You’re sitting there in your vehicle alongside the road, frustrated. Maybe even embarrassed.
You saw the signs, you thought you were in the clear and then… Bam. Those blinking red-and-blue lights popped out of nowhere.
The officer was clear and concise, you affirmed you understood what they were saying and the charges and now you’re here stuck, all out of luck, with the burden of a speeding ticket.
What can you do? Surprisingly, even if you believe you’re guilty, you can fight and win a legal battle in court.
Here’s how to fight speeding ticket fines in Louisiana, even if you’re guilty.
Why Should You Contest, Even if You’re Guilty?
Tickets have consequences outside the initial fine. If you’re guilty, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t contest to try and avoid these additional penalties.
Insurance Rates Go Up
Insurance companies don’t like their drivers getting citations. They want to insure people that drive safely. Considering that speeding is a factor in 26% of fatal car accidents, the risk of insuring a driver with numerous citations on their account is a higher risk than someone who’s not.
Who pays for that increased risk? You.
To prevent your rates from skyrocketing you should take the issue to court.
Points on Your License Could Lead to it Being Revoked
In Louisiana, incurring enough speeding tickets could result in you losing your license.
If your concern with going to court is that it’s going to take too much of your time, odds are losing your license and the privilege to drive will cost you even more time and energy than simply going to court.
If this is you and you’re in danger of losing your license, take the charge to court.
Misdemeanors into Felonies
A major consideration is whether or not you’ll be facing criminal charges. If this isn’t your first time getting a speeding ticket, or have committed other charges on top of speeding, you could find yourself having charges escalate from misdemeanors into felonious ones.
Felonies have a far greater effect on your ability to live than previous misdemeanors. A felony will affect your ability to get employment. It will affect your ability to find safe and fair housing as landlords can reject people based on their criminal records.
Even your ability to take out a loan or start a credit card can be affected. Banks consider felons high-risk. Even if a felon does manage to get a line of credit, the interest rates are often abysmal.
Naturally, if you’re in danger of being listed as a felon, you need to take the issue to court.
How Much Are Speeding Ticket Fines in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, citations aren’t required to list how much you owe. You’ll need to contact the parish you were ticketed in to determine how much you owe.
Here’s a helpful list of what to expect of your charges.
A speeding ticket in Louisiana can range from $100-$300.
- Driving 1 to 9 mph over the speed limit could result in a $115 fine or more
- Driving 10 to 14 mph over the speed limit could result in a $215 fine or more
- Driving 15 to 20 mph over the speed limit could result in a $240 fine or more
- Driving 21mph or faster than the speed limit could result in a >$240 fine and may require you to make a court appearance
If your ticket is higher than this, ask if there were additional charges on the ticket.
Charges such as the reckless operation of a motor vehicle can result in an additional $500 in fees and lead to jail time.
Further, driving under the influence of alcohol could hit you with even heftier fees, based on the number of times you’ve committed the offense:
- 1st Offense: $1,000
- 2nd Offense: $1,000
- 3rd Offense: $2,000
- 4th Offense: $5,000
The charges can rack up quickly. Make sure you know how much you’re required to pay before going into your court hearing.
How Do You Fight A Speeding Ticket When You Know You’re Guilty?
There are a number of factors at play when it comes to fighting a ticket. What were the weather conditions? What were the road conditions like?
Did the officer have a recording device? Did you record the incident, whether with a dash-cam or a cell phone?
Did the officer behave abnormally or inappropriately? How many passengers or witnesses saw the incident? Were you in an extreme situation, such as driving yourself or a loved one to the hospital?
Even if you committed the crime, it doesn’t mean you should do the time.
Come Knowing the Evidence Against You and Bring Your own
Confirm everything you can prior to heading to court.
Did the officer show you the radar gun to confirm your speed? If not, investigate whether the device was working properly on the day you were pulled over.
Do they have video evidence of the interaction? Maybe the officer forgot to turn their body-cam on. Without this footage, their word can be cast into doubt.
Did they not believe you were in an emergency situation, even though you were? Bring to court evidence of the situation that led you to speed.
For example, if you had an ‘invisible’ injury such as needing your appendix to be removed, show the medical paperwork and any associated bills that document this (and perhaps, if the judge has a sense of humor, even show the scar).
Make A Humane Plea
Judges are people too.
Have your timeline laid out clear and concise. Don’t overstuff the situation and absolutely don’t lie. A judge will take the word of a law enforcement officer over a citizen most times.
If you’re sincere and explain the situation rationally, it’s likely they’ll listen and may reduce your punishment or remove it altogether.
Consult a Legal Professional
You may be thinking, “isn’t it a little over the top to hire a lawyer for my speeding ticket?”
In short, no.
There are traffic ticket attorneys available specifically for circumstances like this. They are experts who specialize in navigating the murky legal system to get their clients out of situations exactly like yours. They are invaluable in a process like this and can answer any questions you may have.
Hope the Officer Doesn’t Attend the Hearing
Admittedly, this situation is completely out of control.
If this does happen, where an officer doesn’t show up to your appointed hearing, you may get off for free. Of course, they could send a proxy or have enough evidence without their testimony.
So come prepared for a fight and be grateful if the case is thrown out.
Fight for Yourself
Now that you have a better understanding of speeding ticket fines in Louisiana, and why you should go to court for them, do it!
Whether the circumstances are extreme or seem trivial, you have a right to be heard in a court of law. Don’t give up. And if you need help with the upcoming legal process, reach out to our team at Louisiana speeding Ticket. We’re committed to bringing you justice and ensuring you can keep on driving.