When Do You Need a Lawyer for Speeding Tickets in Utah?
If you have multiple speeding tickets on your driving record, it may be in your best interest to dispute the offense. Utah’s point system allows drivers to accrue a certain number of points before their license is suspended. If you have accrued too many points, fighting the speeding ticket could be your best option. If you or a family member has multiple speeding tickets, you should consult with an experienced Salt Lake City traffic ticket lawyer. Traffic lawyer Darwin Overson explains when you need a lawyer for speeding tickets in Utah.
Utah Laws Against Speeding
Utah Motor Vehicles Traffic Code § 41-6a-601 covers speed regulations for the entire state. This section highlights several circumstances where a driver should exercise special care when operating their vehicle. For example, speeding towards or across an intersection or railroad crossing is not the way a “reasonable and prudent” person should drive. Other examples of times to take special care are:
- “[A]pproaching and going around” narrow or winding roads
- Driving towards the peak of a hill you cannot see over
- Driving in poor weather
- Driving near pedestrians
Utah’s Code also designates the speed limit for certain zones:
- “Reduced speed school zones” have a 20 mph speed limit
- “Urban districts” have a 25 mph speed limit
- Areas without a posted sign have a 55 mph speed limit
Speed limits may differ by municipality or county; local governments have the discretion to set different speed limits on roads.
How Many Points do I Get for Speeding in Utah?
Utah operates on a point system for moving violations. Once you are convicted for speeding, points are assigned to your driving record. The number of points you depends on your driving record. If you have a poor driving record, you could receive an additional 10% extra points per moving violation. However, the alternative is also true: the points for a violation may be reduced by 10% for a clean driving record.
There are two types of point systems depending on your age. If you are under the age of 21, the “provisional point system” applies to you. This means that if you accrue 70 or more points on your record within three years, you may face a driver’s license suspension for one month to one year. Alternatively, if you are over the age of 21, you are on the “regular point system.” The regular point system allows you to accrue 200 or more points before your license is suspended for a period of three months to one year.
Speeding is a moving violation with various point penalties depending on the severity of the offense:
- If you are 1-10 mph over the speed limit, you will receive 35 points on your driving record.
- If you are 11-20 mph over the speed limit, the penalty is 55 points.
- If you are 21+ mph over the speed limit, you will receive the maximum speeding penalty of 75 points.
When Should You Hire an Attorney to Handle My Speeding Offenses?
If you plan on disputing a speeding ticket and you are close to the point threshold for license suspension, you should hire an experienced Utah criminal lawyer. Speeding tickets are infractions that do not carry jail time but may result in criminal fines. However, excessive speeding tickets will tarnish your driving record and suspend your driving privileges.
When you are pulled over for speeding, you will be issued a citation. This citation will contain information concerning your offense and how you can dispute it. After entering a plea of “not guilty,” you will get a trial date. The trial is an opportunity to prove your innocence to the court. You have the power to call witnesses to corroborate your story, but the prosecution may also call witnesses to disprove your story. Additionally, the officer who issued your citation will also give their account of the events. Getting help from a defense attorney means having an experienced lawyer fighting the evidence against you and working to prove to the judge that you did not commit the offense.
Speeding in a reduced speed school zone is a class C misdemeanor. Class C misdemeanors have a possible jail term of up to 90 days and a maximum fine of $750. If you are charged with speeding in a school zone, an experienced attorney is especially necessary to help you pursue a favorable outcome in your case.
Racing other vehicles on Utah’s roads is another offense that you should consider hiring an attorney to handle. “Speed contests or exhibitions” are class B misdemeanors, meaning they have a penalty of up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,000. An experienced attorney can help you pursue more lenient penalties like community service, as opposed to steep criminal fines.
Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorneys Will Help You Dispute Your Speeding Citations
If you or a family member is having trouble with speeding tickets, you should contact an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer today. Overson Law, PLLC provides its clients with dedicated legal representation for speeding cases. To schedule a free consultation with Darwin Overson, call us at (801) 758-2287 or reach us online.