This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. We are not lawyers.
We have a lot of laws in this country.. at the federal level, no one actually knows how many laws there are in the US! Sure, we’ve accumulated more than 200 years of law, but more law in recent decades.
They were merged into one when federal law was first codified in 1927. By the 1980s, there were 50 volumes with more than 23,000 pages. Today, the internet says no one knows exactly how many laws there are.
The Internal Revenue Code alone contains more than 3.4 million words and covers thousands of pages. There are approximately 20,000 laws governing the use and ownership of firearms. Congress created 452 new crimes between 2000 and 2007, bringing the total federal crime count at that time to more than 4,450. In addition to federal laws, you also have state laws and local ordinances.
Which leads to the question in today’s blog post: Can you go to jail for speeding?
In this article, I will cover the following topics:
- Speeding is usually classified as a violation
- Speeding can land you in jail
- Will you go to jail or jail?
Speeding is usually classified as a violation
Speeding laws vary from state to state, and the penalties you face for speeding violations vary depending on the situation. Prison is out of the question in most cases, but in some cases, speeding can land a person behind bars.
In most states, standard speeding violations are minor traffic violations that are classified as infractions or civil offenses. Violations and civil offenses are generally not considered crimes, which means they do not lead to jail time.
The most common consequence of a speeding ticket is a fine. You can also get points on your driver’s license. In some states, you can choose traffic school to avoid these penalties. Usually, the amount of the fine and demerit points depends on the speed of the driver.
Every state does it differently, but the penalties are usually broken down in two different ways. The first is to impose a speeding fine based on how much the driver is speeding. For example, one state might fine $50 for speeding, plus $2 per mile per hour over the limit.
Another common approach is to set specific amounts of speeding fines for different ranges. In states like Maryland, you can be fined $80 if you go 1 to 9 miles over the speed limit. Between 10 and 19 miles per hour over the limit, the fine is $90.
Most states also issue deduction points based on scope. For example, in Florida, three points are deducted for being caught going 15 mph over the speed limit. Anything over 15 mph gets four points.
I should also point out that some states do consider speeding a misdemeanor. They include Nevada and Arkansas. In those states, speeding could theoretically land you in jail, but for basic speeding violations, that usually doesn’t happen.
Speeding can land you in jail
A speeding ticket won’t land you in jail in the vast majority of cases, but in some cases it might. A speeding violation may constitute a crime with certain aggravating factors.
In many states, speeding or flying over a high penalty area (such as a school zone) can get you locked up. High speeds over 100 mph can turn the violation into a misdemeanor known as “reckless driving.” If convicted, it could lead to jail time.
Still other states have laws about repeat offenses. If you have a habit of speeding and racking up tickets, that can get you locked up too. For example, in Ohio, a third speeding violation within a year can result in up to 30 days in jail.
Will you go to jail or jail?
The answer to today’s blog question is technically “no.” You won’t go to jail for speeding, but you can. I talked about the difference between a prison and a prison before. You will only go to jail if you are convicted of a felony, not a misdemeanor.
State prisons are run by the Department of Corrections and house inmates who have served a sentence of more than one year.
If you are convicted of misdemeanor speeding, at worst you could spend some time in county or city jail. Jails are local facilities for prisoners serving short sentences of days or months after misdemeanor convictions.
Have you ever been jailed for speeding? Let us know in the comments below.