Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedDespite most drivers considering only the fine, speeding tickets and auto insurance premium increases can be costly when convicted or with a paid fine.

The Fresno County Courthouse Traffic Division hears many speeding tickets from CA drivers who were caught surpassing the speed limit on I-5 or SR #99. They are the most significant feeders of speeding cases there.

Speeding Ticket Fines Are Only a Fraction of the Actual Expense if Convicted

When you are cited with a speeding ticket in Fresno County, CA, it's natural to focus on the immediate financial hit: the ticket fine itself. 

However, it's essential to understand that speeding ticket fines represent just a fraction of your actual expense. The increased auto insurance premium is around three-fourths of the total expense.

Let's break it down.

The fine for a speeding ticket in Fresno County will vary based on how fast you go over the speed limit you were going when clocked by law enforcement.

The CHP and other law enforcement officers (LEOs) in CA usually use three forms of speed measurement: RADAR, LIDAR, pacing, and estimation.

RADAR (Radio Detecting and Ranging) guns use electromagnetic waves similar to Wi-Fi to bounce off the vehicle and return to the source. LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) uses a laser beam that is slightly more accurate than RADAR typically.

Weather can negatively affect both, but the RADAR gun needs more frequent calibration. However, both require adequate training by the LEO operating those.

Pacing is the least accurate of the three because it entails a LEO following the suspected speeder and matching their speed. It takes an experienced patrol officer to do it accurately, and it’s best accomplished with two LEOs.

The fourth speed measurement device is "estimation," or guessing the driver’s speed. This method is the least accurate of the four. Experienced traffic attorney can often raise “reasonable doubt” when this method is used, particularly when a rookie cop uses it, but many judges will still find that there is enough evidence to convict particularly if the speed alleged is significantly above the limit.

However, most CA traffic court judges will allow a seasoned LEO to estimate speed, especially during inclement weather or less-than-desirable road conditions.

“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.” — CA Vehicle Code (VC) Section 22350Speed Laws.

The Penalties for Speeding Tickets and Auto Insurance

The speed over the established speed limit determines the criteria for the fine and makes up a portion of the eligibility for TVS. 

The four levels of speeding fines include one to 15 mph over the speed limit or safe driving speed, 16 to 24 mph over, 25 mph over up to 99 mph, and speeding 100+ mph.

The “base fine” for level one is $35 but can reach about $237 when the State and County assessments, penalties, and surcharges are added; level two is $70 or $360; level three is $100 or $490; and speeding 100+ is not more than $500 or between $850 and $2,137.

However, these fines are just the tip of the iceberg, even the $859 fine for 100+ mph, which could lead to a doubled or tripled auto insurance premium. 

When your insurance company learns of your speeding infraction, usually at renewal when they query the DMV database for your driving record, they will probably remove the "good driver's discount" of 20% if you're convicted of speeding or pay the fine. 

On top of that, your insurer will add an additional risk factor related to your speeding violation. For minor infractions, such as speeding less than 25 mph over the limit, this added is usually 10% to 12%.

With the fine for speeding and auto insurance increase, the average CA driver will pay $687 more per year for 36 to 39 months or until the DMV removes the record of conviction. Over that period, you’ll likely pay $2,298 for the fine and insurance increase.  

The consequences of a speeding ticket on your insurance premiums can be significant. Over time, these higher premiums add up, turning what might initially seem like a small expense into a substantial financial burden.

Speeding Tickets Conviction & Paid Fines Result in NOTS Points

Another aspect to consider when dealing with a speeding ticket is the accumulation of Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points on your driving record. In CA, if you're convicted of a speeding violation and are not eligible for traffic violator school (TVS), NOTS points will be added to your record.

For the minor infraction of speeding one to 25 mph over the limit or safe driving speed, the DMV will assess one NOTS point. If convicted of speeding 100+ mph, the DMV will assess two NOTS points for this major infraction.

Speeding 25+ mph needs authorization from a traffic court judge to attend TVS to keep your speeding ticket confidential, and 100+ mph speeding must be lowered through negotiation to a one point violation in order to have a chance to attend. 

Drivers with Speeding Tickets Should Consult a Traffic Attorney

Given the potential financial repercussions of a speeding ticket, it's clear that drivers facing speeding tickets should consider their options carefully. Consulting a traffic attorney can be a wise decision, as it may offer an opportunity to reduce the penalties or even achieve a dismissal of the charges.

A reduced charge or dismissal could save the driver hundreds per year and thousands overall.

A skilled traffic attorney understands the complexities of CA traffic laws and has experience negotiating with traffic court judges and presenting strong defenses. With their expertise, they may secure a reduction in fines, a lower number of NOTS points, TVS attendance when otherwise not eligible, or even the complete dismissal of your case.

While the immediate fine associated with speeding tickets might seem manageable, it's crucial to include the broader financial issues, including NOTS points and insurance premium increases. 

To navigate these challenges effectively, drivers with speeding tickets should seriously consider seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable traffic attorney who can help protect their interests and financial well-being. 

Consult Bigger & Harman About How Speeding Tickets and Auto Insurance Increases Could Affect You  

When ticketed for speeding in Fresno County and you have a traffic ticket pending in Fresno Courthouse, contact Bigger & Harman, APC, at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Alternatively, use our handy online contact form or email Send a copy/picture of your citation and a summary of the stop.


The CA Driver Handbook English y Español.

The article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.

VC Section 22350Speed Laws.

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