I was recently visiting Chicago and rented a car to go sightseeing. Unfortunately, while I was driving, I got pulled over for speeding. I considered hiring a Chicago speeding ticket lawyer to fight the ticket because I didn’t feel that the ticket was warranted, but because I was going home to Canada in a week, it was easier for me to pay the ticket and a call it a day.
After dealing with the speeding ticket fine in Chicago, it got me thinking about speeding laws in Canada versus speeding laws in the United States. I wondered what the difference was between the two countries and whether the penalties were more severe in one place. I also wondered which country made it easier to fight the ticket and get it reduced, so I began my research.
Speeding in the United States
Speeding laws vary depending on which part of the United States you’re in. Usually, there are levels of speeding penalties, with the least severe penalties being civil infractions. If you’re caught speeding, you may have to pay a fine and points may be added to your driving record. If you pay the fine, you’re automatically admitting guilt to the speeding charge.
You can, however, fight your speeding ticket in traffic court. You won’t need a lawyer to fight your case, although a lawyer can be beneficial. When you speak to the judge, you can either admit guilt and try to enter a plea bargain to lessen your charges and keep points off your driving record or you can plead not guilty and argue your case for innocence.
More severe speeding charges in the United States may result in criminal misdemeanor or felony charges. If your speeding charge involved a minor in the vehicle, bodily injury, or reckless driving, you may be required to attend court.
Speeding in Canada
Speeding laws in Canada are similar to speeding laws in the United States. The speed limits vary in Canada by province, and fines vary depending on speed. If you’re caught going 50km over the speed limit, your car will automatically be impounded for a week. Similar to the United States, paying a speeding ticket automatically results in a guilty plea and demerit points on your driving record.
If you want to fight your ticket, you can do so by attending court. If the ticketing officer doesn’t appear, your case will be dismissed. No matter where you live, it’s important to assess your driving record and determine whether you can afford more points. If you can’t, fighting your ticket may be essential to avoid a license suspension.