In either case, you can take pictures to make your case. Be aware that every jurisdiction does have a default speed limit for unmarked roads. You will want to make sure that if you use this argument, you were still within the default limit.
Fighting a speeding ticket can be worthwhile for drivers who wish to avoid a fine and license points. Our attorneys at Nosal & Jeter, LLP know that every case is different, and making the wrong defense (or making the right defense that is procedurally deficient) could result in a conviction with severe consequences for your license or insurance. Please contact us if you have questions about a ticket you have received.