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Citation for violation of reasonable and prudent speed...

Montgomery, AL |

I got stopped by a state trooper the other night on the interstate - weather was fine, traffic was average, 8 p.m., no construction in the area. I WAS speeding (about 78 mph) but the instant I realized it I slowed down. Anyhow, the second I hit the brakes I saw the blue lights. The officer asked me if I knew what the speed limit was - I told him I thought it was 70, that I realized I was going 78 but that I'd slowed down as soon as I noticed the speedometer. He said the speed limit was actually 60. He gave me a ticket for "reasonable and prudent speed violation" and told me I had 3 months to pay. I didn't realize this wasn't just a regular speeding ticket until I went online to pay and discovered it was a mandatory court appearance! What the heck?? Is this that bad,and if so, why??

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

You should never simply "pay" a speeding ticket of whatever kind without considering the consequences. Payment of any traffic ticket is an admission of guilt. Under Alabama law, theDepartment of Public Safety will assign 2 points for simple speed violations and 5 points for 'aggravated' speed violation under the Alabama 'Point' system. You are permitted up to 11 points at any given time before the Department sends a pre-suspension letter concerning license removal for excessive traffic violations. [Note: Persons under 17 years of age are only permitted 3 points - a single 4 point violation or accumlation of 4 points or more will result in a 60 day license suspension under the Alabama 'Graduated Driver License' procedure.]

If there are extinuating or mitigating circumstances, you are entitled to a full trial on the merits. You should note that most car insurance companies determine risk on a combination of factors, including the driver's age, driving history, and type of vehicle. Any time the insurance company sees a pattern of traffic tickets, the insurance company will (probably) adjust the rate upward.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for your response. I'm middle aged with an excellent driving record until this past year... I rec'd a ticket for going 40 in a 25 mile zone six mos ago and now this second violation last week. Could the prior ticket be considered a "mitigating" factor in ratcheting up the violation on this one? There are no unusual circumstances surrounding this violation per my description in my original post other than for a few seconds I was driving 18 miles over the posted speed limit (my little boy REALLY needed to go to the bathroom :-) I have an attorney friend who offered to go to court with me but this isn't his practice area. Is this violation awful enough that I should hire an attorney who specializes in traffic offenses? I'm aware of the implications of admitting guilt and paying speeding tickets, but I WAS speeding both this time and when I got the ticket last December. Before then I hadn't been stopped in 15 years...

Patrick Mahaney

Patrick Mahaney

Posted

The decision to hire or not hire an attorney must be yours alone. You need to weigh the costs of representation versus the potential consequences of another violation on your record. The Alabama State Bar provides a list of qualifed attorneys by practice area, listed by county. Call: 269-1515. [This in not 'pro bono' legal services, but a list of licensed attorneys that will accept the kind of case you have.] Incidentally, there are very few attorneys in the Montgomery area that actually accept traffic ticket cases.

Posted

Hello there,

You need to contact an attorney that handles traffic citation in that area to help you.

Sincerely,

Erick Platten

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the prompt response. I work for a law firm and one of our attorneys is looking into this and accompanying me to court. However, this isn't our practice area so I might consider hiring an attorney instead...

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