Consequences of a Criminal Speeding Conviction

Last Modified: July 17, 2024
By: James HansenJuly 4, 2024 |
Consequences of a criminal speeding conviction

A criminal speeding charge is not a simple civil infraction. A conviction can result in substantial fines, prison, and long-term effects on your driving record and insurance premiums.

Facing a criminal speeding charge in Arizona can have serious repercussions on your life. We understand the severity of these charges at Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers. We are here to help you understand the consequences of criminal speeding charges.

If you want to better prepare for a current or future criminal speed conviction, contact an experienced attorney at Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers. We will assist in your criminal speeding case and represent you if the suit ever goes to trial.

Contact us for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney at our Arizona-based law firm, increasing your chances of obtaining a successful plea agreement or verdict.

What is Criminal Speeding?

Criminal speeding or reckless driving is defined as criminally speeding or exceeding certain speed limits considered dangerously high.

Arizona law is stringent regarding speeding violations, aiming to ensure the safety of all road users. Individuals charged under this law can't receive a civil complaint for the same incident under Section 28-701.02.

Criminal speeding is not just a traffic infraction; it carries the weight of a criminal charge. This means the penalties can be severe and long-lasting, affecting various aspects of your life.

According to the Motor Vehicle Crash Facts, there were an estimated 19,554 injuries and 359 deaths, with a total of 36,508 speeding violations reported just in Arizona.

How Fast is Criminal Speeding in Arizona?

How fast is criminal speeding in Arizona

Criminal speeding in Arizona is defined by the speeds at which one is driving. It includes driving over 35 mph in a school zone, exceeding 20 mph over any posted speed limit in a business or residential district, or going over 85 mph anywhere in the state.

Is Criminal Speeding a Felony?

Criminal speeding in Arizona is typically classified as a misdemeanor, not a felony. Specifically, it is a class 3 misdemeanor, serious but not as severe as a felony charge. However, the implications can still be significant, including probable jail time, fines, and a criminal record.

Addressing these charges promptly and seeking legal assistance to minimize their impact is important. A criminal attorney can assist you in facing the collateral consequences to better prepare your case against traffic violations.

Legal Process Following a Criminal Speeding Charge

The legal process begins with an arrest or citation for criminal speeding. If you don't face arrest, you will be given a criminal speeding ticket, which is not your regular speeding charge. You can't pay a fine to settle this. The officer will issue a citation that outlines the specific charges and court date or could arrest you on the spot.

Following this, you'll need to attend an arraignment, where you'll enter a plea. An arraignment is the first step in a criminal proceeding where the defendant is brought to the court to hear the charges against them and enter the plea.

Arraignment and Plea Options

At the arraignment, you'll appear before a judge to enter your plea. You have several options: plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Each option has different implications for your case.

  • Plead guilty: Admitting to the charge may result in immediate sentencing, including fines and possible jail time.
  • Plead not guilty: Contesting the charge leads to a trial where evidence and arguments will be presented.
  • Plead no contest: Similar to a guilty plea, but cannot be used against you in a civil lawsuit.
  • Requesting a continuance: You may ask for more time to prepare your case or seek legal representation.
  • Negotiating a plea bargain: Sometimes, your attorney can agree or negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge on your behalf. Plea bargains offer the possibility of reducing penalties.

Penalties for Criminal Speeding in Arizona

Penalties for criminal speeding in Arizona

The penalties for criminal speeding in Arizona are serious and can include jail time, fines, and community service. A conviction will also affect your driving record and insurance rates. Understanding these penalties can help you prepare and reduce their impact.

Jail Time

A criminal speeding conviction can result in up to 30 days in jail. The length of jail time depends on how serious the offense is, how many points there are, and if there have been any prior convictions.

It's essential to consider this when deciding how to plead and seek legal counsel. Jail time can have far-reaching consequences on your personal and professional life.


Fines for criminal and speeding tickets can be high, often ranging from $500 to $2,500. The court determines these fines, which depend on various factors, including speed and prior offenses. Paying these fines can be a financial burden, so it's important to understand the potential costs involved.

Community Service

Sometimes, the court may impose community service as part of your sentence. This can range from a few hours to several days of service. Community service is an alternative to jail time and can provide a way to give back to the community. However, it still requires a serious time commitment.

Impact on Driving Record and Insurance

A criminal speeding conviction can lead to consequences for your driving record and potential increases in insurance costs or premiums.

