Speeding tickets are the most common type of traffic violation in the United States. In fact, 34 million speeding tickets are issued every year.
As these offenses are so common, it may not seem like a big deal to get a ticket. However, there can be serious ramifications in addition to the cost of speeding tickets.
When convicted of a speeding violation, points go against your license. This can mean higher insurance rates, even if the violation occurred outside of your state of residence. Drivers with at least one ticket pay an average of $45.46 per month more for car insurance, compared to those with clean records.
Plus, with too many speeding infractions you risk license suspension or revocation. The state of Louisiana takes speeding seriously, and you should too.
Keep reading to learn surprising facts about the costs of speeding tickets in Louisiana.
Louisiana Speeding Ticket Consequences
The fallout to speeding tickets can be more serious than you might think.
Primarily, you face the financial burden of paying the actual penalty for the ticket in the first place. In addition, the conviction of a traffic violation adds points to your license. This is very likely to increase your insurance rates.
Finally, a poor driving record may prohibit you from obtaining certain jobs. Insurance companies are usually only concerned with offenses within the last seven years. However, these violations remain on your record forever (unless expunged by court order).
These factors make the cost of the violation much greater than just the face value of the ticket itself.
Consider these five facts that you may not have thought about if you got a speeding ticket in Louisiana.
1. Speed Limits in Louisiana Can Vary
Speed limits vary, depending on the type of road you are traveling on.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation sets speed limits at the rate at which 85% of vehicles are traveling (or below). This means an average of 15% of cars will go faster than this posted speed.
On interstate highways, speed limits tend to be 70-75 MPH. For most limited-access roads, it reduces to 65 MPH.
Other primary roads tend to settle around a speed limit of 55 MPH. Residential areas are almost always a maximum of 25 MPH.
To track vehicle speeds, police officers use a variety of different technologies. Radar, aircraft, and laser technologies are generally commonly-known methods to track speeds. But there are other ways they can catch you in violation of posted limits.
Officers might use VASCAR technology, involving a stopwatch and simple computer. They calculate speed by dividing the distance between two fixed objects over time.
Pacing is also used, in which an officer tracks your vehicle’s speed by following closely and referring to his own speedometer. This produces an estimated rate of travel for your car.
2. Out-of-State Drivers Tend to Get Ticketed More
Just because you are driving in a state you do not reside in, does not mean you are exempt from their laws.
Especially if Louisiana is not your home state, you may not be familiar with the laws and driving conditions there. In this case, it is crucial to hire a Louisiana-based attorney to assist you with your case.
Their skills and expertise in this area of law will help you make the most of your case before it is too late.
3. The Cost of Speeding Tickets May Not Be Easy to Determine
Frustratingly enough, the state of Louisiana does not print the monetary value of the speeding fine on your violation.
The actual cost of the infraction depends on your vehicle’s speed, the type of road, and the conditions you were driving in.
Charges can typically range from $100 to $300. Generally speaking, the average cost of a speeding ticket in Louisiana is:
- 1-9 MPH over the speed limit = $115 fine or greater
- 10-14 MPH over the speed limit = $215 fine or greater
- 15-20 MPH over the speed limit = $240 fine or greater
- 21 MPH or more over the speed limit = $240 fine or greater, plus a court appearance possibly carrying further penalties
The actual fines vary by violation and by the court. You must contact the parish in which your incident occurred to determine speeding ticket costs.
4. State of Louisiana Speeding Ticket Cost in a School Zone
In addition to the fines outlined above, there are greater costs if you are found to be speeding in a school zone.
The original speeding fine is increased by 50% if the incident occurs in an active school zone. The proceeds from this fine are given back to the public school system in which this incident occurred.
According to state law, the cost of speeding tickets in school zones can be up to $175 for the first violation. Second or more violations can be up to $500.
5. Most People Don’t Try to Contest Speeding Tickets
In the United States, only 5% of speeding tickets are actually contested. Of that, only about a third are dismissed.
The rest typically have reduced fines. They may also have other plea arrangements to lessen the original charge while still requiring the motorist to pay the original fine amount.
To be a part of this successful group of drivers who can reduce the cost of speeding tickets, contact an experienced attorney to defend you.
What Can I Do In Response to a Louisiana Speeding Ticket?
If you are given a speeding ticket, there are a few courses of action you can take.
Either way, it is absolutely essential to hire an experienced attorney who can assist you with this process. Louisiana’s traffic laws are unique and constantly changing. It is imperative to hire a lawyer who is specialized in practicing in this area.
This attorney can help you get points reduced or removed, or move for dismissal of the case if appropriate.
Some common defenses that can be successful in overturning a ticket include:
- Lack of evidence
- Challenging the subjective view of the officer
- Lack of signage for speed limit
- Valid justifications for your actions (to prevent harm, emergency)
- Officer did not follow the correct procedure or infringed on your rights during the traffic stop
If found guilty of the violation, there may be other options that can reduce the severity of the crime. Driving school is a good example of this. Upon completion of the 6-10 hour program, the Louisiana DMV can remove the violation and the corresponding points from your driving record.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
An attorney who is experienced in the laws governing the cost of speeding tickets can help you make the most of your case. Trusted experts can help reduce the cost and damage to your driving record that comes from these infractions.
These lawyers typically need a two-week notice before your court date, so don’t wait. Contact a speeding ticket lawyer today.