Madelyn Daley
Attorney at Law

US Local 618-509-9724

Slow down! What do you mean there are 3 types of speeding?

That's right. When an Illinois law enforcement officer initiates a traffic stop based on the contention that you were speeding, the ticket you get could result from one of three different types of speeding.

How you defend against such a violation may just depend on the type of speeding ticket you receive. Below are brief descriptions of each type and ways you may defend against such violations.

Absolute speed limits

As you may rightly guess, absolute speed limits are those on posted speed limit signs. Therefore, if an officer gives you ticket indicating that you were driving above that limit, you may defend against it in one of the following ways:

  • You could challenge the method by which the officer calculated your speed. For instance, radar or laser guns are not infallible, and neither are their operators.
  • Perhaps you had an emergency that necessitated you driving above the speed limit. You may need to show that you or others were in danger of suffering serious injuries or death had you not broken the speed limit.
  • The officer may have mistaken your vehicle for one that he clocked going above the posted speed limit.

In any of these cases, you are challenging an officer's determination of your speed and that it was in violation of the absolute speed limit.

Presumed speed limit

When you receive a traffic ticket based a presumed speed limit, the officer is saying that he believes you were driving too fast for the prevailing conditions, whether they be from the road itself, the weather or some other circumstance. You could defend against this type of violation as you would an absolute speeding violation, but there is another option as well.

Even if you admit you were driving above the posted speed limit, you could argue that it was safe to do so. For example, let's assume that you are on a road where the posted speed limit is only 35mph, but everyone around you was driving 50 mph. You could say that driving at 45 mph was safer than going the slower, albeit legal, speed limit of 35 mph. Overcoming the presumption that the sign indicates the safest possible speed for the roadway may be a challenge.

Basic speed limit

Did you know you could receive a ticket for driving at or under the posted speed limit? If an officer determines that your slow driving creates an unsafe condition, you could end up with a ticket. If you decide to challenge such a ticket, the officer would need to establish that the conditions at the time made your driving at or under the posted speed limit dangerous.

Legal help

If you decide to challenge any speeding ticket, it may help to have someone at your side with the necessary experience. In order to present a potentially successful defense, you need to understand all of the policies, procedures and equipment that may pertain to your situation. You would need an understanding of how an officer could violate the applicable policies and procedures, along with how any failings in the equipment used to determine your speed could occur.

Furthermore, in some instances, you may have received a ticket based on an officer's subjective opinion. The officer is human, and that opinion could be wrong. Don't just accept that you will pay a fine and incur points on your license due to a speeding ticket. As you can see, they may not always be as they appear.

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