The Arizona DMV assigns points to your permanent driving record based on the number of traffic laws violated. A charge for reckless driving earns you eight points altogether, so it is not just a regular civil speeding ticket.

The number of points for each civil violation affects your driving record. Points go up for excessive speed. Ultimately, your license can be suspended once you accumulate too many points.

Increased Insurance Rates

Insurance companies view criminal speeding as a high-risk behavior, leading to increased premiums. These rate hikes can be substantial and long-lasting, affecting your financial stability.

Being aware of this is important when facing a criminal speeding charge. Seeking legal advice can help you minimize these increases.

License Suspension

In Arizona, accumulating eight or more points within 12 months will result in a license suspension. Suspension can severely impact one's ability to commute, work, and fulfill daily responsibilities. It's important to understand this risk and take steps to protect one's driving privileges.

When you are convicted or forfeit bail for a moving traffic violation, points are added to your permanent driving record. The highest point value is assessed when multiple violations occur from the same event.

If you accumulate eight or more points within 12 months, you may be required to attend Traffic Survival School (TSS), or your driving privileges may be suspended for up to 12 months.

The specific points assigned depend on the type of infraction committed. This system aims to monitor and penalize repeat traffic offenders.

Points on Driving Record

Each criminal speeding conviction adds points to your driving record, impacting your standing with the Arizona DMV. These demerit points can accumulate quickly, leading to harsher penalties for subsequent offenses. It's essential to monitor your driving record and seek legal assistance to address any charges promptly.


In some cases, the court can impose probation as part of the sentencing for a permanent criminal conviction for speeding. Probation usually forces you to attend defensive driving school. You could also go through regular check-ins with a probation officer to avoid further traffic violations.

Violating probation terms can lead to additional penalties, including potential jail time for criminal speeding in Arizona.

Long-term Consequences of Criminal Speeding

Long-term consequences of criminal speeding

A criminal speeding conviction can have a long-term effect on one's employment and personal life. As part of the hiring process, many employers conduct background checks and could find out about any criminal speeding cases on your criminal record.

A criminal speeding conviction will appear on these checks, potentially affecting employment opportunities. Some employers may view this as a sign of irresponsibility or untrustworthiness. It's important to be aware of this and take steps to address any concerns with potential employers.

A criminal record can impact your reputation when it comes to personal reputation and licenses, especially if your prospective job requires you to have a clean record or professional license.

A stain on your record involving criminal speeding can make obtaining or renewing licenses more challenging. Job applications often ask about criminal convictions, which can hinder employment.

Potential for Increased Penalties with Multiple Offenses

Repeat offenses for criminal speeding can lead to higher charges or penalties, including longer jail sentences and increased fines. The court views multiple offenses as a pattern of reckless behavior, warranting harsher punishment.

Seeking legal advice from Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers will help you prepare against any criminal speeding charges, and you will never let these risks related to multiple offenses affect you.

Common Defense Tactics

Several defense tactics can be employed to contest a criminal speeding charge.

  • Challenging speed measurement accuracy: Questioning the officer's methods or tools for measuring speed can be an effective defense.
  • Proving necessity: Demonstrating that you were speeding due to an emergency can lessen the charges.
  • Mistaken identity: Arguing that you were not the driver at the time of the offense can be a valid defense.
  • Improper signage: Showing that speed limit signs are missing or not visible can help reduce charges.
  • Faulty equipment: Claiming that the speed measurement equipment was malfunctioning or improperly calibrated can be a strong defense.

Importance of Hiring an Experienced Traffic Lawyer

Hiring an experienced traffic lawyer can substantially improve your chances of a favorable outcome for criminal traffic offenses. A skilled lawyer understands the difficulties of traffic law regarding criminal speeding tickets. Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers can provide valuable advice and representation for a criminal offense.

Our criminal defense lawyers in the Arizona department can negotiate with the prosecuting attorney, challenge evidence, and present a strong defense. Protecting your rights and lessening the impact of a criminal speeding conviction is important.

Contact Us for a Consultation at Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers

Contact us for a consultation at Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers

Contact Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers for a free consultation if you are facing a criminal speeding charge. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping you get through the legal process and achieve the best possible outcome in a criminal case.

Addressing a criminal speeding charge is essential to protecting your future. Be sure to seek legal advice and understand your rights. Contact us to discuss your case and explore your options.

James Hansen
21321 E Ocotillo Rd Suite 125, Queen Creek, AZ 85142

Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers - Peoria AZ Office

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