What is a Speeding Violation?

N. Madison

A speeding violation occurs when a person breaks a speed-related law while operating a moving vehicle. In most places, traffic laws govern how fast a person can drive his car, or other vehicle, in a specific area. If a person exceeds the lawful speed, he is committing a speeding violation and may face penalties if he is caught. For example, a person who does so may have to pay a monetary fine and may have the violation notated on his driving record. If he commits many speeding violations, he may even face higher insurance rates or have his driver’s license suspended or revoked.

The place where speeding took place can influence the fine.
The place where speeding took place can influence the fine.

In many jurisdictions, driving one’s car above the allowed speed is against the law. It isn't usually considered a criminal offense, however. In most cases, a person who is caught speeding will receive a citation, also called a traffic ticket in many places, that requires him to pay a monetary fine or go to court to defend himself. An individual is unlikely to be sentenced to jail for speeding. If a person commits a criminal offense while also speeding, however, he may face jail time because of the criminal activity.

Law enforcement monitors motorists's speeds.
Law enforcement monitors motorists's speeds.

Fines set for a speeding violation tend to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions, however, the amount of the fine is directly related to how fast the driver was traveling in his vehicle. Those who are caught driving far above the speed limit will often face stiffer fines than those who were caught driving closer to the speed limit. Additionally, the negative marks or points that may be added to a person’s driving record may be directly related to how far above the speed limit he was driving.

Some jurisdictions allow people to submit payment for speeding violations through the mail but require them to plead guilty to the traffic violation by signing the tickets. Doing so may seem like a quick way to deal with a traffic ticket, but it may result in the recording of a traffic violation conviction on a person’s driving record. In some places, having traffic violation convictions can lead to higher insurance rates and affect one's ability to secure a job for which a good driving record is required. Multiple convictions may even lead to driver's license suspension.

In some cases, a person who receives a speeding ticket may want to contest it. To do this, a driver usually has to request a trial. If an individual is able to prove that he is not guilty of a speeding violation in court, his driving record will usually be cleared of the offense, and the case will be dismissed. If he is found guilty, however, he will usually have to pay a fine, and the traffic violation will be added to his driving record.

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