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Alabama takes speeding seriously and levies particularly harsh penalties on repeat offenders. Especially if you’ve already been ticketed in the past, it’s smart to be careful. If you have recently received a speeding ticket, you can find out what to expect and what to do next below.

How much does an Alabama speeding ticket cost?

Alabama speeding tickets are handled by individual counties, so ticket prices vary across the state. If you are ticketed for speeding, your ticket should have the fine amount printed right on it. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay surcharges on top of the initial fine. In Decatur, for example, the fine for speeding by under 25 mph over the limit is $20, plus $195 in additional costs, for a total of $215. You can look up the fine amounts in any county in Alabama on the traffic service center website. Throughout Alabama, if you are caught speeding in a construction zone, the fine will be doubled.

How to pay an Alabama speeding ticket

If you choose to pay your speeding ticket, you have a few options for how to do so. You may pay the fine online, over the phone, in person, or by mail. If you choose to pay your ticket online through the Alabama Traffic Service Center, you’ll have to pay a convenience fee of 4%. If you’d like to pay in person, over the phone, or by mail, you can find the address or phone number you need listed on the ticket. Make sure that you pay the fine before the hearing date listed on your ticket, or you’ll be expected to appear in traffic court on that date.

Do you have to appear in court?

For most tickets, if you have decided to pay, you will not need to go to traffic court. If you need to attend court, you’ll see a box marked “Must Appear” checked. You can also choose to go to court if you want to dispute your ticket. In this case, you’ll need to notify the court in writing ahead of time. The court date will be listed on the ticket.

Alabama’s license point system

Like most states, Alabama assigns points to your driving record for traffic violations. The points for speeding are as follows:

  • Speeding (1-25 mph over the speed limit): 2 points
  • Speeding (26 mph or more over the speed limit): 5 points
  • Reckless driving: 6 points

If you are also found guilty of other traffic violations, such as running a red light or losing control of your vehicle, you will receive additional points. These points are added to your driving record and, in almost all cases, lead to higher insurance premiums.

Suspension at 12 points

If you reach 12 points, your driver’s license will be suspended. The length of the suspension will depend on how many points you obtain within a 2-year period:

  • 12-14 points: 60 days
  • 15-17 points: 90 days
  • 18-20 points: 120 days
  • 21-23 points: 180 days
  • 24 or more points: 365 days

If you’ve done the math, you’ve likely realized that just 3 speeding tickets at over 25 mph above the speed limit will result in a 90-day suspension. A suspension that long can have a significant impact on your day-to-day life, so it’s essential to drive carefully if you’ve already received one or two tickets.

How to remove points from your record

Once a violation is two years old, its points are removed from your record. This is different from how points work in many other states, where you lose a set number (such as 2 points) every couple of years. The upside to this is if you had one large violation, all of those points will be removed at once. The downside is that you’re stuck with them (and the higher car insurance rates) for 2 years. Unfortunately, you cannot remove any additional points by taking a defensive driving course.

Alternatives to paying your Alabama speeding ticket

Some people prefer to simply pay their speeding ticket because it’s the simplest option. If you believe that you are being unfairly charged, however, it is likely worth your time to dispute the ticket. You can not only avoid paying the fine, but you might also be able to avoid having points added to your record and paying higher insurance rates for years to come. If you were ticketed for a relatively minor offense, the court may dismiss your ticket in return for you taking a defensive driving course. If you can demonstrate that your ticket was not justified, you may be able to have it thrown out entirely. If you opt to go this route, we recommend hiring a traffic attorney to help you make your case.

Finding the right traffic attorney

If you are looking for a traffic attorney, you can receive competitive bids from experienced lawyers on BernieSez. BernieSez enables you to upload details about your case for free. Then local lawyers whose expertise matches your case will contact you with quotes. You’ll be able to choose an attorney whose experience and budget are a good fit for you, without having to spend a lot of time searching. Having a qualified traffic lawyer can make a big difference in court, and the goal of BernieSez is to help you find the right person to represent you.