If you are reading this article, you’ve probably had a speeding ticket. If you’ve had a speeding ticket, chances are good that you’ll be getting another one at some point in the future. Unless you are a frequent offender, you probably haven’t enlisted the help of a Utah lawyer to resolve your traffic ticket. Knowledge of traffic laws can help citizens that are trying to defend themselves against a traffic ticket. Who better to impart this knowledge than an attorney in Utah?
Across all 50 states three types of speeding limits are used, “absolute,” “presumed,” and “basic.” Violating each type of speed limits results in a different violation, so it’s helpful for fast drivers to know which type of speed limit they are violating.
“Absolute” Speed Limits
In an area with an “absolute” speeding limit, you are violating the law if you drive even 1 mile over the speed limit. There are not many defenses available for you or a Utah lawyer to use when fighting a violation of an absolute speed limit law, but some include:
1. An attorney in Utah can attack the way the officer determined your speed. To do this you must identify the tool that the office used to determine your speed – radar, laser or pacing- and attack the validity of that method.
2. If your Utah lawyer is able to make an argument that your increased speed was a result of an emergency. For example, if you were speeding to avoid being hit by an airplane that was landing on the freeway, you would have a good argument.
3. Your attorney in Utah can claim that the officer mistook your car for another car. Recently, many cars look quite similar and popular colors like silver, white and black are easily mistaken, it is very possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car further down the road.
“Presumed” Speed Limits
If you are charged with violating a “presumed” speed, you are being accused of driving at an unsafe speed given the driving conditions at the time you were ticketed. If you have been ticketed for violating a “presumed” speed limit, your lawyer in Utah would likely defend you with one of two possible defenses:
1. You or a lawyer in Utah could claim you weren’t exceeding the posted speed limit, just as you would if you were charged with violating an “absolute” speed law.
2. The other and possibly more common defense that a Utah attorney could use is that, even if you were exceeding the posted limit, you were driving safely given the specific road, weather, and traffic conditions at the time.
You have a good chance of prevailing if your Utah attorney can show you were only slightly over the limit and road, weather, and traffic conditions were good. For example, if you know you were driving 33-35 mph in a 25-mph zone, and the officer can probably prove it, your Salt Lake City attorney should concentrate your defense on showing that you were driving at a reasonable speed, considering the conditions at the time you were stopped.
If you hire a Salt Lake City attorney in a “presumed” speed law case, your Utah attorney has the burden to prove your speed was safe and prudent. In other words, the speed law presumes the posted speed limit is the fastest safe speed. Your Salt Lake City attorney will have to prove that going faster at the time you were ticketed is also safe.
Check back for Part Two of this series to learn more about how a lawyer in Utah would likely defend you in a traffic ticket violation case. While this information was compiled by a Salt Lake City attorney, most of the information can be applied to all 50 States. If you have specific questions, contact Shumway Van & Hansen for details. For more information please continue to look at www.shumwayvan.com or stop by any of our offices which are located at 8985 S. Eastern Ave, # 100, Las Vegas NV 89123 or 8 East Broadway, Suite 550, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. We look forward to hearing from you soon.