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You’d be surprised at how confused folks are when they get a speeding ticket for the first time. It’s like, I got a speeding ticket, now what? I gotta say, I don’t blame them. I mean, as I recall it, all the driver’s education I ever took focused on the rules of the road and safety concerns. Not one minute was spent teaching us new drivers how to deal with speeding tickets and other moving violations when they—inevitably—occur. Understandably we are all pretty nervous when that big cop gets out of his car with all his lights flashing, maybe he’s got those one-way sunglasses, he’s all festooned with bullets and stuff. Scary shit, right? Next stop jail you think!


Let me tell you what: take a chill pill and a deep breath. You’re gonna be ok, promise. Speeding ticket laws are, by and large, enacted to keep folks safe on the roads. I know that sounds obvious, but think about it. The aim of these laws is not so much to punish folks for their mis-deeds. In fact in many states the violations are not even considered criminal in nature but more in the nature of “infractions”. Truth be told, many states have laws where if you get a ticket for the first time, and if your speed was not too fantastically fast, you can even get a sort of a “pass” in court, or with the DA, so that the ticket doesn’t affect your insurance or license.


In NC, the Safe Driver Incentive Plan and Prayer for Judgement Continued can help

I practice in NC, and I can say that for most of the first-time speeders here, the safe driver incentive plan keeps their insurance from escalating for a low-speed first offense in three years. Even if you are unlucky enough to have a second such case, in NC the “prayer for judgment continued” or PJC will keep that off your record too. The bottom line is that, in the scheme of things, speeding tickets are just not that high a priority for our judiciary in terms of really punishing folks. We are a society that depends so much on drivers driving cars to work, to play, for pleasure, that we simply cannot be too harsh when it comes to speeding tickets.


Now, I know this is all very general, admittedly. And the traffic laws about speeding tickets are different state to state. And of course it would always be a good idea to talk to a traffic ticket lawyer to find out what the consequences might be in your particular case (and I hope you do, even if you don’t end up hiring him). But don’t miss my point here: these laws are really to pinch folks just a little bit and make them slow down and be safer. They are not meant to punish severely and act as an ultimate deterrent like the penal code would punish say, robbery. And take stock in that fact that unless you’re a repeat customer or were going 1,000 mph in a school zone, very likely your state has a special thing for you to void most if not all consequences. There! I hope you feel better!


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