speeding ticket

Mississippi

Unlike many states, Mississippi does not have a points system. Mississippi instead counts every traffic violation on your driving record. That driving record is accessible to potential employers and your insurance company. Your insurance company uses this information to partially determine the rates it will charge you. Therefore, if you have a lot of tickets that turn into traffic violations, the insurance company can raise your insurance premiums.

However, Mississippi is also unique because in 2006, the state enacted a new law, which gives motorists an option to attend driving school to wipe tickets from their driving record for good. This option is only available to every motorist once though.

Reciprocity with Other States

As stated earlier, the speeding offense is reported to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Driver Services. The Department, in turn, reports it to other states because Mississippi is a member of the Driver’s License Compact (“DLC”). The DLC is an interstate compact that has forty-five member states and the District of Columbia. The non-member states are Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. DLC’s goal is to promote “One Driver, One License, One Record” through mandating that its members report traffic violations of non-residents to their actual resident state. The resident state must then treat the crime as if it was committed in the resident state. However, there is a new doctrine called the Driver License Agreement (“DLA”) that may supersede the DLC if all the member states ratify the doctrine. However, Mississippi has not ratified the doctrine.

Furthermore, Mississippi is a member state of the Non-Resident Violator Compact (“NRVC”) as well. There are 44 member states and the District of Columbia. Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin are not members of the NRVC. Under the NRVC, if a motorist is cited in a nonmember state, the motorist must post bail before he/she can proceed. However, if a motorist is cited in a NRVC member state, but chose to ignore the ticket, the member state would alert the motorist’s resident state. The resident state has a duty to suspend the motorist’s license until the motorist resolves all ticketing affairs in the citing member state.

Lawful and Unlawful Vehicle Stops in Mississippi

In order for an officer to lawfully stop a motorist, the officer must show probable cause. Probable cause is reason to believe that the motorist has violated the law or even had the desire to violate the law. In speeding cases, the officer must actually witness the motorist speeding and not his/her desire to speed. If the officer cannot show probable cause, then the officer’s stop was illegal.

Officers sometimes use speed detectors to show probable cause. However, Mississippi has recently restricted the usage of radar detection. Officers can now only use speed radar detection in certain cities. In cities with populations of fewer than 2,000, officers are prohibited from using such equipment on public streets while in cities with populations of more than 15,000, officers may still use radar detectors on federal highways within the boundaries. There have been efforts in expanding the allowable areas, however, opponents have struck down such efforts because they fear officers will abuse such tools to set up speed traps. Speed traps are supposedly areas where there are numerous speeding stops because officers are said to hide in such places to catch violators.

Source: http://legalhelp.org/490-mississippi-points-fines-reciprocity-other-issues.html

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