We have reviewed when it might be illegal to drive too slow and most of us are already familiar when it is illegal to drive too fast. Does Kansas give any consideration for any speeding gray areas, however?
It seems the legislature in Kansas does recognize instances where a driver might be speeding over the posted speed limit, but not so fast that a larger punishment is required. K.S.A. 8-1560c sets forth speeding violations that will not be considered moving violations for purposes of a driver’s record and license considerations. To summarize, this statute does not consider speeding convictions 6 miles an hour or less over the posted speed in a 30-54 mile an hour zone a moving violation. Also, any speeding convictions 10 miles an hour or less over the posted speed in a 55-75 mile an hour zone are not considered moving violations. While it seems the legislature does want to criminalize any amount of speeding over a posted speed limit, it also does recognize that going just over the posted speed limit should not be punished as much as driving greater speeds over the posted speed limit.
For defense attorneys, knowledge of this state’s (or a similar statute in another state) statute is essential. Many plea negotiations can occur if an attorney is aware of this statute given most drivers are usually more concerned with a speeding conviction on their record rather than paying the set fine amount. Many plea negotiations on speeding charges often result in a driver paying an increased fine or negotiating a diversion to avoid a moving violation on their record. One way to do this is to amend the charge to show a speed that fits within this statute.
For the first time in this blog, I believe defense attorneys and prosecutors would agree with all the terms in a statute. While you might think that a prosecutor would not like any leniency in punishment, this statute gives the potential for more plea negotiations and flexibility in punishments. Some prosecutors might want to punish a driver’s record, but most prosecutors can increase the fine or any diversion terms and they often get those increased fines with the help of such a statute. I may not speak for all prosecutors, but in my experience, I have found this statute was a great tool for negotiation and outweighed any loss in punishment on a driver’s record.
If you live in a different state, see if there is a similar statute for your defense attorneys and prosecutors.
Until next time, drive safe!