Excessive Speeding


Many people wonder why they should pay an attorney to defend an Excessive Speeding case when the consequences are not catastrophic in terms of jail or fines. The answer is that the consequences are not so minor either, and moreover, an effective and vigorous defense can certainly call into question the allegation that you were criminally speeding.Because of the perceived increase in high speed traffic accidents and fatalities, the legistlature decided to criminalize some speeding offenses. If you are accused of driving 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit or of driving faster than 81 mph, you are facing more serious criminal penalties than a run-of-the mill speeding ticket. The punishments can be as serious as follows:

– Up to 5 days in jail

– Up to $1000.00 fine

– 30 day driver’s license suspension

– 36 hours of community service

– Driver’s improvement course

In addition to the above-criminal penalties, the 30 day license suspension would result in an administrative sanction known as the SR-22. An SR-22 is a Department of Motor Vehicles requirement that a driver with a criminal license suspension or revocation provide proof of financial responsibility before he or she is allowed to return to the road. Because of the strict requirements, one’s automobile insurance usually gets involved and premiums typically increase substantially. Because of these serious criminal consequences, particularly the possibility of jail, the prosecution must prove this crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest standard of proof required by the courts. Moreover, it must be done using credible and admissible evidence. The job of the experienced criminal defense attorney in an Excessive Speed case is to make sure that these high standards are enforced by the court, and that the presiding judge doesn’t give short shrift to the very real defenses that are available in such a case.

In general, the standard defense in an Excessive Speeding trial is that the prosecution cannot prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the accuracy of the speed alleged. Vehicle speed is determined by one of two means, both arguably unreliable. The first means is by a police vehicle keeping pace with the suspect vehicle. This merely involves a police officer eye-balling his own speedometer while he performs the difficult task of maintaining an exactly equal distance for a sufficient length of time. The second means is by a police officer using a laser to measure distance between the device and the moving vehicle over time. A narrow set of parameters is required for the laser device to yield an accurate measurement. Moreover, both the speedometer and laser device need to be properly calibrated and maintained in order for their results to be deemed reliable by a court. These are areas that are ripe for both pretrial motions work as well as cross-examination in trial. In fact, recent Hawaii Supreme Court decision can be expected to affect many Excessive Speeding prosecutions.

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Contact Honolulu Criminal Defense Lawyer Benjamin Ignacio today at 808-532-3803.

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