As one of the 15 million drivers in the state of Florida, you can probably relate to the uneasy feeling of getting a speeding ticket. 70 mph is the maximum speed limit according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
With the embarrassment of flashing red lights, thinking about whether this traffic citation is a civil or criminal offense is likely not top of mind.
But is a speeding ticket a criminal offense in Florida? Keep reading to learn more.
What Are Criminal Traffic Violations?
Some Floridians are surprised to learn that a misdemeanor traffic citation is considered a criminal traffic violation.
A police officer will give a criminal traffic violation to a driver who does not follow the rules of the road. Although many traffic tickets are misdemeanors, a criminal offense can be a felony.
A hit and run with bodily injury or death is a felony charge. A third DUI offense within a 10-year period is a felony criminal traffic violation.
Bodily injury, death, and repeated offenses will determine if your moving violation is a felony. Depending on the criminal offense, jail time is likely.
Criminal traffic violations are:
- Driving a vehicle without a valid license
- Fleeing law enforcement
- Reckless driving
- Hit and run
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving with a suspended license
- Habitual traffic violation offender
If the police cite you for any of the above traffic violations or reckless driving, we can help.
Reckless driving can remain on your driving record for up to 75 years. Our firm has an expert, reckless driving attorney that can answer your questions and represent you in court.
What Are Civil Traffic Violations?
A civil traffic violation is not a criminal offense. A civil infraction can be a non-moving violation or a moving violation with no jail time. Florida law permits points to be added to your driving record because of this infraction.
Most civil traffic citations don’t require a court appearance but a payment of a fine. Traffic school might be an option for you if your driving record is in good standing. Civil traffic violations are:
- Careless driving
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Running a stop sign
- Failure to give the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Failure to properly restrain a minor in a car seat
A Florida judge can suspend your license along with costly penalties. If you do not pay the civil infraction fine within 30 days, a judge can revoke your driving privileges.
Is Speeding a Criminal or Civil Offense in Florida?
Speeding is a civil infraction. It all depends on the speed limit to determine if the civil infraction becomes a criminal offense.
Speeding is a common traffic violation in the state of Florida. Depending on the nature of your speeding ticket, you may not face jail time. Most speeding tickets are worth three points, so be careful.
If you rack up to 18 points within 18 months, the state can suspend your license. So although a civil infraction seems like no big deal, it definitely is.
We understand that time waits for no one, and a speeding ticket can come at the worst possible time. It is important to remember that every case is unique, so don’t rely on your friends or family’s traffic violation experience.
While no lawyer can guarantee a dismissal, having expert legal advice and representation from our speeding ticket lawyers can prevent an annoying insurance rate hike.
When Does Speeding Become a Criminal Offense?
Under Florida traffic laws, traveling 30 mph over the speed limit is a criminal offense. However, 30 mph over the speed limit is a misdemeanor. At 50 mph over the speed limit, this criminal offense becomes a felony.
What Are the Penalties for Speeding in Florida?
The penalties for speeding in Florida will hit you in the pocket. Depending on the mph over the speed limit, the fine is according to chapter 318 of the Florida statute:
- Warning: 1-5 mph
- $25: 6-9 mph
- $100: 10-14 mph
- $150: 15-19 mph
- $175: 20-29 mph
- $250: 30 mph and above
If you’re caught speeding in a school zone, there is an additional $50 fine. Civil fines also double if a law enforcement officer issues a speeding ticket in a construction zone.
What Are the Penalties for Criminal Speeding in Florida?
Speeding poses a safety risk to you and others on the road. Speeding laws and penalties in Florida are severe to prevent reckless and aggressive driving.
Even though it is common for a judge to add court costs, a hefty fine, and 4 points or more to your driving record, each case is unique. A non-habitual traffic offender who commits his or her first 50 mph over the speed limit will be fined $500.
But depending on the facts of your case, the $500 fine can go up to $1,000 for the second offense. Criminal speeding in Florida can result in a revoked license for one to ten years.
Reckless driving is a felony charge that can be punishable by jail time. The time spent in jail varies from 90 days to five years. If a Florida judge finds you guilty of causing serious injury to a motorist, jail time is likely.
The consequences of receiving a speeding ticket can be severe. So a speeding ticket can definitely be considered a criminal offense.
Get a Skilled Traffic Ticket Attorney
You don’t have to face a civil or criminal traffic infraction alone. We can help. There is more to a speeding ticket than just paying a fine or telling your side of the story.
Having a skilled and expert traffic ticket attorney to give you legal advice is the first step. We will answer all your questions and work on the best legal strategy for your speeding ticket case.
Although we cannot guarantee the outcome of your case, we believe you deserve a chance to avoid having your driving privileges revoked.
Taking action now will help you avoid insurance rate increases and a dismissal of your case. Contact us for a free consultation today!