Presumed Speed Limits

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What Is a "Presumed" Speed Limit?

When you are charged with exceeding a "presumed" speed limit, you are alleged to have driven at an unsafe speed. A "presumed" speed limit takes into account the conditions at the time you were ticketed. You may have a good chance of prevailing if you can prove that you were only slightly over the speed limit and the road conditions (e.g., weather, traffic) were good. However, the "presumed" speed limit is a double-edged sword. If the conditions on the road are so bad that even driving at the speed limit is unsafe, you may be ticketed (for driving at or below the limit).

Are There Any Defenses?

If you are charged with exceeding a "presumed" speed limit, you may:

Your best argument will be that although you were driving over the posted limit, it was safe to do so considering the highway conditions. You should argue that you were driving at a reasonable speed. However, you must remember that you have the burden of proving that your speed was safe and prudent. Police officers rarely write tickets for those who speed less than 5 mph over the limit (it is easy to prove that your speed was safe at that speed), but the burden of proof becomes much more difficult the more you exceeded the limit.

What Should I Do if I Believe I Have Not Broken the Law?

If you believe that you have not exceeded a "presumed" speed limit, there are ways in which you can build your case:

Do I Need a Lawyer Experienced with Traffic Laws?

It may be helpful to consult a lawyer who has experience with traffic laws. Traffic laws vary by state and by jurisdiction so a local attorney would be best suited in informing you of the laws.

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Last Modified: 11-07-2011 04:33 PM PST

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