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The following article was written by Jenny Grace.  She can be reached at her company Jenny Grace Editorial.

KY speed limit = 70 mph (and no more toll booths)

The speed limit on country roads in Kentucky was raised in 2007 to 70 mph on the rural interstates, and the toll booths were done away with….making it possible to travel a little faster, while you’re cranking your bluegrass tunes, and feeling inspired by the thoroughbreds bounding through the roadside pastures. It’s easy to see how you could be tempted to go a little faster than legally permitted on the Kentucky roads. So what happens if you’re zipping along the highway too fast, maybe because you weren’t paying attention to the speedometer, or maybe because you were running late for work?

Here’s what you need to know if you’ve gotten that dreaded speeding ticket.  Being informed is always key, and may make it possible for you to lessen any fines, reduce the points on your license, or keep your insurance rates down.

The Kentucky Point System

Just as the rest of the country, in Kentucky, being allowed to drive is thought of as a privilege you must earn. Kentucky has a point system, and as we all know, if too many points are received within a certain amount of time, our license can be taken away. Most moving violations, like speeding, are a penalty of three points.

You can determine your exact fine which is printed in the “Offenses Cited” box. Court costs are also typically the same statewide, and will be printed on your ticket along with any other fees. The next thing to take note of is the “Date/Time” box. This section has the city and county where you received your ticket and will let you know in which court you need to appear, along with the date and time of day.  You need to pick one of the following two options:

  • plead guilty, pay your fine, and incur other penalties
  • or plead not guilty and fight your ticket in court

To make this decision, you should understand how your license and your wallet will be affected. And typically, throughout the state of Kentucky, speeding tickets cost the same. In other words, if you have driven twenty miles over the speed limit, the fine should be the same in one part of the state as in another.

Option 1: Simply Pay the Ticket and Plead Guilty

Some of us decide to pay the ticket, which means, in effect, you are pleading guilty and not contesting the violation. If this is what you decide to do, you will have three payment options:

  • paying the fine online (although not if the ticket was issued in Harlan, Logan, or Menifee Counties, and there will be an additional $5 fee for any credit card transaction),
  • paying the fine through the mail,
  • or paying the fine in person (the citation will have any of the details if you need to appear in district court)

Remember that you will now have points on your license which will remain for two years; however, you may enroll in traffic school to avoid some of these points…or better yet—have the ticket dismissed. Kentucky State Traffic School is the mandatory statewide class—a basic driver improvement course, that may satisfy the ticket and avoid points, but if you've already been in the last 12 months, or you’re a commercial driver, then traffic school isn't an option for you.

Remember, too, that you can only take this course five times in your life. Traffic school costs vary, but range from $15-50, depending on whether it’s online, via DVD, or in the classroom. For more information online visit http://www.dmv.org/ky-kentucky/traffic-schools.php

You may unfortunately end up with a suspended or revoked license, depending on much over the speed limit you were cruising. Also keep in mind that your insurance rates will more than likely be increased. If you have decided to simply pay the ticket, just be sure to pay attention to the date/deadline printed on the ticket so you don’t rack up greater fines–or worse have your license suspended. In addition, if you’re feeling nervous, you may contact the traffic court listed on your ticket for more specific details regarding payment. More information is available online at http://www.dmv.org/ky-kentucky/traffic-tickets.php

Misplaced your ticket? No need to panic.

If you’ve misplaced your ticket, don’t panic, just go to the Kentucky DMV section online: replacing lost KY traffic tickets. And you can always contact the appropriate court with any questions .

Option 2: Plead Not Guilty and Fight Your Traffic Ticket

If you plead not guilty you can possibly avoid fines and penalties if you win, but if you end up losing, you will have to pay all fines as well as take care of any additional penalties. In order to plead not guilty, you will have to invest some energy, since you’ll need to appear in court, and this could be at a time that is not convenient to your work schedule or your family life. You must show up on the appointed date, or reschedule so that your driver’s license is not suspended.   There is a risk in fighting the ticket, since you are more than likely giving up the opportunity to plead to lesser penalties, as well as the opportunity of attending the traffic school course to lessen your points.

This is why many drivers decide to hire a lawyer who specializes in traffic ticket violations. Not to mention the fact that it can be intimidating to stand before a judge as well as the officer who doled out your ticket. You alone, or you and your attorney, have until the court date to prepare any evidence that helps prove your innocence, as well as your testimony. Traffic attorneys in Kentucky can assist with speeding, red light violations, and reckless driving, among other significant tickets. A skillful lawyer can help reduce court and DMV fines, points accumulated on your license, as well as driver’s license suspension, or worse revocation, insurance increase, and in more serious instances even time spent in jail. Keep in mind that you should seek the assistance of an attorney who is well-versed in both traffic violations and with the laws of your local court. For more information regarding legal assistance visit http://www.dmv.org/ky-kentucky/traffic-ticket-attorneys.php

If you do go to court, the judge will speak to you, and the officer who gave you the ticket, before deciding if you’re guilty. If you are found guilty and you want to file an appeal, you or your lawyer can do so. And whether or not you're guilty, make sure you follow up with the State of Kentucky to check the status of your driving record. This will inform you how many points have accumulated on your license so that you can avoid future license suspension.   It would be wise to check with your insurance company as well to see if you’re facing an increase when your policy is renewed—only if you are found guilty.

Visit https://www.idrivesafely.com/dmv/kentucky/laws/traffic-tickets-and-violations/ for more information to help make the right decisions regarding your speeding ticket in Kentucky.

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.