Hello and welcome. In today’s article we are answering the question, can you go to jail for speeding?
Before we move on, I just want to clarify that this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. If you need the assistance of an attorney and a jurisdiction where you live, I recommend that you reach out to one to get you get your questions answered.
Speeding laws vary from state to state, and country to country
As we address this question, it is important to remember that every state in the United States, and in other jurisdictions around the world, will have its own rules and laws about driving and speeding.
In some places, speeding may only be a civil infraction, and the maximum punishment is a fine or the suspension of your driving privileges. In other places, simple speeding may be a misdemeanor crime, or depending upon the severity of the offense, could even be a more serious crime such as a felony.
Some states have made laws that it’s going over a certain miles per hour is automatically a misdemeanor or felony crime that could result in jail time. In Virginia, for example, if you go more than 80 mph anywhere in the state or exceed the posted speed limit by 20 mph, you can definitely be charged with reckless driving, which is a crime in Virginia that could result in jail time. Oregon is another state that’s charges speeders people or property at risk with reckless driving, a crime that could result in jail time.
Know the rules of the jurisdiction you are in
If you like to speed or plan on doing some speeding, it is good to know the rules in the place where you live or the places where you plan to go to get a better idea of whether or not it is worth it. Certainly, I can’t recommend that you ever drive that fast so don’t take my suggestion to research the laws as my endorsements of reckless behavior. But in general, it is good to know the rules of the road where you live.
Yes, jail time is an option as the result of speeding
Regardless of how speeding is characterized in the place that you live, it is 100% possible to go to jail because of speeding. While I don’t know the laws in every state in the United States, I do know that it is really common for every state to have laws that protect other people, and charge people with crimes when they act in a way that puts other people’s lives at risk.
When you are speeding, like say dramatically speeding, let’s say a hundred miles per hour or more, you are putting the lives and property of other people at risk. This is especially true if you have other individuals in your car, including minor children. When you speed, you risk wrecking and hurting the people inside your car, or hurting or killing people outside of your car. The same is true for property.
It is for this reason that you can be charged with crimes associated with putting other people’s lives and property in danger. This is when you will see charges like careless driving, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, or reckless endangerment.
Again, these types of crimes will vary from state-to-state (in name and in severity), but there is going to be something that you could be charged with criminally as a result of putting are people’s lives or property in danger.
If you are speeding and manage to wreck without killing yourself or someone else in the car, you could even be charged with crimes like assault, attempted assault, attempted manslaughter, or other attempt crimes as a result of your actions. The penalties for speeding combined with putting other people’s life or property at risk are much greater if you have a long history of similar conduct.
But what about going over the speeding limit a small amount?
Can you go to jail for going 5 to 10 miles per hour over the limit? In general, the answer to this question is going to be no. In most cases, but not all, speeding is a civil infraction, and going 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit is not going to involve any conduct that could give rise to other criminal charges. However, if you are going 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and you do something while driving that puts someone else’s life or property at risk, you could end up with a criminal charge and some jail time.
Can you get a speeding ticket without getting pulled over?
The answer to this is yes. Depending upon where you live, some jurisdictions have installed devices that measure your speed and collect your information, a photo of you driving along with your license plate information. And such cases, you can end up receiving a speeding ticket in the mail. You’ll have to check in your local jurisdiction whether this is occurring.
Can you lose your license for speeding?
Well every state is different, the answer is emphatically sure, you can. And in some states, you will need to have multiple citations, but in others the judge may have the discretion to suspend you. Certain behavior may result in an automatic suspension, such as exceeding the speed limit by a certain amount, or being under the age of 18 when the act was committed.
Do you have additional questions about jail time and speeding? If so, you should give a licensed attorney a call. You might be able to get some of your questions answered over the phone without having to book a consult, which could put your mind at ease.
Thanks for stopping by!
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Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, all under the age of 10. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Emily is a mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the computer when the kids are sleeping. She started this blog in April of 2019 and is proud that the blog is now paying for itself. If you want to know about her journey as a blogger, check out out her personal digital journal or her post about failing her way to blogging success.