Can I Go to Jail or Lose My License for Speeding?
If you have received a speeding ticket that requires you to make a court appearance, you may be wondering how stiff the penalties might be. At McShane & McShane Law Firm, P.A. in Orlando, we have been defending drivers against traffic violations for decades. Given the consequences of a conviction — heavy fines, penalty points, possible license suspension, increased insurance premiums, and even jail time — we recommend that drivers fight every ticket. But simply going into court without a plan, hoping the officer who gave you the citation won’t show, isn’t going to do much good. You need an experienced traffic violation attorney at your side.
Returning to the question: should you reasonably fear going to jail or losing your license for a speeding ticket? If you’re only charged with speeding, you won’t face jail time. However, you should take a look at your ticket. There’s a chance the officer cited you for reckless driving in addition to speeding. Reckless driving is much more serious. It means that in the opinion of the officer, you were driving with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” In other words, you were going so fast that you didn’t seem to care that you could hurt someone. A first conviction for reckless driving carries an option for jail time up to 90 days.
Reckless driving is a judgment call that depends on the circumstances. You might drive 20 miles over the speed limit on a freeway and get cited for speeding, but if you go ten miles above the limit on a country road in the rain, an officer could decide you were being reckless. Of course, the officer must convince the court, and you can state the facts from your point of view to sway the court your way.
If you are only charged with speeding, you need not be concerned with jail, but the penalty points for your ticket could result in a license suspension. In Florida, your license will be suspended if you accumulate:
- 12 points in 12 months — Up to 30 days
- 18 points in 18 months — Up to three months
- 24 points in 36 months — Up to one year
To keep your penalty points from reaching the limit, we recommend that you fight every ticket with the help of a competent, thorough and effective traffic violation attorney. To speak with a defense attorney at McShane & McShane Law Firm, P.A., call 407.648.1500 or contact our Orlando office online.