Hi Lifehacker, I got busted recently for speeding and was fined and handed an instant suspension. Is there any way to reduce the fine or suspension with community service? Thanks, Regretful
Speeding picture from Shutterstock
No, you can’t reduce a speeding fine or licence suspension with community service. As the adage goes, the punishment needs to fit the crime.
But don’t give up hope just yet. In certain circumstances, it is possible to have the suspension waived and continue to drive on a restricted licence. Depending on the state you live in, this could either involve applying for a work/professional licence or appealing the decision at your local court.
To pull this off, you will need to prove that your licence is essential for family or work reasons and that its loss would create extreme hardship. [Note: Having to take the train to work doesn’t count as an extreme hardship.]
Permissible examples include taxi/bus drivers, tradesmen who regularly transport heavy tools and being the only licence holder in a family that includes newborns or small children.
You will also need to demonstrate that you hold the safety of other road users in high regard. In other words, if you were caught travelling at high speeds in a residential area or under the influence of alcohol, you can basically forget it.
Naturally, having a good driving record and no criminal offences will work in your favour. It’s also a good idea to supply some written character references if you’re appealing the suspension in court.
If everything goes in your favour, you’ll be issued a so-called “good behaviour” licence. This typically lasts for 12 months and is heavily restricted — if you accumulate two or more demerit points during this time, your original suspension will usually be doubled.
You can find more information on appealing licence suspensions from the following state government websites:
If any readers have experience or advice in this area, let Regretful know in the comments section below.
Have a question you want to put to Ask Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].