If you were driving through Fort Mill, South Carolina, when police stopped you and issued a ticket for speeding, you might wonder about your rights. The city often stations patrols at areas referred to as “speed traps,” where the speed limit abruptly drops.
It might be possible to fight your speeding ticket with a defense such as an obstructed speed limit sign, a good reason for speeding or an unjustified speed trap. Fighting your ticket could prevent consequences such as fines, points on your license and higher insurance costs.
The technical definition for a speed trap is a low speed limit combined with an unnecessary amount of law enforcement. Determining the lawfulness of a speed trap takes examining state and federal traffic laws.
Many states outlaw marked or unjustified speed limit traps. For example, California Vehicle Code 40802 expressly outlaws them. However, South Carolina does not have a specific statute banning speed traps. An unjustified speed trap refers to a part of the road with a speed limit that is unjustifiably low based on the location’s five-year traffic history.
Other common defenses against speed traps include excessively high fines and the illegality of the ticket itself. In Turbeville, South Carolina, for example, the city has previously dismissed careless operation violations given in speed traps for not being valid state traffic tickets.
If a police officer issued a ticket in what you suspect was a speed trap, you may have options. With a lawyer’s help, you could attend your court date and fight a speeding ticket with defenses regarding the legality of the speed trap or accuracy of the sheriff’s radar.
A lawyer can tailor defense options to your specific case after conducting an investigation. You may not have to pay the ticket or face other repercussions if your attorney successfully fights the citation.