California Speeding Laws

One of the most common traffic tickets California drivers get cited for is speeding. There are three types of speeding laws: a basic speeding law, absolute speed limits, and presumed speed limits. 

Basic Speeding Law 

According to California Vehicle Code 22350, motors cannot drive at a speed “greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” Therefore, drivers have a duty to travel at a reasonable and safe speed. 

Absolute Speed Limits 

Under Vehicle Code Section 22356 (b), “No person shall drive a vehicle upon that highway at a speed greater than 70 miles per hour, as posted.” The 70-mile per hour speed limit is considered the absolute speed limit on state freeways. 

However, driving at least 65 mph is considered speeding if freeways do not have signs posted for the 70-mph limit. In addition, the absolute speed limit for two-lane, undivided highways is 55 mph unless posted for an increased speed. 

Presumed Speed Limits 

Also known as “prima facie” limits, presumed speed limits work differently compared to absolute limits. If you drive more than a presumed speed limit, you have a chance to prove that court that your speed was safe and avoid a guilty verdict. 

According to California Vehicle Code 22352, the presumed speed limits include 15 mph in alleys, at railroad crossings, and highway intersections without 100 feet of visibility of approaching vehicles and 25 mph in school zones, as well as residential and commercial areas. 

How Much Does a California Speeding Ticket Cost? 

Speeding ticket fines in California are among the highest in the country. While the base fine may not seem like that much, there are many surcharges included. 

Base fines of California speeding tickets under 100 mph are the following: 

  • $35 if you exceed the limit or safe speed by one (1) or 15 mph 

  • $70 if you exceed the limit or safe speed by 16 or 25 mph 

  • $100 if you exceed the limit or safe speed by at least 26 mph 

Base fines of California speeding tickets faster than 100 mph are the following: 

  • $500 and driver’s license suspension for up to 30 days for a first offense 

  • $750 and driver’s license suspension for six (6) months for a second offense within three years 

  • $1,000 and driver’s license suspension for one (1) year for a third offense within five years 

The additional fees on top of the base fine include: 

  • State Penalty Assessment 

  • County Penalty Assessment 

  • Court Facility Construction Penalty Assessment 

  • Court Operations Assessment 

  • DNA Penalty Assessment 

  • 20-percent Surcharge 

  • EMS Surcharge 

Anyone who violates the speeding law will also receive one (1) point on their driving record or two (2) points for speeding over 100 mph. If you accumulate four (4) points within 12 months, or more than six (6) points within 24 months, or more than eight (8) points within 36 months, then your driver’s license will be suspended. 

If you need professional legal help fighting a traffic ticket in Elk Grove or Fremont, contact Samra Dhillon & Associates today at (916) 571-1550. We have more than 40 years of legal experience!