Criminal speeding can be committed by driving over 35mph in a school zone, driving over 20mph the posted speed limit in a residential or commercial zone, or traveling over 85mph on any roadway in the State.
Some drivers may also find themselves receiving citations for “Racing on the Highway” or an “unreasonable exhibition of speed” pursuant to A.R.S. 28-708 if they commit speeding infractions while racing with other drivers on the roadway.
Drivers that are cited for criminal speeding will have their cases adjudicated in the limited jurisdiction courts that include municipal and justice courts.
What is Criminal Speeding?
A.R.S. 28-701.02 defines the criteria for criminal speeding.
28-701.02. Excessive speeds; classification
A. A person shall not:
1. Exceed thirty-five miles per hour approaching a school crossing.
2. Exceed the posted speed limit in a business or residential district by more than twenty miles per hour, or if no speed limit is posted, exceed forty-five miles per hour.
3. Exceed eighty-five miles per hour in other locations.
B. A person who violates subsection A of this section is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.
C. A person charged with a violation of this section may not be issued a civil complaint for a violation of section 28-701 if the civil complaint alleges a violation arising out of the same circumstances.
“Racing on Highway” is defined under A.R.S. 28-708.
“A person shall not drive a vehicle or participate in any manner in a race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance or exhibition of speed or acceleration or for the purpose of making a speed record on a street or highway.”
“Exhibition of Speed” is the most common reason why some drivers get cited for this offense. Even if a driver is not criminally speeding they may still be cited for this criminal offense if they accelerate unreasonably to speed race another motorist.
What are the penalties for Criminal Speeding?
Criminal Speeding and Racing on the Highway have serious consequences.
- Class 3 Misdemeanor
- Up to $500 Fine.
- Up to 30 days in Jail.
- 3 Points on Driver's License.
- Mandatory reporting to MVD.
Racing on Highway has more serious consequences. (Exhibition of Speed)
Class 1 Misdemeanor (A class 6 Felony if 2nd offense within 2 years, ten days jail)
$2500 Fine (mandatory $250 fine)
Community Work Service, License Suspension
Up to 6 months in jail.
What are the Defenses to Criminal Speeding?
There are numerous defenses to Criminal Speeding:
- Not a commercial or residential zone
- Unreliable Speed Detection (visual speed estimation, speedometer, radar not in working condition or used unreliably)
- Margin of Error in Speed Detection Equipment
In “Racing on Highway” cases it is critical to challenge the State's evidence and disprove that there was any intent to race another motorist on the roadway.
Defenses may be used at trial, but most often are raised during plea negotiations. To get criminal speeding cases dismissed or reduced to civil traffic infractions.
The lack of prior traffic infractions is often cited as a mitigating circumstance to negotiate a favorable plea agreement for a client.
It is important that you consult with an attorney if you are ever charged with a criminal speeding or Racing on the Highways in Mohave County and Arizona.
You have a right to legal counsel to protect your rights. A criminal defense attorney works to help get your charges dismissed or reduced to avoid any harsh criminal sentence.
Contact an Arizona Traffic Lawyer For a Free Case Evaluation
Call 928-753-6868 or toll free at 866-490-HAMP. You can also submit your ticket and contact us online. Case Evaluations are free. We offer affordable flat fees for our legal services.