Obeying traffic laws is important. While minor slip ups can still be considered dangerous, major disobedience can actually be considered a crime. The differences between a civil speeding violation and a criminal speeding violation create unique challenges, and you’ll need an experienced attorney to help you face them.
Being a safe driver is important. You need to keep yourself and your passengers safe and consider the well being of everyone who is sharing the road with you. Even great people are prone to making the occasional mistake, and we don’t want that mistake to have massive consequences for your future.
The threshold for criminal speeding is travelling more than 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit, or over 85 miles per hour. It doesn’t matter if the speed limit is 80 – over 85 will always be classified as criminal speeding. Regular tickets can be paid, and while they’ll be a part of your driving record that the state and your insurance company will consider, they won’t be treated as criminal actions.
Criminal speeding, however, is a misdemeanor crime, which makes the situation drastically different. Criminal tickets go beyond your driving record – they become a part of your criminal history. This means they will show up on any background checks you may be subject to, and will count against you as a prior misdemeanor if you ever find yourself in trouble again. Arizona looks at criminal history when deciding punishments for similar classes of crimes. If you already have a misdemeanor, penalties can grow in severity.
Technically, criminal speeding all by itself does not constitute a felony. You have to worry about felonies when criminal speeding overlaps with other charges, like felony DUI, criminal damage, or hit and run. This makes your case incredibly urgent, and you’ll need to find an attorney immediately. If you were sober at the time of the incident and your speeding didn’t cause any damage or harm to anything or anyone, you’re unlikely to face felonies in conjunction with your case.
The situation becomes much more serious if alcohol or drugs were involved in the situation. Arizona’s DUI laws are some of the most forceful in the nation – the state has even been known to pursue charges against intoxicated people who are sleeping in their cars merely because they were technically in actual physical control of their vehicles. Ignition interlock devices that require breath testing to start a vehicle are mandatory in DUI’s, and the costs for dealing with a DUI charge can easily amount to thousands upon thousands of dollars.
Criminal speeding all by itself is more than just a ticket. You can receive up to 30 days in jail and be responsible for up to $500 in fines. It’s worth noting that $500 rarely means $500 – there are all kinds of surcharges, additional fees and expenses you’ll encounter when you’re trying to pay those fines off. Even if $500 seems reasonable, that’s rarely the realistic scenario when push comes to shove.
You can be arrested at the stop and that means you’re going to have to pay for whatever happens to your vehicle. In most cases, you’ll need to get it from a towing company and pay them off. The DMV will put three points on your license. If you already have points, you can face suspension. If you don’t currently have any points, you may not be worried. If you’re racking them up, this should be great cause for concern.
At 13 total points, you no longer have a license. That’s a very expensive position to be in. Paying to get your license reinstated can cost a fortune, and you’ll need to worry about transportation costs until you’ve regained your driving privileges. If you have a long commute to work, you may not be able to get there. A lot of people find that criminal speeding charges affect their jobs.
Your insurance company will also be notified that you’re convicted of a criminal speeding charge. Insurance companies jump at the opportunity to raise your rates after you’ve received a normal civil ticket. Upon criminal speeding, your rates will likely skyrocket. Your coverage won’t change – you’re not being required to purchase more coverage to stay with the company, you’re merely expected to pay drastically more for what you were already receiving. Most insurance companies require you to have a year of perfect driving before they’ll reconsider rate increases, meaning that you’ll be paying a lot more over a long period of time.
If you have competent professional assistance in handling a criminal speeding violation, it might be possible to get a better deal out of the situation. Sometimes, agreeing to take driving school can reduce potential penalties. In certain cases, effectively arguing your case can have the misdemeanor lowered to a civil violation. Even though civil violations can be expensive and difficult to handle, they’re a walk in the park compared to criminal misdemeanors.
Having fines and penalties reduced or bringing the charge down to a civil violation is the easiest route to handling criminal speeding charges. Though it is difficult, it’s not impossible to have the charge entirely dismissed. It all depends on the circumstances of the case. No matter which route is the best route for you, it’s best to have an experienced and competent criminal speeding attorney represent you and your best interests.
We have a wealth of experience helping people like you who are facing criminal speeding charges. With a free consultation, we’ll be able to look over the details and come up with a functional defense for you. All you need to do is call or contact us to get started. We’ll aggressively protect your driving privileges and work to save you money in fines to the state and increases in your insurance. Don’t let a speeding violation put you in jail or the poor house.