Does Getting a Speeding Ticket Mean Jail Time?

Speeding violations do not typically result in jail time though they often may result in a combination of additional points on your driving record, community service, and/or a requirement to attend driving school. Obviously the laws differ from state to state. Many states provide for jail time – typically between 24 hours to 90 days – for the following

Repeat speeding violations

Repeated speeding violations can trigger jail time.

Particularly reckless speeding

Speeding when it is excessive, becomes reckless driving -- for example going 25 miles over the limit in some states, or over going over 100 or 120 in other states.

Failing to show up at court

In all states if you have been issued a speeding ticket but you do not turn up in court to challenge the ticket nor make the payment, you can be arrested and sent to jail.

Your record

A past criminal record can also result in enhanced penalties including jail term for speeding.

Where are you speeding?

If you are caught speeding in certain places, it increases the chances of being jailed. For example, in some states, you can be sent to jail if you are caught speeding near a military base or a school or in a construction zone.

Speeding plus one

Although you are unlikely to be jailed for speeding, if you are caught speeding along with another offense like driving without a valid driver’s license or you are also charged with DUI, then you will likely be sent to jail.


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