You hit the on-ramp and, thankfully, there’s not much traffic. You hit the gas because you hit the snooze button one time too many. But if you hurry, and you’re careful, you can still make it to work without being late. Just four more exits to go and you’ve got it made. If you can get to your exit by 8:20, you’ve got it made, and you’ll get to work just in time. Now, just one more exit and you’ll be there. You check your rear-view mirror as you hit the off-ramp and your heart sinks. Blue lights light up your mirror as you pull onto the shoulder.
The Deputy Sheriff walks up and taps on your window. You roll down the window and before you can get a word out, he asks for your license and registration. As you hand them over, you are trying to think fast and figure out what you can say to get out of this. He hands you back your license and registration and pulls out his ticket book. That’s when you realize there’s nothing you can say or do and you’re getting that ticket. You never had a chance. So you’re going to be late to work, and you have a speeding ticket to boot.
Here’s what you need to know to keep the damage to a minimum
If you get a speeding ticket in Minnesota and you’re found guilty, the ticket is recorded on your driving record. There’s no point system in Minnesota, but your license can be suspended or revoked if you are a habitual offender. If your speeding ticket is pretty much the only thing on your license, you aren’t in much danger of losing your license unless you were going over 100 MPH. (Tell me you weren’t!) Regardless of how fast you were going, you still want to do everything you can to keep that ticket off your record for other reasons also.
Minnesota uses a guide to determine how much a particular speeding ticket will cost.
- 1 to 10 mph over the speed limit – $120.00
- 11 to 14 mph over the speed limit – $130.00
- 15 to 19 mph over the speed limit – $140.00
- 20 to 25 mph over the speed limit – $220.00
- 26 to 30 mph over the speed limit – $280.00
- 31 mph or more over the speed limit – $380.00
These are just the fines for the ticket itself and don’t include other fees and potentially higher insurance premiums. The true cost of your speeding ticket in Minnesota will often be over 3.5 times the actual ticket cost when you include court costs and fees and can easily exceed $500. $500 is a big hit, and you end up with a speeding ticket on your record, but we’re not done yet.
Depending on the type of speeding violation and how the ticket affects your driving record, your car insurance premiums will increase, and that could be another big hit and could cost you more for quite awhile. Who knew waking up late could be so expensive!
But you do have options
Option #1: Plead Guilty
If this is your only ticket, you may be eligible for a Continuance for Dismissal which will keep the ticket off your record. This is definitely something to consider if you qualify and the court will be able to let you know the details. Keep in mind though, if you are convicted of another violation within a certain amount of time, you’ll have to pay BOTH tickets. If you don’t qualify, you could just plead guilty and take your chances. Fast and easy and you get to move on with your life and hopefully avoid another ticket anytime soon. Even if you plead guilty, you still may be able to complete a defensive driving course which could eliminate, or at least reduce, the impact the ticket will have on your record and on your insurance.
Regardless of how your guilty plea turns out, you’ll pay your ticket and those fees and other costs and cross your fingers till you get that next insurance bill. Minnesota actually makes it very easy to pay that ticket. You can pay online, by phone, by mail, or even in person. All the information you will need, including whether you have to appear in court, will be on your ticket. If you have any questions, you can just call the Minnesota DMV. Just make sure you take a good look at all your options before taking the easy way out.
Option #2: Fight the Ticket
You could fight the ticket yourself if you’re willing to spend some time coming up with legitimate reasons you shouldn’t have gotten the ticket. You may get lucky (unlikely) or you may not (likely!) Keep in mind that if you fight the ticket and lose, you will most likely not be eligible for any options such as Continuance for Dismissal or driving school. This means you will probably pay the maximum amount of fees and fines, your insurance will go up and you will have the speeding ticket on your driving record.
Or you could hire a good attorney. Yes, attorneys cost money, but the cost will usually be much lower than all those fines, court costs and increased insurance premiums. And you’ll have a better chance of keeping the ticket off your record. Here are a few very good reasons to consider hiring an attorney.
- An experienced attorney just knows more about traffic laws and understands how to use all the options available
- Attorneys know how to present your case in the best possible way to eliminate or at least reduce the damage to your wallet and your driving record
- Most attorneys are familiar with the officers, judges, and everyone else involved and know how to best “work” the system and the court
How to Find a Good Attorney
Most cities and towns have plenty of local options, and a quick search on the internet should turn up plenty of options. Or you can use the BernieSez system, which is free. BernieSez is in the business of matching you with the best attorney for your case and makes it very easy to find the right attorney. You simply upload your ticket to the site and qualified attorneys bid to represent you. So save yourself some time and money. Click or tap the button below to get started. It's easy, will only take you a few minutes, and is free.