When you get a speeding ticket in L.A., it can mean more than just a small fine. Some speeding tickets come with a bill for hundreds of dollars or more, and sorting it out can consume hours of your time. Since speeding tickets cost you “points,” one ticket can even mean losing your license.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to deal with your ticket alone. A speeding ticket lawyer in Los Angeles can help you. The Simmrin Law Group knows how to handle speeding cases. We have the experience and knowledge to take on the traffic court system and win.
Why Should I Get a Speeding Ticket Lawyer in Los Angeles?
You don’t always need a lawyer when going to traffic court. If your only intention is to plead guilty and pay your fine or to throw yourself at the mercy of the court and hope for the best, you can do that without an attorney. If the amount on the ticket is fairly small and you don’t have anything else to lose, that could be the best choice.
However, if there is more at stake for you than just a small fine, professional legal help makes a big difference. Los Angeles speeding ticket lawyers can help in three main circumstances:
- When you don’t have a lot of free time
- When you are facing a high-priced ticket
- When your driver’s license is at stake
When You Don’t Have a Lot of Free Time
Fighting a ticket can work, but it generally means spending hours or even a day of your time in traffic court. The majority of this time is typically spent waiting for your turn to address the court, as your time in front of a judge will likely last mere minutes.
Legally, you are allowed to have a lawyer go to traffic court in your place, and you do not need to take any time out of your day. If you have a busy schedule, this can be an ideal solution.
When You Are Facing a High-Priced Ticket
Many tickets are “only” $100-200. However, some speeding tickets can be excessively high because of double fines in construction zones, multiple traffic offenses, or more. If the fine on your ticket is high, a lawyer helps improve your chances of getting the amount reduced and saving money.
Of course, in some cases, if the evidence is on your side, a lawyer may even be able to get your ticket thrown out altogether. If the ticketing officer fails to appear at your court date, this is quite likely to happen.
When Your Driver’s License Is at Stake
Sometimes the dollar cost of the ticket isn’t the biggest problem. Most speeding tickets cost one point on your license. If you already have received points from previous violations, you could have your license suspended. However, this will not be the case if you win in traffic court. This is where a speeding ticket lawyer truly makes a difference.
Our staff spends a lot of time in traffic court, and we’ve seen many citizens who decided to fight their tickets themselves. Many come prepared with strong arguments, sympathetic stories, or facts that they believe count as evidence. Unfortunately, they are not trained in the legal system.
Many of them spend hours preparing, only to have the judge end their cases in a matter of seconds. These people have lost their only chance to keep their license without even getting a real opportunity to put up a fight. Don’t make this mistake. It pays to have a lawyer by your side when you really need one.
For a free legal consultation with a Criminal Defense lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 928-9347
Do Speeding Tickets Carry Criminal Penalties in Los Angeles?
Not usually. If you were simply given a citation for speeding, it’s likely an infraction (a ticket with a fine attached to it) but not a criminal charge. Speeding on its own does not carry jail time or other criminal penalties.
However, there are cases where speeding can become a criminal offense. Examples include:
- Excessive speeding
- Speeding combined with other offenses
- Failure to appear/outstanding warrants
Traveling five to ten miles over the speed limit is not typically considered excessive speeding. Any ticket you receive for this type of violation will fall within the guidelines of a standard speeding ticket.
However, if you were traveling at speeds of greater than 20 mph over the speed limit, it could be charged as a criminal offense. Possible charges include an exhibition of speed, speed contest, and/or reckless driving.
Speeding Combined With Other Offenses
While speeding on its own is not normally a criminal matter, speeding combined with other dangerous acts can be. For example, speeding and swerving across lanes could count as reckless driving.
It is not uncommon for a driver to be pulled over for speeding, then have the simple traffic stop turn into an arrest for driving on a suspended license, drug possession, or other offenses.
Failure to Appear/ Outstanding Warrants
Once an officer has pulled you over, they will ask for your ID and run you through their system. One of the things they’re looking for is any outstanding warrants, and if you have any, they will arrest you. Similarly, if you miss your court date for your speeding ticket (and have not yet paid the fine), you can be issued a failure to appear, which can become a criminal issue.
All these offenses are at least misdemeanors, which carry potential jail time. Many of them can also be charged as felonies, which may carry prison time and will affect you for the rest of your life.
Los Angeles Speeding Ticket Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Los Angeles Court
A Los Angeles speeding ticket attorney will evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action to take to get your speeding ticket reduced or thrown out altogether. Beyond what your lawyer can do to help, there are many ways you can help yourself.
If the Officer Fails to Appear
One of your best chances of avoiding having to pay your ticket is if the ticketing officer does not show up to court. While this is overall out of your hands, there are some things you can do to increase the likelihood that the officer will fail to appear. It begins with your attitude when the officer pulls you over for speeding. You should be as polite as possible but not overly chatty.
Leaving a good impression with the officer will certainly reduce the chance of them showing up in court. Additionally, it will also make it less likely that they write a citation in the first place.
Requesting a Change of Date
The next step is to request to change the date of your court appearance from what is listed on your ticket. In most jurisdictions, you are entitled to request one date change without providing an excuse. All you need to do is call the court clerk.
A police officer generally has a block of time in which they are scheduled to appear in court to deal with any tickets they issued which are being contested. The clerk will likely suggest some of the other dates when the officer is scheduled to appear. Request a date between these, as it is more convenient for you.
If you were polite and the officer will have to make a trip to the courtroom solely for your case, there is a good chance that they won’t bother. While it is still possible that you will have to go through a trial if an officer fails to appear, the odds are high that the judge will dismiss the case outright.
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How Does a Speeding Ticket Affect My Driver’s License?
California’s “point” system adds points to your license every time you have any traffic violation. A simple speeding ticket costs you one point on your license. If you caused an accident, that is also one point (on top of the point for speeding). And, if you have any more serious violations like reckless driving, that costs two points.
If you have too many points within a specified time frame, you will have your license suspended. The thresholds are:
- Four or more points in one year
- Six or more points in two years
- Eight or more points in three years
If you already have points on your license from past offenses, even a simple speeding ticket for going five mph over the limit can become an automatic license suspension.
It’s possible to attend traffic school in order to get some points removed from your license. However, these courses can be costly and time-consuming. The best approach is to fight the ticket and win from the start. This is why it’s so important to consult with a speeding ticket lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as you get your ticket.
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Talk to a Los Angeles Speeding Ticket Lawyer for Free
Winning in a traffic court is harder than it sounds. Don’t try it alone. Let the Los Angeles speeding ticket attorneys at the Simmrin Law Group give you a free consultation to discuss your ticket, the possible consequences, and the best approach to fighting it.
You deserve to have a professional on your side. Whether it means downgrading the offense, saving you money, or fighting so that you keep your driver’s license, we can help. Fill out our easy online contact form or give us a call and get your free, no-obligation case evaluation today.