Let’s face it, many people will end up getting a speeding ticket at some point in their lives, and while there may be a fine invovled and a possible increase in car insurance premiums there are generally no lasting consequences to this kind of infraction. Under certain circumstances, though, exceeding the posted speed limit can actually be a criminal offense in Arizona punishable by a significant fine, probation, and even jail time.
If you were charged with criminal speeding, it may be a good idea to talk to an experienced defense attorney sooner rather than later. A Phoenix criminal speeding lawyer could help you understand why you were charged with a crime rather than a civil traffic violation and work with you to pursue a positive resolution to your case.
Under most circumstances, violating a posted speed limit on a public road in Arizona is considered a civil traffic citation. While multiple civil traffic violations could eventually lead to a license suspension, a single speeding ticket usually only requires the payment of a fine to be resolved and in many cases do not require a court appearance, if the person wishes to plead responsible for the ticket.
However, a speeding ticket can be a class 3 misdemeanor offense in Arizona.
In fact, under Arizona Revised Statutes §28-701.02, there are three specific circumstances under which speeding may be considered a criminal offense.
First, a person may be charged with criminal speeding if they exceed 85 miles per hour on a public roadway at any time, regardless of what the posted speed limit is.
Second, criminal speeding charges may be levied against anyone who drives 20 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit in a residential or business area, or who exceeds 45 miles per hour in an area with no posted speed limit.
Third, anyone who drives faster than 35 miles per hour when in a school zone or approaching a school crossing may be charged with criminal speeding. A local attorney could help a person charged with criminal speeding under any of these circumstances protect their legal rights and best interests.
Since criminal speeding is a class 3 misdemeanor, the maximum penalties a convicted defendant might face include a $500 fine plus a court surcharge fee of 83 percent of that amount, one-year probation, and up to a 30-day jail sentence. A criminal speed conviction will also put up to three points a person’s Arizona driver’s license, which may result in a license suspension if they have received enough points for any previous offenses.
Even if a court elects not to levy criminal sanctions against a person convicted of criminal speeding, they may still require them to attend defensive driving school. However, attending defensive driving school in order to dismiss the ticket is not an automatic right when facing a criminal speeding ticket.
Since criminal speeding convictions can never be set aside once added to someone’s criminal record, seeking representation from a seasoned Phoenix traffic lawyer may be crucial for anyone seeking to keep their record clean.
As you can see, a criminal speeding ticket can have serious long-term consequences. In addition, because the case is considered criminal, they are usually assigned to a prosecuting attorney to represent the State and prosecute the case against you so why not have a defense attorney on your side to help you navigate the work towards the best outcome possible.
While there are never any guaranteed outcomes, working with a Phoenix criminal speeding lawyer may be key to minimizing your chances of facing these and other penalties as a result of your case. To schedule a free consultation and strategy session and discuss your legal options with trustworthy attorneys, call today. We’re here to help.