Use this calculator for the exact cost and get a complete guide of everything you need to know about your speeding ticket
Why Speeding Tickets are so Expensive in California
California speeding ticket cost is not cheap even when just considering the fines. Adding in the cost of increased insurance rates makes the cost of a speeding ticket in California staggering. The best way to avoid higher insurance rates is to attend California traffic school.
Over the past 10 years, the costs have been significantly on the rise, but not due to base fines. Base fines have stayed quite steady over the past 20 years.
The additional penalty assessments, however, such as emergency medical services and court construction assessments, are just two of the culprits contributing to the increasing traffic ticket cost for California drivers. The compilation of all additional assessments has caused speeding ticket costs to nearly quadruple since 1993 which has created a lot of outrage within the California public.
In spite of public protest over these assessments, they are most likely here to stay. Why? Revenue generated from California traffic tickets is estimated to be approximately $500 million per year.
How to Make Sure You Aren’t Paying Too Much
Your auto insurance rates may also go up after you receive a speeding ticket. If you are not eligible to take traffic school, then your insurance rates will definitely be in jeopardy. It is really important to know how your insurance plan is affected by your driving record. Check your plan to make sure you are paying the lowest rate for your personal circumstances. It is a cost that you can look into and monitor.
How to Figure out How much your Speeding Ticket will Cost
How much is a speeding ticket in California? A speeding ticket cost figures in fines for traffic tickets which are tricky to calculate because of all of the state and county penalties and assessments that are added to the base fine. As a result, a speeding ticket could actually end up costing you between 4 and 7 times the amount of the base fine.
California traffic tickets issued to Cali drivers for speeding at 15 MPH over the posted speed limit have soared to $360, but the base fine for this type of citation is a mere $35.
Total Bail Amount on a speeding ticket consists of the following:
Base Fine Costs
Getting a speeding ticket in California can be quite costly. Following are the base fine averages
|MPH Over Speed Limit||Base Fine||Base Fine Construction Zone ( Double Fine Zones )|
|Between 1 and 15||$35||$70|
|Between 16 and 25||$70||$105|
|26 MPH or more||$100||$135|
|100 MPH or more||$200||N/A|
Ticket Surcharge Rates
The state of California imposes a 20% surcharge on all traffic citations.
- Court operations assessment – $40.00
Pursuant to PC §1465.8
- Conviction Assessment – $35.00
Pursuant to GC §70373
- State penalty assessment) – 100% of base fine
Pursuant to PC §1464
- Night court assessment – $1.00. Pursuant to VC §42006
- County penalty assessment) – $7 for every $10 of base fine
Pursuant to GC §76000(e)
- DNA Identification fund penalty assessment – $4 for every $10 of base fine
Pursuant to GC §760104.6 and §76104.7
- State court construction penalty assessment – 50% of base fine
Pursuant to GC 70372(a)
- Emergency Medical Air Transportation Services fund penalty assessment – $4.00
Pursuant to GC 76000.10(c)(1)
- Emergency medical services fund penalty assessment – $2 for every $10 of base fine.Pursuant to GC §76000.5
California Speeding Ticket Cost Chart
Speeding ticket costs in the Golden State are quite high. For example, a California traffic ticket for going 16 miles per hour over the speed limit will end up costing you $360 for a $70 base fine. That’s approximately five times the base fine amount! See the cost breakdown for various speeds in the chart below:
|Fine/Assessment Description||1-15 MPH |
Over Speed Limit
|16-25 MPH |
Over Speed Limit
|26+ MPH |
Over Speed Limit
|State Penalty Assesstment – |
$10 for every $19 of base fine
|County Penalty Assessment – |
$7 for every $10 of base fine
|DNA Identification Fund Penalty – |
$4 for every $10 of base fine
|State Court Construction Penalty – |
$5 for every $10 of base fine
|Emergency Medical Services – |
$2 for every $10 of base fine
|State Surcharge – $20 of base fine||$7||$14||$20|
|Emergency Medical Air Transportation |
(EMAT) Services Fune – $4
|Court Operations Assessment – $40||$40||$40||$40|
|Criminal Convistion Assessment – $35||$35||$35||$35|
|Night Court Assessment – $1||$1||$1||$1|
Average Speeding Ticket Costs, Fees
One of the basic rules while driving your vehicle on Californian roads is observing the speeding limits. Every driver should be aware that some of their actions while behind the wheel can result in a traffic ticket. While some offenses are minor crimes, they can still have negative consequences. Note that some violations can result in expensive tickets.
Speeding is also one of the most common traffic violations and reasons for vehicle driving tickets. California speeding tickets are divided into three categories. First, driving 1 to 15 miles per hour over the allowed speed limit attracts a base fine of about $35. For 16 to 25 over the speed limit, you will be required to pay $70. The third category for ticket costs in California is 26 or more per hour over the speed limit, where drivers pay about $100.
If an officer stops you for traffic violations in Los Angeles County, in addition to the fines, you will be required to pay additional fees. For example, for drivers who are stopped for speeding 1 to 15 miles per hour over the specified speed limit, the total cost may be almost $300.
Why are unsafe speed tickets so expensive in California? The tickets result in higher insurance cost, and this makes the cost in the area staggering. In the past decade, the costs have increased significantly. This has not been caused by higher base fines as they have been constant for two decades now.
The increase can be attributed to additional penalty assessments. Emergency medical services are some of the common assessments. The additional payments have caused ticket cost fines to quadruple in the past two decades, which has caused a lot of outrage among the residents.
Despite the protests, drivers are likely to pay the fines in the Golden State for many years to come. According to statistics, the tickets in the state generate revenue worth about $500 million annually.
More Factors That Affect California Fees
If you try to compare your speed limits with your friends or colleagues in California, you will notice that the total fee may differ. Every county in the state sets its own fines for speeding violations.
Other than the speed limits and the jurisdiction, there are more legal considerations when determining the amount payable for a red light ticket or speeding. For example, if you commit the offenses near schools or working zones, the fines will be higher. Also, poor driving records will translate into a higher fee.
Fight Your Ticket
Fighting a speeding ticket involves pleading not guilty and going to court with the help of traffic ticket lawyers. Although there’s no legal requirement to have an attorney to fight tickets, you may experience difficulties without legal assistance. Without a legal representative, the courtroom may be intimidating. Many drivers are not knowledgeable about traffic law and may end up making things worse while trying to explain your side of the story.
There’re numerous benefits of dealing with a speeding ticket in a traffic court. First, it offers you an opportunity to get your ticket dismissed or reduced from GC Services charges, which can exceed $800. GC service is responsible for collecting unpaid court fees.
Secondly, handling the issue in court also helps to avoid DMV points and a potential driving ticket. Also, note that paying the fees through GC Services will result in a conviction for failure to appear, which may end up appearing as a misdemeanor in your criminal record.
Finally, now you know how much you may be fined if you get caught by a red light camera or with a speeding violation on the Californian roads. The points above can help you to reduce the potential ticket fines in California after a traffic violation.
Avoid Getting a Speeding Ticket
Of course, the best way to handle speeding tickets is to avoid getting them. Plus, there will be no need to calculate how much it will cost you and no high ticket fines to pay. Learn about the ONE WAY to avoid higher insurance rates after a traffic ticket.