Arizona’s Criminal Speed Laws
Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney for Excessive Speeding
You may be surprised to learn that Arizona drivers can be criminally cited and prosecuted for speeding. An excessive speeding charge results in a criminal arraignment, and often, several court dates with a prosecutor and judge. Arizona’s excessive speeding, also known as criminal speeding, is a Class 3 Misdemeanor. If convicted of excessive speeding, you’re left with permanent criminal record and several lasting collateral consequences. With up to 30 days jail, 1 year probation, and $500 in fines plus surcharges, a criminal speeding is more than just a traffic ticket; it’s a criminal prosecution that can affect your future, career, and finances.
Arizona Revised Statutes refers to the charge as excessive speed; however, it’s more commonly referred to as criminal speed. The charge is found in A.R.S. §28-702.02.
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What is Criminal Speeding in Arizona?
Exceed 85 mph in any given city or location in state of Arizona.
Exceed 35 mph near a school crossing or in a marked school zone.
Exceed the posted limit by 20 mph in a business or residential area.
Exceed 45 mph when no speed limit is posted in any type of area.
Penalties and Consequences of Arizona’s Excessive Speeding Laws
In addition to having a permanent criminal record that’s accessible to employers, agencies, and financial institutions, a criminal conviction carries MVD points that attach to your driving record. When you accumulate enough points, your driving privilege can be suspended. Additionally, your car insurance rates will likely increase for a considerable period of time.
Does an Excessive Speed Conviction result in a criminal record?
Yes, and it’s permanent. In Arizona, a criminal speed conviction is not eligible for “expungement” or a set aside. This means you’ll always have a criminal record that’s accessible to employers, agencies, schools, and institutions.
What are the maximum penalties for Arizona’s Excessive Speeding?
- 30 days jail
- $500 plus surcharges and fees
- 1 year probation
What are the potential penalties and consequences of an Arizona Criminal Speed Conviction?
- Permanent criminal record
- Up to 30 days jail
- Up to $500 plus surcharges and fees
- Up to 1 year probation
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Higher insurance premiums
- Cancellation or denial of car insurance
- Effects on immigration status, visas, and passports
- Community Service
Can My License be suspended for Excessive Speeding in Arizona?
Yes. If you accumulate enough points on your driver’s license, Arizona will suspend your driving privilege. Drivers who accumulate 8 points in any 12-month period face a potential three (3) month license suspension.
MVD will add three (3) points to your driving record for an excessive speeding ticket. Thus, you face a license suspension if you already have five (5) or more points. The more points you have, the longer the license suspension you face.
Tobin Law Office offers the following in Arizona Criminal Speeding Cases:
Affordable Flat Rates
Tobin Law Office, located in Mesa, Arizona, defends against excessive speed cases at an affordable, flat rate. You’ll know the cost up front and find comfort knowing your rights and options are protected with affordable criminal defense in Arizona.
As a former criminal traffic prosecutor, Attorney Tobin regularly prosecuted criminal speed cases, Our experienced criminal law office has worked on criminal speeding charges for years.
Free and Confidential
Upon reaching out, you’ll be put in direct contact with Mr. Tobin to discuss your case and options. Mr. Tobin will answer your questions to reduce the anxieties of a criminal speed prosecution.
How Does Arizona’s MVD Points System Work?
Every moving violation will add points to your driver’s license. When you accumulate a certain number of points within a designated time period, your license will be suspended by Arizona MVD. Here’s a brief recap of MVD points and the corresponding suspensions:
- 8 to 12 points within 12 months = 3 month suspension
- 13 to 17 points within 12 months = 3 month suspension
- 18 to 23 points within 12 months = 6 month suspension
- 24 points or more within 36 months = 12 month suspension
How do I check how many points are on my license?
You can get a copy of your driving record by visiting Service Arizona, run by the Arizona Department of Transportation. Click here to request a copy of your driving record.
Will my car insurance premiums increase for a criminal speeding conviction in Arizona?
Probably. Your insurance will likely view you as a higher risk driver, and thus, they’ll increase your insurance premiums. This means you’ll pay more for the same coverage.
Can I attend Defensive Driving School to avoid a criminal speeding conviction?
Yes, but it’s solely in the judge’s discretion. Those facing a criminal speeding charge are eligible to attend Defensive Driving School pursuant to A.R.S. §28-3392(A)(2); however, the judge must be convinced it’s appropriate in your case. An attorney can be helpful in writing a custom motion and making oral arguments for defensive driving.
