There’s really no such thing as a minor speeding ticket. Any conviction for the traffic violation results in fines and points against your license. Multiple speeding violations in a single year could even land you in jail and get your license suspended.
Here, defense attorney Michael S. Probst breaks down the different levels of charges and penalties for driving too fast. Seeing the details should be enough to convince anyone of the wisdom of consulting with a Columbus, Ohio, speeding ticket lawyer before simply signing a citation and mailing in a payment, which, while sometimes convenient, is tantamount to pleading guilty.
Exceeding a Posted Speed Limit or Driving too Fast for Conditions
Local city and county ordinances may specify a range of fees and fines for a single speeding violation. Throughout Ohio, however, state law provides for a $150 fine and 2 license points when a driver is found guilty of exceeding a posted speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions.
“Too fast” can mean a couple of things. First, each road has a statutory speed limit even if that is not posted. For numbered state routes inside city limits, the statutory (or assumed) maximum safe speed is 35 mph. That goes down to 20-25 mph in school zones that lack speed limit signs.
Second, going too fast can mean failing to slow down during dangerous weather like snow and heavy rain. Because of this, drivers involved in crashes on icy roads can receive speeding tickets even if they were traveling at the posted speed limit before the collision.
When road conditions do not create safety issues, drivers should travel at close to the speed limit. Ohio police can issue citations for driving too slowly because slow-moving vehicles create hazards for faster drivers. Writing a ticket for slow speed comes down to a judgment call, but impeding traffic by, say, going 15 mph in a 35 mph zone could attract the attention of law enforce. A ticket for driving too far below the speed limit comes with a 2-point license penalty.
The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) specifies a 4-point license penalty for driving more than 30 mph over a posted speed limit. Speeding that excessively can also bring a reckless operation charge.
Misdemeanor Speeding Violations
A third speeding conviction within a 12-month period is treated as a fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and criminal fines up to $250. A fourth speeding conviction in the same year becomes a third-degree misdemeanor, the possibility of a 60-day jail sentence, and fines of as much as $500. New points arrive with each conviction, as well, meaning a combination of speeding violations can result in a 12-point license suspension.
Ohio state law also gives police discretion to issue a fourth-degree misdemeanor charge for driving 35 mph over the speed limit in a business district or for driving faster than 35 mph in a school zone when speed restrictions are in effect at the beginning or end of the school day and during recess.
Enhanced Penalties for Speeding in Work Zones
Section 4511.11 of the ORC doubles fines for speeding through areas where road work is being done. When temporary speed limit signs are not set up, the law obligates drivers to slow down and move over as far as possible to give road crew members a safety buffer. Drivers must also reduce their speed and change lanes when they approach crash scenes, traffic stops, and tow trucks or other emergency response vehicles operating in the median or on the shoulder.
To discuss your legal options for fighting a traffic citation with a speeding ticket lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, call the Probst Law Office at (614) 232-8890 or reach out to us online. The initial consultation will cost you nothing.