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The $10,000 Speeding Ticket on I-5 Outside Los Angeles

undefinedMany drivers in California know the facts about how expensive speeding tickets are here. Even those who have never received one have a friend or family member who did.

You might look at this headline and think, “Wow, another clickbait, attention grabbing title without much truth to back it up.” However, everything in this article is accurate and backed up by California traffic law.

The portion of the 5 from Los Angeles up to San Francisco (SF) sees more speeding tickets for 100+ mph than all other CA freeways. Interstate 15 between LA and Las Vegas gets the second most.

Many celebrities have been cited for speeding on the 5. Of course, they aren’t as apt to miss $10,000 as we would be.

CHP and other law enforcement officers (LEO) handed out 15,000 speeding tickets for 100+ mph during the period between March and August of 2020. That’s 3000 per month or nearly double what they issued during the same timeframe in 2019.

Many LEOs are saying that drivers around LA are not used to having open freeways and are stepping down on the gas. However, with fewer vehicles to watch, LEO can catch more.

However, there are worse things than a speeding ticket. “The National Safety Council (NCS) found the rate of fatal crashes has increased 24%” during that period as well.

California Traffic Law

If you get cited with a 100+ mph speeding ticket, you also have a mandatory traffic court appearance. Likewise, all CA counties retain control of their issued tickets because the revenue from the fine goes into their treasury. Therefore, you or an attorney must return to that county for arraignment and trial.

So, if you live near LA, go up to Vegas, and are ticketed going up or coming back, you must return to the county where you were issued the speeding ticket.

You might read online that first-offenders convicted for speeding over 100 mph could be fined a maximum of $500, get assessed two NOTS points, and the judge pull their driving privileges for 30 days if convicted.

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22348, Speed Laws proclaims, “A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 100 miles per hour is guilty of an infraction punishable, as follows: (1) Upon a first conviction of a violation of this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).”

What’s Reported on the Internet and in the News Is Misleading

What they neglect to tell you that there is a massive difference between the “base” fine quoted in the traffic code and what you will actually pay. That section of code was signed into law by the governor years ago; since then, the legislature has approved ten separate fees, surcharges, and penalties added to the base fine, which makes the total much more than $500.

For example, the state penalty that adds $10 for every $10 of the base fine, a county surcharge of $7 for every $10 of the base fine, a Night Court fund, regardless of whether you use night court or not, a DNA ID fund, another state surcharge of 20 percent, a court construction fund, which adds $5 for every $10 of the base fine, an Emergency Medical Air Transport (EMAT), an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) penalty, and others.

In the case of a conviction for speeding 100+ mph, if the judge says, “Guilty, pay the court clerk your fine on your way out.” You might be shocked when the court clerk says that it will be $2,500.

However, your fine is peanuts compared to the increased auto insurance you’ll pay. When you’re found guilty and have to pay $2,500 instead of the $500 you believed it would be, it is too late to hire a traffic attorney to resolve your speeding ticket. Therefore, you should always consult a traffic attorney before deciding to pay the fine or challenge the speeding ticket.

The DMV is authorized by CVC 12810, Issuance of Licenses, Expiration, and Renewal to assess NOTS points for convictions of traffic violations, and when a driver is found more than zero percent responsible for an accident. When your car insurance provider finds out about your speeding ticket conviction for 100+ mph, your premium will double or triple during the seven years your conviction stays on the DMV motor vehicle driving record (MVR).

An average driver in CA spends $1,962 annually on car insurance. If your premium doubles, that means you could pay around $327 per month. If it triples, that means you could pay $5,886 per year or $490 per month for seven years. Of course, we are only talking about the average here, you could be paying much less, or if you have a teenager on your insurance, you are likely paying much more.

Thus, if convicted, it would cost you around $2,500 ($900 is more common) for the fine and seven years of increased premiums totaling $27,468, or $30,068 altogether, and that’s if your insurance only doubles, not triples. Now that’s not likely. Most insurance companies will start to weight the violation significantly less against you after the 3rd year. But $10,000 to $15,000 is not small change either.

By the way, CVC 22348 gives the judge discretion to pull your driving privileges up to 30-days. Some judges will give you until the weekend to work out how to get back and forth to work, some don’t. Additionally, those two NOTS points put you halfway to the maximum four points you can accumulate in 12 months before you get a six-month driver’s license suspension, plus a 12-month probation that runs alongside your suspension.

Consult with a California Traffic Attorney

As stated above, you should hire a traffic attorney to represent you. Traffic attorneys spend hundreds of hours a year in traffic court, and they know how to get a dismissal or reduced charge. They typically offer a free initial consultation and a flat fee for resolving your 100+ mph speeding ticket.

Bigger & Harman, APC Are CA Traffic Attorneys Who Can Resolve Your Los Angeles Ticket

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, when you have a mandatory court date for speeding 100+ mph. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We handle only traffic issues; therefore, we spend more time in traffic court than our peers who accept other law areas. We charge a flat fee so that you will know exactly how much you will pay.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf

CVC Section 12810, Issuance of Licenses, Expiration, and Renewal & Section 22348, Speed Laws

The CBS8com article, Speeding tickets up in San Diego, across California amid pandemic