Can You Appeal a Speeding Ticket in Utah?
Imagine you are having a rushed morning. Between getting the kids ready, dropping them at school, and commuting to work, you just need an extra push to make it on time. Unfortunately, driving over the speed limit could cost you hundreds of dollars in fines, demerit points, or the suspension of your driver’s license. However, you may be able to appeal a speeding ticket in Utah, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Salt Lake City traffic ticket lawyer, Darwin Overson of Overson Law explains more about appealing speeding tickets in Utah.
Appealing Your Speeding Ticket in Utah
Utah’s Justice Courts manage most traffic violation cases. These county-based courts are in charge of overseeing most misdemeanor cases, but they also oversee cases for violations and traffic tickets.
Additionally, it is essential to point out that these courts are not “courts of record.” This means the proceedings are not recorded during a justice court’s hearing and do not become part of any record for review on appeal.
Therefore, if you wish to appeal a decision made by the inferior court, you must go to the local district court. If your case has merits for an appeal, the district court will grant you a “trial de novo” – a brand new trial of your case – rather than reviewing the record from the lower court like with a traditional appeal.
Keep in mind that you have a limited time to file your notice of appeal, or else you risk losing the chance to appeal your case. A criminal appeals lawyer can help you navigate the appeals process.
Utah Traffic Penalties and Fines
Violating traffic laws will likely result in several penalties which change depending on the infraction. The cost of your fine can be found on the state-issued fine schedule.
Utah’s Uniform Fine/Bail Forfeiture Schedule determines the sentences associated with traffic tickets and the respective fines. A speeding ticket’s value often changes depending on where the infraction occurred. For instance, a speeding ticket for going 1-10 mph over the limit in Davis County could cost you $120. On the other hand, you could face up to $170 in fines for speeding under the same circumstances in Sandy City.
Generally, the schedule provides judges with a starting point for imposing fines. However, while the schedule includes specific information related to the number of penalties a judge can impose, these numbers are not final. The judge has final say as to whether any aggravating or mitigating factors present in your case should increase or decrease the fine. For instance, you can face harsher penalties if you are convicted for speeding and drunk driving at the same time.
Can I Lose My Driving Privileges for Speeding in Utah?
If you are caught speeding, chances are you will get a traffic ticket. However, keep in mind that Utah also keeps track of your driving infractions as part of your driving record. The state uses a point-based demerit system when reporting traffic violations to the Driver’s License Division (DLD).
Every time you commit a traffic violation, you will receive demerit points on your driver’s license. If you reach 200 demerit points in a three-year span, you can get your license suspended. If you are under the age of 21, your license can be suspended if you reach only 70 points in three years.
The number of demerit points assigned to your license depends on the infraction. For instance, if you are stopped for reckless driving, you could get as many as 80 demerit points, or you could get up to 50 demerit points for running a red light. If you are pulled over for speeding, the number of points will change depending on how fast you were going.
Drivers have the chance to clear their record and reset the points back to zero, but this does not happen instantly. You have several options to get your demerit points reduced or eliminated. If you drive safely for the term of two years, you can have a new start – but keep in mind that you cannot have a single traffic violation during this period to qualify. Another way to lower your driver’s license points is to take a driving course. Utah provides defensive driving courses to help drivers who commit traffic violations. Completing the defensive driving course will take 50 points off your driver’s license.
Speeding Ticket Lawyer Serving Salt Lake City, Utah
While speeding may not seem like a serious offense for many drivers, it poses a high risk to your freedom and your driving privileges. Multiple traffic violations can lead to fines and the suspension of your driver’s license. In severe cases, you could also face jail or prison time and steep fines. If you were caught speeding anywhere in Utah, you need immediate legal representation from a skilled, knowledgeable Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer. We can help you by aggressively upholding your rights through every stage of the process. To schedule a free, confidential consultation on your case, call Overson Law today at (801) 758-2287.