Speeding tickets can be very expensive. Along with the fine, the driver’s insurance rate may also increase, causing higher premiums for a few years at best. If the driver had not had any previous speeding tickets or not had one for three years, there is a good chance he or she can appeal the ticket. The first step is to write a speeding ticket appeal letter. Even if the driver was speeding, there is still a chance he or she can have the ticket retracted or the fine reduced.
The driver should be aware of his or her chances of getting the ticket retracted or the fine reduced. In most states, if the driver is five or 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, they may only get a warning from the police officer, or, if they are given a ticket, there is a better chance they can get it retracted or reduced. However, if they are driving 75 mph in a 50 mph zone, there is a good chance they will be charged the maximum amount with no chance of retraction. The exception may be if the driver is taking a person to an emergency room at a hospital, or going to some other emergency.
Speeding tickets not only have large fines, they may also raise the insurance rate the driver pays. In some cases, it may raise the premium by 93 percent according to Bankrate. The insurance company needs to pay to check a customer’s driving record. This is why it often doesn’t check. However, it usually will check when a policy comes up for renewal.
Potential customer’s driving records are also checked when they first become a customer. In most cases, the company may check every 18 months to two years. Almost half of drivers under 25 years of age report having their insurance rates raised after getting a speeding ticket. Only 15 percent of drivers who are 50 years of age or older have their driving records regularly checked by their insurance companies. Even companies that raise rates usually only do it for a specified period of time such as three years.
Since requesting an appeal on a speeding ticket is asking for a favor, the driver must remember to be humble, and appreciate that the officer was doing his or her job properly. The driver can call the District Attorney’s Office or police station to get the information on how to address the letter. It should have a humble tone even if the driver is angry and feels the ticket was unfair.
Any evidence that may help the driver’s case should be mentioned in the letter and, if possible, proof can be included. For example, if the speed limit sign is covered by plants or other signs, a photo can be taken and given to the police to prove it wasn’t possible for the driver to see the correct speed limit. If there is any chance that a radar gun or traffic camera was in error, it can be mentioned also.
Some states have leniency programs for first offenders and infrequent offenders. If the driver qualifies for one of these programs, he or she has a good chance of getting the ticket voided. Sometimes, it requires a waiting period of six months, during which no speeding tickets must be received by the driver. If this is the case, the ticket will be erased.
It is also possible to employ a lawyer who offers services for traffic violations. If the ticket will be very expensive and cause the driver’s insurance premiums to increase, it might be wise to hire a lawyer. However, in most cases, writing a speeding ticket appeal letter does not require the services of a lawyer.
By Andre Bradley