Most of the time, a speeding ticket won’t violate your probation, so it should not be a source of alarm. However, because a speeding ticket may violate the terms of your probation in certain circumstances, you should contact your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after receiving a ticket.
What Is a Violation of Probation?
According to the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, people who’ve been convicted of an offense but have had their prison sentence suspended can serve probation. People on probation remain under the jurisdiction of the sentencing judge but avoid incarceration after committing an offense.
When you are on probation, you must follow the rules of your probation agreement. If you violate the terms of your agreement or if the legal authorities have probable cause to believe that you violated them, you may be arrested and brought before a judge, summoned to appear in court, or the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
Common Violations of Probation
Here are some of the most common violations of probation agreements:
- Getting arrested or cited for another criminal offense (speeding and parking violations don’t usually count)
- Failing to pay a court-ordered fine or restitution
- Failing to appear in court
- Failing to report to your probation officer
- Failing or refusing to submit to mandatory drug or alcohol testing
- Failing to perform court-ordered community service
- Failing to report for court-ordered rehab or counseling
- Failing to attend required programs such as anger management or DUI school
- Violating a restraining order
- Leaving the state without permission from the probation officer
Will a Speeding Ticket Violate My Probation?
A violation of probation lawyer in Las Vegas can advise you as to whether your speeding ticket violates your probation. A lawyer can examine the terms of your probation agreement and the specifics of your speeding ticket.
In general, minor speeding tickets will not violate your probation. However, if your ticket reflects a pattern of traffic violations or includes reckless driving or racing, it may violate your probation agreement. You should report any interactions with a police officer to your probation officer.
Probation Violations May Lead to a Revocation Hearing
If your speeding ticket does violate the terms of your probation agreement, you may have a revocation hearing. A revocation hearing is a court procedure similar to a trial but without a jury. Instead, a judge will listen to arguments by the prosecution and the defense. The judge will then decide whether you did or did not violate your probation agreement by speeding.
You have the right to testify on your own behalf at this hearing. You also have the right to secure representation for your revocation hearing. A Nevada criminal defense lawyer can advocate for you during the hearing. A lawyer can:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your speeding violation
- Collect and present evidence that you did not violate the terms of your agreement
- Call and cross-examine witnesses
What Happens If the Judge Rules That You Violated Probation?
If the judge decides that your speeding ticket violated the terms of your probation agreement, he may:
- Allow you to complete the terms of your probation with no changes
- Modify the terms of your probation agreement to make them harsher (for example, requiring you to meet more frequently with your probation officer or wear an electronic monitoring bracelet)
- Revoke probation and require you to complete the original terms of your sentence, either in prison or with house arrest
The judge will consider several factors. He may consider the severity of your violation, such as how much faster than the speed limit you were driving, whether you endangered other people, or if you were speeding in a special location like a school zone or crosswalk. He may also consider your driving record and any history of traffic violations.
A Lawyer May Be Able to Help With Your Speeding Violation
A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney may be able to help with your speeding violation. A lawyer can:
- Examine the terms of your probation to see if you violated them by speeding
- Investigate your speeding violation, looking for evidence that you were not speeding as much as the police claim, that the work zone or pedestrian zone was not clearly marked, or any other evidence that your citation was in error
- Advocate for your ticket to be reduced or dismissed
- Represent you at your probation revocation hearing
Speeding Laws in Las Vegas
Nevada establishes the specifics of the law for speeding in NRS 484B.600. Speeding includes driving faster than the posted speed limit as well as driving:
- At a speed greater than 80 miles per hour
- Too fast for current traffic conditions, weather, surface and width of the highway, or other road conditions
- Fast enough to endanger the life, limb, or property of another person
- Any speed that results in another person’s injury or damage to property
NRS 484B.603 requires drivers to slow down, regardless of the posted speed limit, at:
- An intersection
- When approaching or going around a curve or hill crest
- When driving on a narrow or winding highway
- With respect to pedestrians or other traffic
- With respect to special hazards
- When entering a highway
- To avoid a collision with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance
Certain areas, such as work zones, school zones, and pedestrian safety zones like crosswalks and sidewalks, may have lower speed limits or require vehicles to yield to pedestrians.
Seek Legal Help for a Speeding Violation While on Probation
If you are on probation, ignoring a traffic ticket is one of the worst things you can do. Pretending it never happened and failing to pay the fine, fulfill community your community service requirement, or serve your sentence in the county jail may lead to more jail time, additional fines, or revocation of your probation.
Contact a Nevada criminal defense lawyer today if you’ve gotten a speeding ticket on probation.