A charge for criminal speeding in Maine might seem like an impossible thing to beat. After all, it's a relatively easy crime to prove: All it takes is the reading of a police radar gun, right?
Even though fighting against a charge of criminal speeding can be difficult, it is possible to put up a strong defense and win. This is important to remember, especially considering how severe the penalties are, if you get convicted.
What is Criminal Speeding and What Are the Penalties for Doing It?
In Maine, criminal speeding is not your typical speeding offense. Those are just civil infractions that end with a ticket and a moving violation. Criminal speeding, on the other hand, is the crime of driving a vehicle on the road at 30 miles per hour or more over the stated speed limit. You can be arrested, charged with a crime, taken to court, and convicted for criminal speeding.
A conviction for criminal speeding in Maine is a Class E offense. These carry a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year on probation, a license suspension of over 30 days, and even up to 6 months of jail time.
Additionally, as is often the case with a criminal conviction, there are other ramifications that many people tend not to think of. When it comes to criminal speeding, one of these is increase in the cost of car insurance, which can rise as much as 20% or more with a criminal speeding conviction.
How is Criminal Speeding Proven?
To arrest you and charge you for criminal speeding, the police have to prove three things:
- The stated speed limit of the road,
- The speed that you were driving, and
- That the speed you were driving at was more than 30 mph over the stated limit
Practically speaking, the most difficult thing for a prosecutor to prove is element number two: Your speed. The criminal speeding law of Maine states that this can be done using radar, laser, or a mathematical calculation of the distance your car traveled in a certain amount of time.
Defenses to a Criminal Speeding Charge
In order to convict you for criminal speeding, it's up to the prosecution to prove each of these three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. This opens up the opportunity for an experienced criminal defense attorney to raise problems in the prosecutor's case. While every criminal speeding charge is different, two of the most common defenses are:
- The speed limit was not properly posted. This can be the case if you were able to access a road without coming across a speed limit sign, or if the speed limit signs that were posted don't state the correct speed limit.
- You were not driving as fast as the police said you were. This is the most common defense to a criminal speeding charge. If a radar gun or laser is not calibrated correctly, or if the officer using it does not know how to use it, then the reading it gives will be incorrect.
Defense Attorney William T. Bly
Experienced defense attorneys like William T. Bly can use these defenses to fight against your criminal speeding charge, and can also negotiate with prosecutors before trial to try to get a lesser charge. Call his law office at (207) 571-8146 or contact him online.