Getting pulled over for speeding in Ohio can result in speeding ticket fines, an increase in insurance rates, and other consequences for drivers.
Additionally, a conviction for violating the speed limit in Ohio adds points to your driving record.
After a certain number of driving points accrue on your driving record, you could face the revocation of your driving privileges.
If you received a ticket for driving over the speed limit in Ohio, you might think hiring an attorney is a waste of time and just pay the fine.
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. An Ohio attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to have your fine reduced or spare you the addition of penalty points on your Ohio driving record.
Our defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, represent clients charged with violations of speed limit laws in Ohio. Contact our office today to start your free case analysis.
What Kind of Speed Limit Laws Exist in Ohio?
Ohio’s main speed limit law prohibits driving at a speed greater than is “reasonable or proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions.”
Essentially, the speed limit law requires motorists to drive at a safe speed. What qualifies as a safe speed depends on the factors listed in the statute, in addition to other factors.
For example, operating a vehicle during the day might allow drivers to go faster than when operating the vehicle at night, as the darkness factor makes driving less safe.
The main speeding law also prohibits motorists from driving a vehicle “at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.”
Absolute Speed Limits
Most drivers are familiar with absolute speed limits, as absolute speed limits are the speeds posted on Ohio speed limit signs. If you drive faster than the posted speed limit, you violate Ohio’s speed limit sign law.
Unless otherwise posted, Ohio outlines absolute speed limits for certain roadways in the state, such as:
- 70 miles per hour on rural freeways,
- 65 miles per hour on rural expressways and urban freeways, and
- 55 miles per hour on most other roadways.
Ohio allows local jurisdictions to adjust speed limits within their boundaries, so the speed limit in one Ohio city will not necessarily match the speed limit in another city.
Prima Facie Speed Limits
Ohio also implements prima facie speed limits, sometimes referred to as presumed speed limits. Unlike absolute speed limits, exceeding the prima facie speed limit does not automatically render you guilty.
You can present evidence in court establishing that your driving speed was safe. If you can prove that your speed was safe, the judge should find you not guilty.
Unless otherwise posted, Ohio’s prima facie speed limits include:
- 20 miles per hour in school zones,
- 15 miles per hour in alleyways within cities, and
- 25 miles per hour in residential and urban areas.
While violating the prima facie speed limit creates a presumption that you violated Ohio’s speed limit law, you can rebut that presumption by demonstrating that your driving speed was safe.
Penalties for Ohio Speed Limit Law Violations
The penalties for violating Ohio speed limit laws vary depending on a number of factors, including your prior speed limit convictions and how many miles over the speed limit you were driving.
A first-time or second-time speed limit violation amounts to a minor misdemeanor charge. A minor misdemeanor carries the potential of a fine up to $150.
A third-speed limit violation within a one-year period qualifies as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Fourth-degree misdemeanors carry the potential of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
Speed limit violations that involve driving faster than 35 miles per hour in a business district or faster than 35 miles per hour in a school zone amount to fourth-degree misdemeanors as well.
A fourth or subsequent speed limit violation within a one-year period qualifies as a third-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. A third-degree misdemeanor carries the potential of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
If the speeding violation occurred in a school or construction zone, the state typically doubles the fine amount.
Ohio Point System and Speed Limit Law Violations
Ohio assesses points against the driver records of motorists convicted of certain driving violations. If you accumulate 12 or more points within a two-year period, the state can suspend your driver’s license.
Speed limit law violations warrant the assessment of points against your driving record, but the number of points depends on the violation.
For example, a speeding violation involving speeds of less than 25 miles per hour above the speed limit results in two points against your driving record.
A speeding violation involving speeds in excess of 25 miles per hour over the speed limit results in four points against your driving record.
If you accumulate 12 points against your driving record within a two-year period, the court will suspend your driver’s license for six months.
Facing Speed Limit Law Violations in Ohio? Contact an Attorney Today
Though speed limit violations do not typically result in severe penalties, recurring violations can result in serious fines, the suspension of your driver’s license, and even jail time.
Depending on the factors present in your case, an Ohio traffic attorney can argue that you were driving safely at the time of the alleged violation or present evidence that justifies your increased speed.