Louisiana has the highest car insurance rates in the country. The average Louisianan pays almost $3,000 on their car insurance premiums.
Oftentimes, speeding tickets are more of a nuisance than anything else, and they may or may not affect your insurance rates. Plus, speeding tickets can get dismissed fairly quickly if you have an experienced attorney handle the matter.
But all that changes if you are accused of driving 25mph over the posted speed limit. Not only is the fine higher, but it’s almost certain to drive your insurance premiums up too.
From experienced Louisiana traffic ticket attorney John Radziewicz, here’s some useful information to know if you’re ticketed for driving 25mph over, and how to avoid a hike in your insurance rates.
Here’s what happens when you get a ticket for speeding 25mph over
The penalties for speeding 25mph or more over the posted limit are pretty high in Jefferson Parish.
Here’s what normally happens when you’re given such a ticket:
- A Mandatory Court Appearance is Required by you or a lawyer who represents You.
- The likelihood of going to Trial–where the judge will decide whether you committed the traffic violation–is much higher.
- You are likely to be fined as much as $250.00.
- Court Costs may be an additional $150 to $200.00
- The Judge may require you to be on probation, with the special condition that you participate in a driver improvement class.
- The District Attorney’s Office does not usually reduce tickets when the driver is cited for speeding greater than 25 over the posted limit.
- The ticket will be reported to your insurance company.
- Your insurance company will raise your rates at your next renewal, which could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars
Even if the District Attorney’s Office is not willing to reduce your ticket, you may still have one option to avoid thousands in extra insurance rates.
How to avoid an insurance hike in Louisiana
Under Article 894 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure, an accused offender may enter a guilty plea in exchange for an opportunity to have the conviction expunged after a successful completion of a probationary period.
When you enter an 894 plea, you are pleading guilty to the accused offense and will have to pay the cost of the ticket. However, if the plea is accepted and you do not receive another traffic ticket for the next 30 days, you can have the ticket expunged, which means it will not be reported to your insurance company. This means your car insurance premium won’t increase due to the ticket.
Although an 894 plea is technically not meant to be used for traffic citations, most district attorney offices and courts will allow you to enter this type of plea. Prosecutors and judges understand that there may be situations in which you may not be deserving of the full punishment, and will allow you to plead for a reduced penalty if you can show that you are typically a safe driver.
Speeding Ticket Case Closed
As mentioned above, when an 894 plea is accepted by the judge, you will be required to pay the cost of the ticket and relevant court costs. However, the ticket will not be reported on your driving record, as long as you do not receive a ticket within the next 30 days. The court will provide a notice of the amount you owe, as well as a deadline for payment.
Additionally, a judge will typically require you to be on probation for up to 6 months and for you to participate in a driving school. However, a skilled and experienced attorney can persuade a judge to waive these consequences and save you the costs associated with them.
So, in the end, although you’ll be paying the ticket and relevant court costs, you’ll be saving hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars down the road in insurance premiums.