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Presumed Versus Absolute Speed Limits in Speeding Tickets


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If you received speeding ticket and decide to fight it you should understand the different types of speed limits and how you can use that in your defense.

All 50 states have either ‘presumed’ or ‘absolute’ speed limits and because there are considerable differences between the two, understanding what you are charged with will help you with your defense.

a) ‘Presumed’ Speed Limits

Being charged with violating a ‘presumed’ speed limit means that you were traveling at an unsafe speed. If you choose to fight a ‘presumed’ speeding ticket, there are two ways by which you can approach your defense.

  1. You can claim that you were not exceeding the speed limit. Before you approach this type of defense make sure you obtain the discovery. The discovery is the legal notion that you are entitled to see all the evidence that will be presented against you by the prosecutor. This will help you determine if the police officer can prove that you were driving over the limit or not. If he can, than this type of defense is not exactly the best idea.

  2. You can claim that even if you were exceeding the speed limit you were driving safely under the specific road, weather and traffic conditions at that time.

By claiming that even if you were exceeding the speed you were driving safely you have good chances of getting your speeding ticket dismissed, if you were just slightly over the speed limit. For example if you were traveling 40-45 MPH in a 35 MPH zone, your chances of winning are realistic. Given you have no previous speeding tickets.

In a ‘presumed’ speed law case, you want to prove that your speed was safe and prudent. And there are certain ways you can prove that. First, you have to go back to the scene where you received the speeding ticket at the same time and day of the week you received it and take pictures. Focus on angles that can prove the road was straight and had good visibility. Also take pictures from distance to show that you were not ticketed in a commercial area where vehicles were not entering and exiting parking lots. Last but not least, try to capture and show heavy traffic at the time and day you received your speeding ticket. You can easily explain why, if in heavy traffic, all vehicles were traveling 10 MPH above the speed limit, you had to follow, for safety reasons.

b) ‘Absolute’ Speed Limits

'Absolute’ speeding tickets are hard to fight. The ‘absolute’ speed limit law says that if the speed limit is 35 MPH in a certain area and you travel with 35 MPH you committed a traffic violation. While fighting an ‘absolute’ speeding ticket there are certain ways to approach it, if you decide to do it.

  1. You can argue that the officer made a wrong determination of your speed. In order to do this you have to find out what method the police officer was using and attack that. You can find that information by requesting the discovery.

  2. You can also claim that the police office mistook you for another car.

While your chances to get a ‘absolute’ speeding ticket dismissed are slim, you can always give it a try. You never know. You might also want to consider contacting a traffic ticket attorney that will fight the speeding ticket for you. For a little fee, you might have your speeding ticket dismissed, or, at least save the points on your driving license.


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