Is Speeding a Felony in Florida?
Speeding is the second most common cause of accidents in America.
Generally speaking, a speeding ticket does not warrant an arrest. However, there are certain circumstances under which you can be arrested.
According to the Florida DMV, millions of traffic citations are issued every year, speeding violations being among them.
The state of Florida takes over speeding seriously, with each county enforcing hefty fines to drivers tearing down the roads too quickly.
How much over the speed limit is too much? Is speeding a felony in Florida? Keep reading to get the answers to these questions and many more.
Is Speeding a Felony: Speeding Laws in Florida
The state of Florida has two types of speeding laws. Here are the two in detail.
Basic Speeding Law
The Florida basic speeding law prohibits drivers from diving at speeds greater than what is prudent and reasonable.
Essentially, this means motorist must drive at a safe speed.
What determines a safe speed, in this case, are the circumstances. For example, 60 miles an hour could be safe on a dry, road on a day with good visibility. The same speed might be deemed unsafe on a wet day at night.
The latter is then considered to be a violation of the speeding law.
Absolute Speed Limits
These are more absolute directives displayed on road signage.
If a sign says 40 miles per hour, then anything above this is a violation of the law.
To aid road users, Florida State requires that maximum speed limits be clearly posted.
Generally, motorists are allowed up to 70 miles per hour on the highway and only 30 miles per hour while driving in business zones and residential areas.
The penalties differ according to how high above the speed limit you are. If this is your first speeding infraction, be aware that it will affect subsequent citing’s as well.
Here are different implications of various citations.
1. 6-9 MPH Over the Limit
This could be a bit of a surprise when you are stopped over because you might not even realize that you were driving slightly faster than the required limit.
The fines for these limits are typically around the range of $131 in most parts of the state.
If you opt to pay this fine, you also end up with three points on your driving record.
2. 10- 14 MPH Over the Limit
The fines for exceeding the limit by 10-14 miles per hour range from $200 to $223.
Paying the fine and moving on will again add three points to your driving record. If you accrue 12 points within a year, you could lose your driving privileges for about a month.
3. 15- 19 MPH Over the limit
This attracts a fine of $250 to $ 400.
While these are standard across the state, Florida County applies a level of discretion when setting fines and other court-associated fees.
Paying this adds four points to your record.
4. 20- 29 MPH Over the Limit
Driving 20-29 miles per hour over the limit attracts a fine of $270- $330 and four points on your driving record.
5. 30 MPH Over the Limit
While you will be stopped and given a ticket for exceeding speed limits by any number of miles, the penalties are lower depending on the excesses.
A law enforcement agent can overlook some mistakes if you are over speeding by just a few miles, or issue a warning.
However, being 30 MPH above the speed limit is no longer a simple infraction, but a serious misdemeanor offense.
You are unlikely to catch a break for going over the speed limits by 30 miles and above. If you already have demerit points on your driving record, such an offense can cause you to lose your license.
You can also face criminal penalties.
6. 50 MPH Over the Limit
A first conviction for going this high over the speed limit will attract a fine in the area of $1000.
A second one will yield $2500 and a one-year license revocation. You will get a fine of $5000 for a third one aside from losing your license for ten years.
You also get a third-degree felony conviction on your record.
If you were cited for driving in a school or construction zone, you might be charged with reckless driving, in addition to the traffic infraction.
Similarly, your fines might be doubled, and you might also get sentenced to probation or traffic school.
At this point, you do not have the option of paying the fine and being done with it.
With a 50 MPH over the limit citation, you will have a mandatory court date. If you forego your court appearance, the court might issue an administrative suspension of your driver’s license.
You can also get other standalone or combination charges based on your offense.
Hiring a traffic attorney is your best chance of fighting such a citation.
Effects of Getting a Citation
Here is a quick look at the potential effects of a traffic citation.
An infraction results in a fine. States also make a point of placing hurdles on fighting a ticket in court.
This makes it more favorable for offenders to just pay the fines.
While this option looks easier, your offense appears on your record for three years. At the face of it, paying the penalty and not contesting it in court is seen as an admission of guilt.
Acquiring two or more violations in three to five years can cause your insurer to increase your premiums.
If your insurer deems you as a high-risk driver, your premiums might double or even triple.
A point system gives points to drivers for every infraction. A driver that acquires too many points within a short period of time can lose their driving privileges.
In Florida, accumulating 24 demerit points in a three year period can cause you to lose your driving rights for 12 months.
If you drive to work, drive the kids to school and so on, losing your privileges can really interfere with your day-to-day. If you drive for a living, this impacts your ability to earn an income.
Speeding Tickets are Serious Business
So, is speeding a felony? As you can see, in certain thresholds, speeding is indeed a felony.
And even when it’s not, it still has far-reaching consequences that go beyond paying a one-time fine.
Because each citation counts, it makes it more important to drive carefully and to try and fight each citation in court.
Do you, or a loved one, have a pending citation to deal with? Contact us today at Florida Ticket Firm for advice on the best way forward.