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When Does Speeding Become Reckless Driving?

When a driver gets a speeding ticket in Los Angeles, they usually incur a fine and receive a couple of points on their driver’s license record. However, sometimes, speeding in Los Angeles can lead to a reckless driving criminal charge. When that happens, the offender may incur hefty criminal fines or even go to prison. Some extreme cases lead to a felony charge, but when does speeding become reckless driving?.

Contact Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers to learn more about your legal rights.

California Speeding Regulations

The basic speeding law in California is stipulated under Vehicle Code 22350 VC. That section states that no person should drive a car at a speed faster than is safe or reasonable. Reasonable speed is determined based on several factors and circumstances of a case, and the outcome can vary from case to case. Some specific circumstances defined by California courts include:

  • A certain road the driver was using was in a crowded modern area or remote rural region
  • Pedestrians were close to the driver
  • Animals were nearby
  • The vehicle operator was near to, or riding over a rail crossing
  • A particular street the driver was traveling on was wet or slippery
  • The motorist’s view of the road ahead was obstructed or restricted in some way
  • Excessive sunlight or shiny lights were in existence when the driver was on the road
  • The driver was maneuvering over a hilly region

California has two speed limit types: Absolute and Prima facie. Under the absolute speed limits, drivers are prohibited from going over a speed of 70 miles per hour on freeways designated to that speed. Additionally, drivers cannot exceed 65 miles per hour on freeways and highways, or go over 55 miles per hour on double-lane, connected highways.

For the Prima facie speed limits, motorists should maintain a speed of 15 miles per hour at train crossings, alleys, and road intersections. Furthermore, they should uphold a speed of 25 miles per hour in residential and commercial districts, as well as school zones.

Speeding Consequences

People who violate the speeding laws may face:

  • A speeding ticket and suspension of driver’s license
  • Points to their driving record
  • Negligence charges if an accident happens

Offenders who get a ticket can pay a fine, go to traffic school, or dispute the ticket in court. The cost of a fine ranges from $35 to over $500. If you finish traffic school or dispute the ticket effectively, you can avoid incurring driver’s license points.

When Does Speeding Become Reckless Driving?

Based on the situation, speeding may result in a reckless driving charge. Reckless driving is operating a vehicle while being outrageously negligent of the safety of other people or property. For California, speeding automatically becomes reckless driving at 15 miles/hour beyond the posted limit.

The standard primary offense comes with a jail term of 5-90 days and/or a fine of $145-$1,000. A license suspension for a maximum of one year and additional court costs may also apply. If a speeding offense causes the demise of somebody else, the offender can face a vehicular manslaughter or a homicide conviction.

Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers

Reckless driving isn’t a mere traffic infraction, but rather a criminal offense, it comes with serious penalties. If you’ve been charged with reckless driving speed in Los Angeles, Calif., don’t waste any time. Seek legal assistance from the experienced car accident attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers to learn more about your legal rights and receive the compensation you deserve.