It’s easy to get into a rush when driving across town, whether you’re running late for an important work meeting or hurrying to finish a personal errand. It’s even easy to commit a traffic violation while zoning out listening to music or an engaging podcast. No matter what leads up to a traffic violation, though, a speeding ticket and subsequent court date will result in a major slowdown of all your plans — today and beyond.
But if you are already staring at a traffic ticket in frustration, know that you are not the first person charged with a traffic offence. Whether you will wind up paying the fine or if you decide to follow up in court, you are on a well-trod path. There is plenty of expertise to guide you forward, whether you’re heading for a court date with a Magistrate or entering a guilty plea, paying a fine and accepting demerit points.
You’ve been charged for speeding — Now what?
It’s most likely you received your offence notice through the post, with 28 days from the date it was issued to either pay the speeding ticket or to formally dispute it. There are several obvious reasons to dispute it:
- You were not driving the car when the offence was committed
- You do not believe the speed camera was working properly
- If a police officer pulled you over, you wish to contest the police officer handling of the speed camera
While making your decision, it is prudent to speak to a lawyer about the facts of your specific case. This is a key step to making sure you select the right path, the road best suited for fulfilling your future driving needs. If you decide to pay your speeding ticket, you will accumulate demerit points relating to the offence committed. If you’ve committed a high-speed offence, you will immediately have your licence suspended for 6 months. This is why it is essential to confer with a lawyer so as to best learn and consider the implications of your choices.
How does the demerit system work for traffic violations?
The Department of Transport and Main Roads has established a matrix for demerit points and fines. Speeding can result in one demerit point should you be charged with driving less than 13 kilometres per hour over the speed limit. You may be given up to eight points on your driving record with a loss of driving privileges for six months if you are caught driving more than 40 kilometres per hour over the speed limit. This is considered reckless driving.
Should you contest a speeding ticket?
Contesting a speeding ticket and making a court appearance is a decision to make with your lawyer, who has the knowledge and experience to understand the full implications of your choice. Contesting a speeding ticket — particularly if the radar is a concern — is a very specific process. There are court costs to consider. If you choose to contest it and are found guilty, you may have to pay an offender levy on top of the fine and cost of summons.
On the other hand, failing to dispute a ticket or correctly notify the court that you were not driving at the time of the traffic violation may result in unnecessary demerits. Should you commit a second violation soon after the first, penalties are stiffer.
At Beavon Lawyers, we know your driving privileges are essential for daily living. Our team of experienced lawyers is available to help you resolve your speeding ticket in the best possible way, whether by representing you in traffic court or handling the offence away from a judge. We want to see you safely back on the road — navigating traffic slow and steady this time. Contact us today.