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The Real Cost of a Speeding Ticket

undefinedYou might look up the cost of your speeding ticket fine online and decide that it’s manageable. But what you likely see online is not “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” as the saying goes.

There are two reasons for us saying that. The first is that they typically only post the “base fine” online, and the second is the drastic rise in your auto insurance premium, which makes your total long-term cost at least four times the fine amount.

That 1-15 mph over the speed limit ticket has a base fine of $35. However, ten surcharges, fees, and penalties added to that amount make your total fine approximately $237, depending on which county you were in when you received the speeding ticket.

A 16-24 mph over the limit speeding ticket has a base fine of $70, but the total fine is $360. When you are cited for speeding more than 25 mph but less than 100 mph, your base fine is $100, which with the added penalties comes out to about $490. More than 100 mph? You’re looking at a base fine of $200 to $500 and a total penalty of $900 to $2,500.

Yes, the fines for speeding tickets can get expensive in CA. However, the real cost is long-term. If convicted (a paid fine is a conviction), the DMV will assess one negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) point for speeding under 100 mph, which stays on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR) for three years. Speeding over 100 mph is a “major infraction” that gets assessed two points that stay on your MVR for seven years.

TVS Eligibility for a Speeding Ticket

One essential element that could keep your insurance from going up is your eligibility to attend traffic violator’s school (TVS). TVS attendance will keep your minor infraction confidential and out of the view of your auto insurance provider. However, you can only use it to mask one minor infraction every 18 months from conviction to conviction. Always discuss your speeding ticket with a traffic attorney before deciding because certain circumstances, such as multiple tickets can make your attendance a worthless waste of time and money.

To be eligible to use TVS, you must:

  • Have a current driver’s license.
  • Have a ticket for a moving violation that is considered a minor infraction.
  • Be willing to plead guilty to the violation, pay the full amount of the fine, pay a county fee for attendance (usually $64), tuition, and complete it before the court-ordered date.

You cannot have:

  • Been driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) when cited.
  • Been cited for an alcohol or drug-related incident.
  • Been issued a correctable or “fixit” ticket for loud exhaust, etc. These are non-moving violations.
  • Been cited for a major infraction (speeding 100+ mph), a misdemeanor, or a felony.

You can find a list of DMV-approved courses here. Although your court reminder will tell you if you are eligible, you should consult a traffic attorney before paying the fine and accepting TVS.

Speeding 100+ mph is automatically not eligible for TVS as a major infraction with a mandatory court date, both of which prohibit attendance to mask the conviction. Likewise, speeding 25+ mph over the speed limit must be approved by a traffic court judge.

Therefore, you should get a traffic attorney to request TVS attendance. TVS attendance could save you an auto insurance increase ofabout $1200-$1500.

Increased Auto Insurance Premiums with a Speeding Ticket Conviction

Several variables determine how much you will pay for auto insurance. Where you park your car, age, location, daily driving distance, marital status, and others affect how much you pay.

According to Aceable, the average California pays $1962 per year for coverage. Although that is 20% higher than the national average, it could be 20% worse without your “good driver’s discount.” In 1988, the voters of CA approved a referendum to rein in the price of insurance statewide. Due to that initiative, Proposition 103, all insurance providers must give a driver a 20% discount if they have a clean record.

Let’s do the math, 20% of $1962 is $392.40. Therefore, a conviction of a speeding ticket where you were not eligible for TVS will cost you a fine of between $237 and $2,500, plus the minimum insurance increase of $392.40 before they add the additional risk based on your speed. In most cases, it is much more.

Speeding 25 mph or more over the speed limit but less than 100 mph typically results in a 40% increase, so about $700 more per year for up to three years. Your total cost could be approximately $2,500 for the three years the NOTS points stay on your record.

However, if you are convicted of speeding 100+ mph, your insurance company will likely increase your payment two or three times what you are paying now. If they decide to retain you as a client. It could cost you $13,000 to $30,000 for increased insurance after a speeding 100+ mph conviction because it will remain on your MVR for seven years. You must consult with a traffic attorney who can resolve your speeding ticket in Fresno County.

Bigger & Harman, APC, Can Resolve Your Speeding Ticket in Fresno County

When you are cited for speeding on I-5 or SR-99 in Fresno County, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We are Bakersfield, CA, attorneys who practice only traffic law. When you hire us, we use a flat fee to vigorously defend your driving record so that you could save thousands of dollars in increased insurance. What’s more, you will not have to go to court with us. You can go to school or work as usual.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf

The Aceable