A criminal speeding offense can occur by committing any of the following infractions:
1. Exceeding 35 mph approaching a school crossing.
2. Exceeding 20 mph over the posted speed limit in a Commercial or Residential Zone.
3. Exceeding 85 mph ANYWHERE in the State of Arizona.
Source: A.R.S. 28-701.02
Criminal speeding is a “criminal” offense. Instead of being punished with just a fine or points on your driver's license, any criminal conviction could result in jail time. The offense will also be reported on your criminal record.
Criminal speeding is a Class 3 Misdemeanor. It can be punished with up 30 days in jail and up to a maximum fine of $500 (not including surcharges). It can also result in 3 points (the same as civil speeding) reported on your license.
Criminal Speeders get targeted at Grand Canyon West and other locations in Mohave County.
In Mohave County there are three primary areas that are targeted for criminal speeding enforcement. Many offenders are targeted on the northwest stretch of U.S. Highway 93 between Kingman and Las Vegas. I-40 runs east to west through Mohave County and is a busy high speed interstate. Many drivers are also targeted on the busy rural county roads leading to Grand Canyon West.
The roads to Grand Canyon West are targeted for traffic enforcement because of the high volume of traffic that impacts the rural roads to the Grand Canyon tourist attraction. The roads go through the rural community of Dolan Springs on Pierce Ferry Road and Diamond Bar Road. The high volume of tourist and foreign visitors traveling at an average speed of 87 mph on roads only rated for 45 mph. Enforcing traffic infractions on this stretch of county road is a top priority for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. Source: Kingman Daily Miner.
The Rules of Criminal Procedure Apply to All Criminal Speeding Cases.
In civil traffic cases the burden of proof is a lower standard. The rules of civil traffic procedure are less formal. There is no formal discovery or plea bargain process in place for civil traffic cases. This is not the case for Criminal Speeding Tickets.
Instead, the rules of criminal procedure apply to all criminal speedings cases. A pretrial conference is set after a defendant pleads not guilty at their initial appearance. All violators are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A defendant has the right to a pretrial discovery and the right to a bench trial. The State always has the burden of proof.
Because criminal speeding cases are processed under the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedures, a defendant has the right to defend themselves or retain counsel to represent them on their own behalf. A plea bargain process does exists that begins at the pretrial conference. If plea negotiations are not favorable, a defendant can set the matter for trial and cross examine the State's witnesses or present witnesses on their own behalf.
Even though criminal speeding cases are a lower class misdemeanor, Defendants in criminal speeding cases have the right to due process. A plea bargain to a reduced fine or a civil traffic infraction is possible with most cases. Reducing or eliminating the impact of a conviction to your record should always be researched and considered.
Photo: Exit 48, Beale St, U.S. 93, I-40 EB, by Ken Lund (CC by SA)
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