How Is Speeding A Crime? (And Your Risk of Criminal Prosecution)

Is Speeding A Crime - Is Speeding A Criminal Offense - Can You Get A Felony For Speeding - Reckless Driving Ticket

Is speeding a crime?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • when speeding lands you with a misdemeanor or felony charge
  • how much over the speed limit will get you in trouble
  • how police officers detect your speeding
  • will you get hit with a felony reckless driving charge
  • how much you’ll pay for speeding violations

Let’s dig in.

Table of Contents

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Is Speeding A Crime?

Yes, speeding is a crime.

Depending on the severity of the traffic offense, speeding is considered either:

  • a minor traffic infraction
  • a major felony traffic offense

Felony offenses for speeding include fines, jail time, and license suspension or revocation.

Read More: Can You Get Arrested For Speeding

What Is Speeding?

Speeding is driving a vehicle faster than the posted speed limit.

Or faster than is reasonable under the conditions and potential hazards at the time.

What Makes Speeding A Crime?

Speeding is a crime because it:

Some Statistics On Why Speeding Is A Crime

Let’s look at some data on why speeding is a crime.

  • Speeding is a factor in about 30% of all fatal car accidents in the United States.
  • Speeding is a factor in 9,717 traffic fatalities, which is 27% of all motor vehicle crash deaths.
  • Speeding is the leading cause of death for drivers ages 15-20 in the United States.
  • In 2018, an estimated 1.7 million injuries were caused by speeding.
  • In 2017, speeding was a factor in nearly 50% of all fatal crashes in rural areas.
  • In 2017, speeding was a factor in nearly 40% of all fatal crashes in urban areas.
  • Speeding is even more dangerous in the dark when visibility is reduced.
  • In 2017, speeding was a factor in nearly 30% of all fatal crashes at night.
  • In 2017, speeding was a factor in nearly 25% of all fatal crashes during the day.
  • In 2017, speed-related crashes cost more than $52 billion in economic losses to society.

These statistics for speeding being a crime are pulled from:

Overview Of Speeding Laws

Speeding laws get put in place to keep drivers safe and reduce traffic.

Different states have different speed limits for different types of roads.

Radar, laser, and other speed monitoring devices get used to enforce the laws.

If a driver gets caught speeding, they could get a ticket and have to pay a fine.

How much you’ll pay in fines depends on the severity of the traffic violation.

Drivers who do not follow the speed limits can be putting themselves and others at risk.

It is important to understand and obey the speed limits.

Read More: What Is The Speed Limit In A Parking Lot?

Varying Speeding Laws by State

Speeding laws vary by state.

Your state’s DMV site will have state-specific speeding laws.

The laws state that

  • a driver cannot exceed the posted speed limit
  • drivers can get misdemeanors or felonies
  • drivers can pay fines and lose their driver’s licenses
  • there are different speed limits for highways, city streets, school zones, etc.

Here are the maximum penalties for speeding tickets in each state.

StateMaximum FinesMaximum Jail Time (months)License Suspension (months)
New Hampshire$50066
New Jersey$50066
New Mexico$50066
New York$3000.56
North Carolina$50066
North Dakota$50066
Rhode Island$50066
South Carolina$20016
South Dakota$50066
West Virginia$20066

Enforcement of Speeding Laws

Enforcement of speeding laws is typically done by police officers patrolling.

Law enforcement uses radar guns to detect drivers making speeding violations.

When you’re caught breaking the speed limit, you’ll get hit with:

  • fines
  • ticket for a speeding violation
  • potential jail time
  • potential license suspension or revocation
  • demerit points on your license

You’ll also have to attend traffic school in states like California, Florida, Maryland, etc.

Some areas also use speed detection devices like:

  • radar guns
  • laser guns
  • automated cameras (i.e., red-light cameras)

Read More: How Long Can A Car Be Parked On A Residential Street?

Consequences of Speeding

Speeding can have serious consequences.

They range from:

Speeding increases the risk of a crash happening.

It can also lead to:

  • hefty fines for traffic violations
  • higher costs for insurance premiums
  • speeding tickets and other traffic tickets
  • the loss of driving privileges

Merit points on your driving record can result in a suspension or revocation of your license.

Other penalties may include court appearances, community service, and even jail.

It is important to remember that speeding is dangerous for not only the driver.

But it’s also dangerous for other people on the road, sidewalks, and bike lanes.

It is best to obey speed limits and drive safely to stay safe.

