Most drivers will, at some point, receive a speeding ticket. But you might surprised at how New Hampshire's speed limits actually work. This article explains New Hampshire's speed limit laws and the penalties for a speeding ticket.

New Hampshire has two types of speeding laws: a "basic speeding law" and "presumed speed limits." Below, we explain how these types of speed limits differ. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 265:60.)

New Hampshire's basic speeding law prohibits driving at a speed "greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing."

In other words, regardless of the posted speed limit, you're always prohibited from driving at a dangerous speed. So, if conditions on a roadway are treacherous because of weather or some other factor, it's possible to get a speeding ticket even if you don't exceed the regular speed limit.

Some states have "absolute speed limits." With absolute limits it's simple: If the sign says the speed limit is 40 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you've violated the law.

New Hampshire, however, uses presumed or "per se" speed limits. If you exceed a presumed speed limit it doesn't necessarily mean you're guilty—you still have the opportunity to prove in court that your speed was safe. If you're able to do so, the judge (or jury) is supposed to find you not guilty. And if a cop clocks you at a speed that's under the presumed limit, there's a presumption that you're not in violation of New Hampshire's basic speeding law (see above).

Unless otherwise posted, New Hampshire's presumed speed limits are:

- ten miles per hour below the posted speed limit in school zones from 45 minutes before the school opens until 45 minutes after the school closes
- 30 miles per hour in any business or urban residential district
- 35 miles per hour in any rural residential district
- 55 miles per hour in other locations (except interstates), and
- 65 miles per hour on most interstates.

For a violation of New Hampshire's basic speeding law, the fine is $62 for a first offense and $124 for a second offense. Fines for exceeding a presumed speed limit—provided the driver doesn't prove the speed was safe under the circumstances—depend on the driver's speed. Generally, the following penalties apply:

**1 to 10 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $62.**11 to 15 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $93.**16 to 20 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $124.**21 to 25 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $248.**26 miles per hour or more over the limit.**Fine of $434.

**1 to 5 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $80.60.**6 to 10 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $124.**11 to 15 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $186.**16 to 20 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $310.**21 miles per hour or more over the limit.**Fine of $434.

**1 to 5 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $80.60.**6 to 10 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $124.**11 to 15 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $248.**16 to 20 miles per hour over the limit.**Fine of $372.**21 miles per hour or more over the limit.**Fine of $496.

Typically, a speeding violation will add at least three demerit points to a motorist's driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension.

Depending on the circumstances, speeding could lead to a "reckless driving" conviction. And when a speeding violation results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide or manslaughter charges are possible.

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