Daniel R. – San Francisco
“Timothy Tobin did a fantastic job with my case. he helped me get out of a criminal charge and got it knocked down to a civil when I didn't have any other choices. I will be recommending him to anyone who is looking for legal help with a traffic ticket.”
Roland C. – Scottsdale
“[Tim] most recently assisted me in a criminal traffic related charge. He was able to reach an agreement that was far better than I had expected. The whole process was very smooth, he was a pleasure to work with. If need I will undoubtedly work with Tim again.”
Am I eligible for Defensive Driving School?
Yes, so long as you haven’t completed Arizona’s Defensive Driving School within the prior year of the incident date. In addition, you’re not eligible if you hold a commercial driver’s license.
What’s the benefit of attending Defensive Driving School in a Criminal Speeding Case?
Once dismissed, it’s as if it never happened: no points, no increased insurance, and no criminal conviction on your record. In other word, there’s no penalty or consequence other than taking the time and money to attend defensive driving school.
Keep in mind though, defensive driving is 100% discretionary. You, or your attorney, must convince the judge to grant defensive driving. Having an attorney file a custom written memorandum and argue your case gives you the best odds at driving school.
Can I take Defensive Driving School if I live out of State?
Yes, it can be taken either online or in a physical classroom. Taking it online is most convenient.
Do I still get points on my MVD record if I attend Defensive Driving?
No. When you complete defensive driving diversion, the charge is dismissed and there are no further consequences. The only consequence is you cannot take defensive driving again within a one year period.
Will an Arizona Criminal Speeding Conviction have Consequences if I live in another State?
Yes. At a minimum, you’re left with a permanent criminal conviction. And very likely, your home state is part of two interstate compacts: Driver License Compact and Non-Resident Violator Compact. These compacts allows states to share information about traffic violations with one another.
As a result, your home state’s license and insurance can be impacted by an Arizona conviction. These compacts also hold drivers accountable for moving violations in their home state when they ignore an Arizona citation. In other words, an Arizona speeding ticket must be dealt with in Arizona or you’ll find yourself answering for it in your home state.
Do I really need a Criminal Traffic Attorney for Criminal Speeding?
Arizona’s excessive speeding charge is a class 3 misdemeanor that carries permanent penalties and consequences. As such, it’s strongly advised that you hire an experienced and dedicated criminal traffic attorney to preserve all your legal rights, protect your future, and achieve the best possible outcome. When facing a criminal charge, no one should go to court without a Mesa criminal defense lawyer. Even an excessive speeding citation can leave a permanent criminal record with lasting collateral consequences.
When you represent yourself in a criminal case, you’ll find yourself negotiating with a trained prosecutor and unforgiving judge. The prosecutor does not care about you or your future. The prosecutor’s job is to convict you, punish you, and move the calendar. There’s little concern for your personal situation or future. As a former prosecutor that handled criminal speeding cases, Mesa Criminal Defense Attorney Tim Tobin will tell that prosecutors and judges will see you as a number in a long line of criminal traffic cases. They’re not going to help you or give you options. For these reasons, it’s important to hire an attorney focused on Arizona criminal traffic defense.
If it goes to trial, what must the State prove for the Court to find me guilty of Criminal Speeding?
If your case goes to trial, the prosecutor must prove to the judge that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Practically, this means that the prosecutor must subpoena the officer; that officer must appear in Court and testify against you. The officer must be able to remember the incident, identify you in court, testify that it happened within court’s jurisdictional boundaries, and establish that you were driving at a criminal speed in a particularized area of travel. Through the officer’s testimony, the prosecutor must also establish the method used to measure your speed is reliable.
There are three main speed measurements the State will use: Pacing, RADAR, and LIDAR.
- Pacing: The officer drives in front or behind you while maintaining a consistent distance and then reads the police vehicle’s speedometer. The officer’s speedometer should be properly maintained and calibrated.
- RADAR: Police radars send a microwave beam on a specific frequency to your vehicle, which then reflects that microwave back to the officer’s antenna. The radar’s computer provides a numerical reading.
- LIDAR: Police LIDARS measure the flight time of multiple infrared laser pulses from a LIDAR gun. LIDAR measures the beam sent to a vehicle by analyzing the light reflected off the vehicle. It measures the time it takes for the laser to reflect back to the officer’s LIDAR. From that information, the LIDAR will provide a reading.
Mesa, AZ 85204
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