Speeding Ticket Fines and Penalties

The most common speeding ticket fines and penalties are:

  • Fines: Depending on the state, a speeding ticket can cost between $50 – $1000+.
  • Points: Depending on the state, speeding can add 2-8 points to your record.
  • License Suspension: Your license may be suspended for 1 – 6 months.
  • Insurance: Rates go up an average of 20%-30% after receiving a speeding ticket.
  • Traffic School: You may need to attend a class or course.
  • Community Service: You may have to do up to 10 hours of service.

Can You Get A Felony For Speeding?

No, you cannot get a felony for speeding.

Most speeding violations are misdemeanors, not felonies.

A person may be charged with a felony if they are accused of reckless driving.

Or if they are driving at extremely high speeds.

When Does Speeding Become Reckless Driving?

Speeding and reckless driving are serious risks to a person’s health and safety.

Reckless driving can include:

  • speeding
  • running stop signs
  • not following the rules of the road

When drivers speed, their reaction time gets diminished.

This means they may be unable to stop or react to a dangerous situation in time.

Additionally, excessive speeds:

  • reduce the amount of time a driver has to make decisions
  • increases the risk of losing control of the vehicle
  • increases the distance needed to stop safely

When a vehicle goes faster, a collision’s deadly force is also greater.

Crumple zones are designed for normal speeds.

Excessive speeding can make crumple zones ineffective.

As a result, the potential for serious injury or death becomes much higher.

In some cases, the driver or passengers may not survive the collision.

The potential consequences of reckless driving are not worth the risk.

Speeding is a crime to protect pedestrians and other motorists on the road.

Read More: What Happens If Someone Wrecks Your Car And They Aren’t On Your Insurance?

What Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving gets used to describe dangerous driving behavior, like:

  • driving with willful disregard for the safety of people or property
  • excessive speeding
  • running red lights
  • running stop signs
  • weaving in and out of traffic
  • tailgating
  • making illegal turns
  • driving under the influence (DUI)
  • driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • distracted driving
  • driving while fatigued or drowsy
  • racing other cars
  • hit and runs

Is Speeding Reckless Driving?

Yes, speeding is reckless driving.

Reckless driving is any action that endangers the safety of:

  • other drivers
  • pedestrians
  • property

Speeding is reckless driving because it increases the risk of an accident or injury.

A driver’s response time lags at higher speeds as well.

This increases the risk of collisions with other vehicles.

And it reduces the effectiveness of safety features like:

  • seatbelts
  • airbags
  • crumple zones
  • anti-lock brakes
  • stability control systems

How Much Over The Speed Limit Is Reckless Driving?

There is not a set numerical value indicating that speeding is reckless driving.

Driving at any speed for the conditions can get considered reckless driving.

Some examples of reckless driving could be moving violations like:

  • driving 10 mph over the posted speed limit on a wet road
  • racing cars and increasing the risk of a crash
  • driving at the posted speed limit on a residential street with cyclists and pedestrians
  • passing cars on a winding road
  • tailgating other drivers

Penalties for Reckless Driving

Penalties for reckless driving vary from state to state.

But the most common penalty for reckless driving is:

  • criminal charges (likely a misdemeanor, but could be a felony)
  • fines up to $5,000
  • up to 90 days in jail
  • traffic tickets

In most states, reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense.

Felony reckless driving results in:

  • extended jail time
  • more hefty fines

Some other things you’ll face with reckless driving are:

  • license suspension and revocation
  • higher insurance rates and insurance premiums
  • merit points on your driving record
  • criminal charges on your criminal records
  • having to go to traffic court for the traffic violations

Fill out the form on the page to get a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney.

Our law firms have the experience needed with traffic law to defend you.

Meaning you’re not needlessly:

  • spending months in jail
  • paying thousands in fines
  • getting felonies on your criminal records

How Much Is A Reckless Driving Ticket?

The cost of a reckless driving ticket varies by state.

The average cost of a reckless driving ticket is $200 – $1,000.

There are other costs associated with getting a reckless driving ticket, like:

  • Fines: typically between $200 and $1,000
  • Court costs: typically around $300-$500
  • Attorney fees: typically around $350 / hour
  • Increased car insurance premiums: 20% – 30% increase in cost
  • Jail time: typically ranges from 5 days to up to 6 months
  • License suspension or revocation for 1 – 6 months
  • Community service (varies by state, but typically ranges from 5 days to up to 6 months)
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (up to $200 to install and $100 / month for monitoring)

Getting Charged For Speeding

If you are facing a conviction for speeding, fill out the form on this page.

Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience you need to defend your rights.

This way, you don’t:

  • get wrongfully convicted of a felony
  • spend months in jail needlessly
  • pay too much in fines
  • get wrongfully accused by police officers

You deserve a fair trial in the criminal justice system.

We can provide you with that.

We provide free consultations and legal advice for criminal offenses.

Talk soon.

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