In the fast-paced world we live in, speeding can sometimes feel unavoidable or justified when cars fly by you on the 5. However, in California, the consequences of speeding are significant and vary based on the offense's severity.
In Fresno County, the main feeder for speeding tickets is I-5, with many more coming from SR #99. If you get cited for speeding in Fresno, consult a traffic attorney before you agree to plead guilty, pay the fine, or dispute the ticket.
How Much Is Speeding in CA?
Understanding the cost associated with speeding in California starts with knowing the different levels of offenses.
1—For speeding 1-15 mph over the limit, the base fine is $35, but after approved surcharges, penalties, and assessments, the total may approximately $238. These surcharges and assessments are used for court construction, a DNA ID fund, emergency medical services (EMS) and transportation (EMT), and many more.
2—Speeding 16-24 mph over the limit is more severe, carrying a base fine of $70. Once assessments are added, the total cost can rise to approximately $360.
3—Speeding 25 mph over the limit up to 99 mph, if convicted carries a base fine of $100. However, after additional costs, this can swell to roughly $490. You are not eligible for TVS without a judge’s approval.
If convicted, each of the above is assessed one negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) point by the DMV. Four points in one year will lead to you being identified by the DMV as a “prima facie” negligent operator, and you will be issued a “Notice of Suspension & Probation.”
“Prima facie is Latin for ‘at first sight.’ Overview. Prima facie may be used as an adjective meaning ‘sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted.’”—Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) WEX Page.
The typical suspension is six months, and the concurrent probation is 12 months. However, any infraction, collision (regardless of fault), or failure to appear within the suspension or probationary period will result in a longer suspension and probation and/or a license revocation.
You must reply to this notice within ten days for a DMV NOTS Hearing. If not, the suspension will take effect 34 days after mailing.
4—speeding over 100 mph is the most severe offense, with a base fine of $300 to $500. With all additional costs considered, this offense will cost more than $900 and up to $2,137. It's important to note that the traffic violator's school (TVS) is unavailable for this offense.
Further, since this is classified as a major traffic infraction, a mandatory court appearance is required by you or an attorney, and if convicted, the DMV will assess two NOTS points that will remain a part of your driving record for seven years. That could increase your auto insurance by tens of thousands of dollars.
Auto Insurance Surges After a Speeding Ticket
It's not just the fine that costs you when you're convicted of speeding. Your auto insurance rates can also surge.
In fact, in CA, the fine is typically only 25% of the expense, with the increase in insurance premiums making up the other 75%. Insurance companies view speeding as risky behavior, leading to increased premiums lasting three to seven years. The cost varies based on your insurer and the severity of the offense, but you can expect a significant increase.
First, once the insurance provider learns of your conviction or paid fine, they will deny your 20% “good driver’s discount.” So, that’s an automatic rise of 20%. Since the average California driver pays $2,290 annually for full coverage, that 20% is $458 annually for three years for a minor infraction unless you are eligible for TVS. Always discuss this with a traffic attorney before pleading guilty and attending. Many factors can make you ineligible.
The quote above is the average. Forbes says:
“The average California car insurance cost after a speeding ticket is $3,790 per year, an increase of $1,104. Based on rates from over 20 car insurance companies, our study found California car insurance costs go up over $1,100 annually on average when you have one speeding ticket on your driving record.—Forbes Advisor.
From our experience, that quote is a little on the high side. Of course, if they use an average and add in all the speeding 25+ mph over and speeding 100+ mph, that will pull it up significantly. Every incident is different, and multiple factors determine your premium.
If there’s a teen driver on your insurance, you could pay $5,000 to $7,000 annually with a clean record. You don’t want to find out how much it is after a conviction.
Actions After a Speeding Ticket
So, what should you do if you receive a speeding ticket? First, you can choose to pay the fine. But remember, this means you're admitting guilt, and the offense will go on your driving record.
Alternatively, you could attend TVS, provided you are eligible. Successfully completing TVS can help keep the violation off your record, preventing the ticket from affecting your insurance rates.
Finally, you can dispute the ticket in court with a traffic ticket attorney. While prosecutors typically aren't involved with speeding tickets, our experienced attorneys can negotiate with the judge on your behalf. This can potentially result in reduced fines or, in some cases, even dismissal.
Speeding may seem like a minor infraction, but it can carry hefty fines and long-lasting consequences in CA. That's why our firm is dedicated to helping you navigate the legal complexities of speeding offenses. With our guidance, you can understand your options and take the best action to protect your driving record and wallet.
Plus, our initial consultation is free with no obligation. We use a one-time, flat fee (though a payment plan might be available depending on your case) so that you will know how much we charge before you agree, and we’ve been able to negotiate non-moving convictions with the judge so that you’re your insurance premium stays the same. That can save you nearly $1,500 in increased premiums.
Ask Bigger & Harman for a Free Initial Consultation, Today
We have been asked to resolve more than 20,000 tickets for California drivers with a very high percentage of success. Don’t go it alone; give us a call.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The CA DMV NOTS portal.
The Bankrate.com article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.
The Forbes Advisor.