You know driving accidents are common. But did you know that speeding is a major contributor in making these accidents becoming fatal?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 speeding was considered”a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities.” Is it a surprise that law enforcement is cracking down?
Now that you know the statistics, let’s go into how much a speeding ticket is in Louisiana.
The Cost of a Speeding Ticket in Louisiana
In general, speeding tickets vary widely. You’re likely here because Louisiana, unlike many states, doesn’t print your speeding fine on your citation. In fact, you need to contact your parish to get an understanding of the fine amount.
In general, these charges range from $100-$300.
Another confusing take is that Louisiana has what’s known as a Basic Speeding law.
This means that drivers must not drive at a speed that is greater than what is “reasonable” under certain conditions. An example is if you’re following the signs saying to stay at 55 miles per hour but the weather is bad, you could be driving “unreasonably.”
This means if you’re going too fast in traffic, bad weather, or road conditions, it’s possible to find yourself driving with the flashing red-and-blue in the rearview.
A Breakdown for How Much a Speeding Ticket Is in Louisiana
There are many factors that affect the cost of your speeding ticket. The first is how fast were you going in relation to the posted speed limit.
Here’s a quick list of speeds and their associated fine:
- Driving 1 to 9 mph over the speed limit could result in a $115 fine or more
- Driving 10 to 14 mph over the speed limit could result in a $215 fine or more
- Driving 15 to 20 mph over the speed limit could result in a $240 fine or more
- Driving 21mph or faster than the speed limit could result in a >$240 fine and may require you to make a court appearance
Next, were there additional charges involved? Here are a few potential penalties below.
Reckless operation is a misdemeanor in Louisiana. This is a charge for a driver who was considered to be driving in a reckless or “criminally negligent” manner. Simply put, if you were endangering yourself or someone else’s life, this could be an additional charge.
Reckless operation has charges affiliated with the number of offenses.
- First offense: Can carry up to a 90-day sentence in jail and/or $200 in fines.
- Multiple offenses: Driver can face up to six months in jail and/or up-to an additional $500 in fines.
In certain cases, if driving while intoxicated you can incur additional charges on for what’s called a “wet reckless” incident.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
These charges are consistent across all Louisiana. If you’re driving under the influence you will face additional charges based on the number of offenses you’ve committed.
- 1st Offense: $1,000
- 2nd Offense: $1,000
- 3rd Offense: $2,000
- 4th Offense: $5,000
Don’t be surprised if you wind up taken to court for repeat offenses, as well. You can incur penalties such as license suspension, jail time, and felonious charges.
Negligent Injury and Homicide
Naturally, these are serious charges and incur heavy repercussions for Louisiana drivers.
Vehicular Negligence involves a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08%.
- Vehicle Negligent Injury: Up to $1,000.
- First Degree Vehicle Negligent Injury: Up to $2,000.
- Vehicular Homicide: Between $2,000 and $15,000.
All these charges will result in a court hearing. You can contest any of these charges in court. If you’re found guilty, these charges come with the risk of having your license suspended or completely revoked and facing severe jail time.
With any or all the above charges don’t forget that your auto insurance rates can increase as well. Naturally, these costs are difficult to calculate and depend on your previous driving history. But they should be noted as they are a relevant financial cost after potentially huge charges, listed above.
What About Minimum Speed Limits?
While you rarely see signage indicating a “Minimum Speed Limit” Louisiana does, in fact, have legislation to charge you for going too slow.
Specifically, you cannot operate a vehicle at speeds slow enough to “impede upon the reasonable and normal movement of traffic.”
A key example of where you may find yourself in trouble is if you’re traveling on a major highway going under 10 mph under the listed speed limit. If you’re in the right-most lane, you likely won’t be pulled over. However, if you’re going slow in the passing lane, you’re a hazard to people around you and can be pulled over for impeding traffic.
A Few Tips to Avoid the Trip (to Jail)
If you’re pulled over and you suspect it’s for speeding, don’t panic.
The officer will request your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance info.
Make sure to answer questions that offer your basic information. Be honest. If you have previous traffic violations, they can quickly confirm whether or not you’re lying.
If you’re uncomfortable about a specific question, you can state that you’d prefer to answer with a lawyer present. This is enacting your Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions that may be self-incriminating.
Alternatively, you have the right to ask questions. Clarify why they pulled you over. Was it speeding? How fast did they clock you going? If you haven’t seen signage, ask what the speed limit is?
They should answer these questions. It’s important to know their response, should you decide to contest the ticket or any other violations in court.
You have the right to remain silent, but don’t be rude. They’re doing their job. You’re doing yours to protect your innocence. And arguing with a traffic officer won’t likely stop them from giving you a ticket. Best to fight the charge in court later when you have legal representation available.
Speeding to Your Defense
Now that you know how much a speeding ticket is in Louisiana, you may see yourself falling into a financial pit. Fortunately, all charges can be contested in court.
If this is you — or you believe your charges are inaccurate or fraudulent — reach out to us here at Louisiana Speeding Ticket. We’re committed to fighting for you so that you can achieve justice and get back out on the road.