Anyone who has driven in Columbus / Franklin County recently has probably seen police officers with radar guns on the lookout for speeding drivers. Now that orange cones and construction zones seem to again be everywhere on Columbus highways, officers are on even higher alert.
In fact, the Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio has handed out more than $400,000 in grants in 2012 to police agencies statewide to beef up traffic enforcement.
Minor misdemeanor speeding tickets in Ohio can cost you up to $150 in fines plus additional court costs, cost you points on your license, drive up your car insurance premiums, spark sanctions by your employer and even result in jail time for multiple offenses. Drivers can be charged with doubled fines if they are caught speeding through construction zones.
Hiring a lawyer can help–and can reduce your total costs. Most people just pay their tickets in full online or mail in their fine. But think twice before you pay the ticket. Receiving a citation for a speeding or other moving violation does not mean that you are guilty of the offense.
However, if you just pay the fine, it is the same as pleading guilty in court, and may make driving more expensive for you.
Points on your driving record could cause your auto insurance rates to go up considerably for several years. The Ohio point system adds two points to your license for driving more than 10 mph over the speed limit if the speed limit is 55 mph or more. If the speed limit is less than 55 mph, two points are added if you exceed the speed limit by more than 5 mph.
If you fight it, you could have that fine reduced, have the ticket reduced to no points or even get the ticket dismissed, depending on the facts of your case. In fact, the Columbus Dispatch reported a few years ago that a review of more than 4,500 tickets issued in work zones around the I-71/670 interchange and on I-270 found that more than 93% of people who went to court instead of mailing a check or entering a credit-card number online walked away with reduced or dismissed fines or charges.
Hiring an attorney can save you the headache of waiting in long lines at the courthouse, taking off work to appear for your court date, fighting downtown traffic and parking, and navigating a very busy and sometimes confusing Franklin County Municipal Court building.
What’s more, our attorneys will investigate potential defuses, such as whether there were any problems with calibration of the officer’s radar gun, problems with the officer’s pacing procedure, with the availability of expert testimony, or whether any record keeping issue could get your case reduced or dismissed.
Potential outcomes to resolve your speeding or traffic ticket might include: an option to dismiss the case for court costs, a deferred finding, traffic diversion (in which your case would be dismissed after completion of an online driver safety class), reduction to non-moving or equipment violations, as well as avoiding points on your license.