Speeding is the number one ticket police officers write. They can have a significant impact on your insurance, and will show up on your criminal driver history. (Personally, I've seen speeding tickets show up on driver histories as far back as 1988.) In Georgia, speeding is a misdemeanor traffic crime, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1000 fine. With regard to how a speeding ticket can affect your insurance, below is the number of points you will receive by pleading guilty to different speeding offenses.
- Speeding 15-18 over = 2 points
- Speeding 19-23 over = 3 points
- Speeding 24-33 over = 4 points
- Speeding 34+ over = 6 points
In reality, if you do the math, speeding doesn't save you much travel time, even on long road trips. So, slow down! But, if you find yourself pulled over due to a speeding offense, here's what you should do.
- Immediately pull over as far off the road as possible, especially if you are on the side of a highway. Time and again, other motorists lose control of their cars and strike the police officer and civilians on the side of the road. Your police officer will appreciate this courtesy.
- Be polite. Police officers generally do not intend to spend their day writing speeding tickets. While there are exceptions, the majority of officers are patrolling our streets looking for more serious crimes, such as possession of drugs, DUI, and fugitives. Once they lawfully stop a vehicle for speeding, the police officers can legally investigate these crimes.
- Once the officer approaches your vehicle, remain calm and polite, hand over your license and proof of insurance, sign your ticket, and drive off safely. The time to consider fighting the ticket is at home or with a lawyer. Do not argue with the police officer on the side of the road.
- Once you're home, you have 3 options to consider: Pay the ticket, negotiate the ticket, or fight the ticket.
If you pay your ticket, you will not have to appear in court. Most counties have an online payment system, and the points will be assessed to you and made known to your car insurance company.
Negotiating the ticket is a bit more challenging, and will require you to speak with the prosecutor assigned to your case. Keep in mind that prosecutor will have a caseload of at least 500 cases, so the chance of him or her returning your phone call before your court date is not very likely. However, it is your legal right to pursue that option. You may have the ability to use a nolo contendre ("no contest") plea, which will keep the points off of your license.
However, the speeding ticket may still be reported to your insurance company, regardless if points are removed.
The most involved option is fighting your ticket. To successfully fight your ticket, it is recommended that you hire a lawyer to ensure the proper court procedures are followed.