Connor Cato made headlines when he received a staggering $1.48 million speeding ticket in Savannah, Georgia.
A Routine Traffic Stop
Cato’s day took an unexpected turn when he was pulled over by a Georgia State Patrol officer for speeding at 90 mph in a 55 mph zone.
Anticipating a ‘Super Speeder’ Ticket
Cato was aware that he was likely to receive a “super speeder” ticket, typically given to those traveling 35 mph or more over the speed limit.
A Baffling Fine Amount
However, Cato was unprepared for the fine printed on his e-citation, which read an astonishing $1.4 million.
A Phone Call Confirming the Amount
Cato recounted his disbelief when he phoned the authorities and the operator confirmed the incredible fine amount of $1.4 million, leaving him in shock.
Attorney Sneh Patel’s Stunned Reaction
Criminal defense attorney Sneh Patel expressed his astonishment at the situation, as misdemeanor traffic violations in Georgia are capped at $1,000.
Comparing Fines for Different Offenses
Patel pointed out that $1.4 million fines are usually associated with serious crimes like drug trafficking or violent offenses, not traffic violations.
The Unprecedented Magnitude of the Fine
Cato’s case was so unusual that Patel had never encountered a traffic fine of this magnitude before.
The Role of Placeholder Amounts
A spokesperson for Savannah clarified that the initial $1.48 million fine was not set by the issuing police officer but appeared as a temporary “placeholder” in the e-citation system.
Placeholder Amounts Explained
The city spokesperson disclosed that placeholder amounts were automatically set at $999,999.99 as the base figure, with additional costs, to indicate that a mandatory court appearance was required.
The Judge’s Determination
The true fine amount was not predetermined but would be determined by a judge during the court appearance.
Lack of Coherent Ticket Language
Concerns arose over the wording in the e-citations and the confusion it could cause, as it was not clear why the system couldn’t display “fine to be determined in court.”
A Pledge to Improve the System
The city of Savannah confirmed that they had no intention to intimidate people into court with such colossal placeholder amounts, and promised to adjust e-citation language to avoid future confusion.
Programmer’s Choice for Placeholder
The city admitted that the choice of such a large number as a placeholder was due to programmers designing the software, as super speeder tickets usually didn’t have predetermined fine amounts when issued by police.
Clarity and Future Changes
The city’s spokesperson pledged to make necessary adjustments to the e-citation system to ensure clearer communication in future cases.
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The post $1.4 Million Speeding Ticket?! How One Man Received a Shocking Traffic Fine That’s Turning Heads first appeared on Mama Say What?!.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.