Posted by Jim Yeargan in Atlanta DUI Law on May 25, 2015
How Much Is A Speeding Ticket?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors. The most important factor is how fast the alleged speed is. Speeding tickets are generally broken into 4 categories:
- Speeding 15 to 18 mph over the posted speed limit;
- Speeding 19 to 23 mph over the posted speed limit;
- Speeding 24 to 33 mph over the posted speed limit; and
- Speeding 34 or more mph over the posted speed limit.
- The speeding classification matrix may be found here.
The faster your speed the more costly the ticket. Speeding tickets are misdemeanors in Georgia. This means the maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine and 12 months in jail. While jail time is not likely high fines are. In addition to the speed of the ticket, several other factors will affect the fine amount.
How Much Is A speeding Ticket: Local Courts vs. State Courts
Your driving history, the court your ticket is in, and how you pay the ticket may affect your fine amount. Local courts, such as municipal courts, generally have higher fine amounts than other courts. Moving your case from the city court to the state court may lower your fine. State courts are usually much busier handling more serious cases, therefore their fine amounts are usually lower.
How Much Is A Speeding Ticket: Your Driving History
Your driving history will affect the amount of your fine. Most courts do not look at everyone’s driving history when they simply pay the ticket. Most courts treat everyone as if this is their first offense.
However, if the court sees that you have speeding tickets in your past the court will likely impose a higher fine. Courts usually only check someone’s driving history when they are charged with a serious driving offense, high speed, or go to trial. The average person going to traffic court does not need to worry about having their driving history checked.
How Much Is A Speeding Ticket: Paying Online vs. Going To Court
Paying your ticket online is usually much more expensive than paying your ticket at the courthouse. Online fines are set, and cannot be negotiated. Online fines are also higher because the people who set these fines know people will pay online to avoid the inconvenience of going to court. Knowing this, these people set online fines at a higher rate.
Also, paying your ticket at the courthouse allows the judge to set your fine as he sees fit (this is usually lower than the online fine). I have seen as much as a $500 difference in speeding ticket fines paid online vs. going to court.
How Much Is A Speeding Ticket: Guilty vs. No Contest
Generally speaking, pleading No Contest (Nolo Contendere) does not lower your fine amount. Conversely, a guilty plea does not incur a higher fine amount.
How Much Is A Speeding Ticket: The Hidden Cost
The hidden costs associated with speeding tickets are the effect they have on your insurance premiums. Having a speeding ticket go on your driving history can increase your insurance premiums by 40% for 5 years. Even good drivers pay at least $1,000 a year in premiums. Assuming a driver gets a ticket, and their premiums increase 40% for 5 years this is an increase of $2,000 in insurance premiums.
Even if an attorney wants $500 to $1,000 to keep the speeding ticket off your driving history you’re saving $1,000 to $1,500 in the long run.
How Much Is A Speeding Ticket: Points Don’t Matter
Most people are concerned with keeping points off their driving history. This is the wrong concept. Insurance companies do not increase your premiums based on how many points you have on your driving record. Points wear off after 2 years. Insurance companies do not care about points. Insurance companies do care about the charges on your driving history.
Charges stay on your driving history forever. Insurance companies can look at your driving history, and asses you a risk level based on the number, and type, of charges on your driving history. Instead of keeping points off your driving history you need to keep the entire charge off your driving history.
The best way to minimize all costs associated with a speeding ticket is to hire a qualified traffic attorney to either beat or reduce the ticket.