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Speeding Tickets

What is criminal speeding, and do I need an attorney?

Policeman writing man in car a speeding ticket.
If you receive a speeding ticket, you should consult an attorney to protect your rights.

If you receive a speeding ticket, you should consult an attorney to protect your rights.

Speeding in Maine is taken very seriously by law enforcement and can lead to criminal charges. “Criminal speeding” is the term for speeding over the posted limit by 30 mph or more for which judges in Maine often impose harsh penalties.

A conviction for criminal speeding will lead to massive fines and even jail, especially if the driver was going more than 100 mph. In addition to a penalty from the court, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will suspend a driver’s license for 30 days upon conviction.

A charge for criminal speeding requires careful attention and legal advice. A criminal charge must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore all the evidence should be evaluated by a lawyer. Going it alone in court could lead to very bad outcomes—consulting a Lipman & Katz attorney will protect your rights and assure you the best outcome.

What if the charge is lesser than criminal speeding?

If a driver is cited for speeding by 29 mph or less over the limit, they face a civil, not criminal, violation. These cases are handled by the Violations Bureau section of the court, and there is no risk of jail. This doesn't mean, however, that it should not be taken seriously. There's a risk of high fines, and potential problems for one’s driver’s license and insurance. Establishing a bad driving record has obvious long-term bad consequences. Read the Maine statutes pertaining to speeding.

Fighting a non-criminal speeding ticket can be difficult. The State does not have to prove that a driver was speeding by the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. The State only must show “by a preponderance of evidence,” which means that it was more likely than not. In practical terms, it means that often a law enforcement officer’s statement about his or her observations is enough.

If you get a speeding ticket, don’t go it alone; consultation with an experienced lawyer can be helpful to fully understand the consequences and all of your options. 

Contact Lipman & Katz at 800-660-3713 or by email, or fill out our Free Inquiry Form — we can help.