The following article was written by Brian Tart. He can be reached at TartWrites.com
You pull out onto the strip with the top down and you're thinking about your weekend in Vegas. You didn't win big, but you didn't lose either. But you did have a good time. Not like in the movies, but still a pretty good time. As you head out of town with the wind blowing in your hair, you didn't notice that speed limit sign and you've got your foot heavy on the pedal.
You look in the rear view mirror and just as you start to look away, you see the police car coming over the last hill, blue lights flashing. There's only two cars on the road, yours and the police car, so you know this one's for you. You pull over on the shoulder and 15 seconds later, he pulls up behind you. He walks slowly up to your car, looking things over. “License and registration please”. You know that tone and you know you're not getting out of this one. It's short and not-so-sweet and you start kicking yourself as soon as he pulls away. So what do you do now? Read on to see what to expect and some options to help you out.
Understanding the Nevada Point System
When you get a ticket in Nevada and you are convicted, the DMV gets a notification from the court. The ticket is recorded on your driving record and you get demerit points for the ticket. These demerit points stay on your record for 12 months and then they are removed, but, the conviction will stay on your driving record permanently.
If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, your license will be suspended for 6 months. That may seem like a lot of points, but the point system for speeding is based on how much you were speeding. Hopefully, you weren't going too fast!
- 1-10 MPH over the posted limit is 1 point
- 11-20 MPH over the posted limit is 2 points
- 21-30 MPH over the posted limit is 3 points
- 31-40 MPH over the posted limit is 4 points
- 41 MPH or more over the posted limit is 5 points
- Driving too fast for conditions is 2 points
These are just the points for speeding, so if you have other tickets with points on your record, one unlucky day can really mess up your driving record. While most speeding tickets in Nevada, regardless of how fast you were going, cost around $200-$230 plus court fees, there are other costs such as insurance premium increases, traffic school, etc.
Before you decide what to do next, you probably want to contact the Nevada DMV and get a copy of your driving record. This will help you determine whether you may want to just pay the ticket, fight it, hire an attorney or become a fugitive. While your driving record is a great place to start, there are other things you want to consider before you decide what to do.
(1) Pay the ticket
Not always the best choice, but definitely the easiest. You may or may not be required to appear in court (read your ticket to find out), but you do have to settle the ticket in the county or city where you got the ticket. If you don't have to appear in court, you can pay the ticket several different ways. Online, in person, by mail, or by phone. If you pay the ticket, you are pleading guilty. Before you plead guilty, you want to consider a few things.
- You will have demerit points recorded on your driving record.
- There is a good chance your car insurance premiums will increase, maybe a lot and maybe for a long time.
- Your driver's license may be suspended.
- Depending on the violation, you may have the option of taking a traffic safety course. This is an option that may be required as part of a plea-bargain or voluntary. If you voluntarily take the course, you could have 3 demerit points removed.
(2) Fight the ticket on your own
You could fight the ticket if you think you are not guilty. You could even fight the ticket knowing that you actually are guilty! It's unlikely that you will win your case if you are guilty and you could lose the case even if you aren't guilty. Kind of a gamble if you think about it. If you decide you want to play attorney anyway, here's what you need to know.
- You will probably have to appear in court if you are pleading not guilty.
- You have to notify the court if you are going to plead not guilty.
- Just like a real attorney, you will have to prepare your case. That means researching, coming up with some evidence that says you aren't guilty, like witnesses, etc.
- You could lose the option to plea-bargain for lesser penalties and fines.
(3) Hire a lawyer
You may be tempted to dismiss this option. After all, it is just a speeding ticket. If you feel this way, you should consider what all this could mean to you financially in the long run (and not just in the short run) and what it could do to your driving record. Yes, attorneys do cost money but typically it is the less expensive option when you factor in your insurance hike which stays with you for 3 years. Consider the following:
- Attorneys know the traffic laws and are experienced in fighting traffic tickets.
- There are things about the process that you just can't know by asking Google…a good attorney knows not only written laws, but which ones are—let's say—flexible.
- A local attorney typically knows not only most of the judges but also most of the officers in their area. “It's who you know” is a catchphrase for a reason.
Need help finding the right attorney?
You could just ask some other speeders or look online. You can also let the attorneys come to you by uploading your ticket for free on BernieSez. BernieSez has plenty of good attorneys who are more than willing to bid and take on your case. Save yourself the hassle and let BernieSez find the right attorney for you. It's a free service.