Navigating the complexities of speeding ticket fines in CA requires knowledge and a well-defined strategy.
The Golden State's speeding fines are among the highest in the US. They’re structured across four levels, each with unique implications. We break down these levels to provide a clearer understanding and empower drivers with the necessary information.
Defining the Structure of California's Speeding Ticket Fines
Understanding the levels of speeding ticket fines in CA:
Level 1: Speeding 1-15 mph over the limit or safe driving speed has a "base fine" of $35. With added penalties and surcharges, the total fine comes to about $237, and the DMV assesses one NOTS point that will stay on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR) for three years.
Level 2: Speeding between 16-24 mph over the speed limit brings a base fine of $70. After assessments, the actual fine is about $360 and assessed one NOTS point.
Level 3: Speeding 25 mph or more, up to 99 mph, carries a base fine of $100. After all the assessments and penalties, the total fine is about $490 and is assessed one NOTS point.
Level 4: For speeding 100+ mph, the base fine is typically $300 to $500, depending on the county and the judge. However, the overall fines can range from $859 to $2,137, depending on various factors. Additionally, this level of speeding is assessed two NOTS points, which can remain on your MVR for as long as seven years if convicted.
However, it's not just about the speeding ticket fines. The most significant effect of a speeding ticket is the subsequent rise in auto insurance premiums. If you are not eligible for traffic violator’s school (TVS), your insurance premium will jump.
Level three speeding 25 mph or more over the speed limit requires a traffic court judge’s approval for attendance. The major infraction of speeding 100+ mph over is never eligible for TVS attendance. However, a traffic attorney could negotiate a reduced charge, possibly. A conviction of speeding 100+ mph could double or triple your premium and will stay on your MVR for up to seven years.
Preventing Speeding Tickets: Proactive Measures
To avoid those massive speeding ticket fines, drive defensively:
- Stay Vigilant: Always know the current speed limit and slow down when conditions require.
- Embrace Tech: Use your vehicles' alert systems or GPS for speed limit notifications.
- Maintain Distance: Keeping a safe buffer allows reaction time, eliminating the need for sudden stopping.
- Don’t Succumb to Peer Pressure: If others speed, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. In CA, many drivers exceed the speed limit, but “keeping up with traffic” is not a legal justification.
Prevention is key to saving you from penalties and unnecessary legal encounters. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22350, Speed Laws, warns drivers:
“No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
However, it is wise to bear in mind that only a traffic court judge can determine whether your speed was “reasonable and prudent” given those conditions.
A knowledgeable and experienced traffic attorney can raise the level of “reasonable doubt” by subpoenaing speed measurement device calibration and the law enforcement officer’s training records on that device.
The Advantage of a Traffic Attorney
While the immediate speeding ticket fines sting, the long-term increase in insurance premiums can devastate your family budget.
That's where we come in. Our courtroom experience and knowledge of traffic laws help us guide our clients through the Tulare County legal system.
Our goal is to demystify the legal process and translate legal jargon into straightforward answers you can count on to ensure our clients are well informed at every turn.
Contact Bigger & Harman
When you need help deciding whether to accept TVS or dispute speeding ticket fines in Visalia or Porterville Courthouse in Tulare County, contact the Bakersfield Traffic Defense Team for Central Valley, Bigger & Harman, APC.
Give us a call at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The Bankrate.com article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.
CVC Section 22350, Speed Laws.