Speeding is one of the most common types of traffic offenses in the state of California. Under California Vehicle Code §22350, the Basic Speed Law, you could face a variety of penalties if you are ticketed for driving over the speed limit in the state of California.
However, before you simply pay your fine and move on with your life, it is important to understand what the consequences are when you plead guilty to speeding under California law. A traffic ticket attorney could help you protect your driving record and reputation. Here is more about what you can expect if you have been ticketed for speeding in CA.
What Is California Vehicle Code §22350: Basic Speed Law?
California Vehicle Code §22350 describes the state’s laws regarding speeding. Here, drivers are prohibited from operating their vehicle at speeds greater than reasonably necessary based on traffic conditions, weather, and visibility, among other factors. The rate of speed at which motorists can drive should never endanger someone else or their property.
Elements of California’s Basic Speed Law
To face an infraction under California Vehicle Code §22350, the elements of the offense must be met as follows:
- The defendant must have been driving on a highway.
- The defendant must have been driving at greater than reasonable speeds.
- The defendant’s speed must not have been reasonable based on the highway surface or width, visibility, traffic conditions, and weather.
- The defendant’s speed must have endangered the safety of another person or property.
This means that in order to prove you are guilty, the court must show that you were operating a vehicle on a public street at unreasonable speeds due to the driving conditions and/or your speed put other people or property at risk of injury or death.
What Penalties Are You Facing?
There are several penalties you could face if you are found guilty of violating Vehicle Code §22350 under California law. Not only could you be facing liability in traffic court, but you could also face civil liability. Here is more:
Liability for Violating Vehicle Code §22350
If you are found in violation of California’s basic speed laws, there are several potential consequences you could face. These include:
- Points being added to your driving record – If you are found in violation of VC 22350, you can expect points to be added to your driving record. A speeding violation will earn you 1 point for your first offense but as many as eight points over the last 36 months in multiple speeding violations, which could also result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
- A speeding ticket – The amount you will be fined for driving over the speed limit can vary depending on the speed at which you were driving at the time you were stopped. If this is your first offense, you could expect a minimum sign of $500, however, if you are a habitual offender, fines could increase as high as $1,000.
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license – Your license could be suspended or revoked if you are accused of driving more than 100 mph. First-time offenders can face a license suspension of up to 30 days, while habitual offenders could face a potential license suspension of as much as one year.
If you were accused of speeding and causing a motor vehicle accident, if someone else was injured as a result of the speeding, you could be subject to civil liability. This means the alleged injury victim could have the right to file a civil lawsuit against you.
They may be seeking compensation for their damages in full which could cost you tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses, depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries. Furthermore, if a collision caused the death of another, you could also be facing more serious criminal charges such as vehicular manslaughter.
How to Defend Yourself Against Vehicle Code §22350
There are several ways in which you can challenge a speeding ticket in court. Some of the more common defenses used against California Vehicle Code §22350 Include:
- Issues involving law enforcement radar – If objects were interfering with law-enforcement radar beams, if the radar device was not properly calibrated, or if law enforcement failed to use the radar device accurately, the results may be skewed. It could show results that do not accurately reflect your rate of speed as the radar indicates which could result in false accusations that you were traveling at a higher rate of speed than you actually were.
- Driving over the speed limit due to necessity – If there was an emergency of some kind and you were driving over the speed limit out of necessity, you should not be forced to pay a ticket and deal with the other consequences of a speeding infraction.
- Arguing that your speed was safe and reasonable under the law – If you were operating your vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner, even if it was over the listed speed limit, you could avoid being found guilty of violating California’s basic speed laws.
These are just a few of the potential defenses that could be used to help you avoid some of the more challenging consequences of a guilty infraction. Your attorney can go over the details of your case to determine how to best approach your traffic ticket defense.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in California for Help Today
Although you may want to put the speeding ticket behind you and move forward with your life, paying the fine could have a significant impact on your life in more ways than you might have previously thought.
Protect your driving record, finances, and reputation by retaining an experienced California criminal defense lawyer to help you challenge the charges against you. Schedule your no-obligation consultation today by calling our office or completing our quick contact form.