Few people have managed to never get a speeding ticket. Even the most careful driver can accidentally go beyond the posted speed limit from time to time. However, there is a significant difference between a civil speeding ticket and a criminal speeding ticket in Arizona. If you are convicted of criminal speeding, you may be facing heavy fines, penalties and a misdemeanor charge on your permanent record.
According to A.R.S. §28-701.02, criminal or excessive speeding involves driving at a speed that is substantially above the limit, or in a zone that is protected, such as a residential, commercial or school zone. The three main types of criminal speeding are:
- Going over 35 MPH approaching a school crossing
- Driving at over 20 MPH over the posted limit in a commercial or residential zone; or 45 MPH in an area without a post speed limit
- Driving at 85 MPH or higher on any road or highway in AZ
You do not need to be a reckless driver to accidentally drive at excessive speeds in these circumstances. If you do not realize you are approaching a school zone or a residential zone, you could easily be cited for criminal speeding going only 35 or 45 MPH. However, this violation is much more serious than a common civil speeding ticket, with consequences that can affect your life.
Penalties for Criminal or Excessive Speeding
When you are convicted of criminal speeding in Arizona, it is not as simple as paying a fine and waiting for the ticket to drop off your record, or taking a defensive driving course to remove the ticket. Criminal speeding is a misdemeanor, which means if you are convicted, this will stay on your permanent record. A misdemeanor can impact your ability to obtain certain jobs or schooling, all for driving too fast. Other penalties and repercussions of a criminal speeding conviction include:
- Up to a $500 fine
- Up to 30 days in jail
- Up to one year of probation
- 3 points added to your driver’s license
- Possible towing of your vehicle
- Increased insurance rates
An excessive speeding ticket is not a conviction you want on your record, which is why it is important to fight this ticket with the help of an experienced attorney.
Criminal Speeding Attorney in Arizona
At Matthew Lopez Law, PLLC, we can help you fight a criminal speeding ticket to have it converted to a civil speeding violation or dismissed altogether. There are many details that can be important in your circumstance that can help your case. How your speed was determined by the police officer can help fight your case; pacing and radar are not always accurate. Our legal team will look at all angles of your case to determine if we can get the ticket dismissed on a technicality.
Another option is petitioning the court to allow you to take a defensive driving course to have the criminal speeding ticket dismissed. Unlike civil speeding, the court does not automatically need to give you this option in Arizona. However, with an attorney on your side, you have a better chance of being allowed an opportunity to use the defensive driving course option if you have not taken the course in the last year.
If you are facing a criminal speeding charge, call our office at Matthew Lopez Law, PLLC for a free consultation. Do not let a moment of excessive speed have a permanent impact on your life.