Florida Statutory Penalties for Speeding Fifty Miles Over the Posted Speed Limit
Unlike other speeding tickets you may receive for going ten, fifteen, twenty, even twenty-five miles above the posted speed limit, a ticket for going fifty miles over the posted speed limit has fewer defenses. After all, you can hardly say you didn’t realize you were driving fifty miles over the speed limit; assuming the speed limit was 55, then you were traveling at least 105 mph—not a speed which could easily go unnoticed. Being found guilty of driving 50 miles or more above the posted speed limit will result in a penalty of $1,000, plus any other surcharges and fees assessed by your county. Should you receive a second conviction for the same offense, your penalty will be raised to $2,500 and you will suffer a one-year license revocation.
A third conviction for driving fifty miles above the posted speed limit will result in a $5,000 penalty, the loss of your driver’s license for ten years and you will have a third-degree felony conviction on your criminal record. If you were cited for driving fifty miles above the posted speed limit in a construction or school zone, your troubles may only be beginning. You may be charged with reckless driving in addition to your traffic citation, your fines will be automatically doubled, and you may be sentenced to probation or the mandatory completion of traffic school—without benefit of your points being dismissed. You will receive four points on your driving record for a conviction of driving fifty miles above the posted speed limit—if you have prior point on your record, you could lose your license for an even longer period of time.
Being charged with driving fifty miles over the posted speed limit takes away many of your options for dealing with your traffic citation, meaning you cannot simply pay the ticket and go on your way. You will have a mandatory court appearance—an event which will go much better with a qualified Florida traffic ticket attorney by your side. In fact, really your only chance for avoiding an expensive, far-reaching conviction for your offense is to allow an attorney to challenge the officer’s assessment of your speed, the device used to measure your speed, or the traffic stop itself. Should you fail to show up in court, you may suffer an administrative suspension of your driving privileges. You may receive a standalone charge, or a combination of charges which includes racing on the highway, reckless driving or fleeing the police officer. Because of the extremely stiff penalties associated with this level of speeding, it is critical that you aggressively fight your charges.
How Your Speed Was Measured
Depending on where you were ticketed, your speed may have been measured by aircraft or by laser, radar, VASCAR or pacing. It is in your best interests to immediately find out how your speed was determined, as your attorney will use different challenges depending on the method. The following is a short description of the various speed measurement techniques.
- Laser or LIDAR detection is used across the country. While more expensive than radar, it is generally considered more accurate. Laser is different from radar in that it uses laser light to both detect the vehicle speed and measure the distance from the laser gun to the target vehicle. Laser light travels faster than the speed of sound, and is much more vehicle specific than radar due to the smaller beam of light. Further, the laser gun captures a speed reading in less than half a second vs. 2-3 seconds for a radar gun. While more accurate than radar, laser readings may be less-than-accurate at greater distances. Laser guns also require frequent checks and maintenance to ensure proper function. Proper functioning of the laser gun requires a tripod or a very steady hand, and the devices are very expensive.
- Aircraft detected speeding violations clock the time your vehicle took to travel a pre-determined distance between two fixed points. The aircraft officer would have observed you traveling significantly faster than the cars around you, then will start a stopwatch-like device when you pass the first point, stopping it when you pass the second point. The amount of time it took you to pass between the two marks will be calculated, and your exact speed will be available. The aircraft will then radio an officer on the ground who will verify your speed using laser, radar or pacing. Your attorney may be able to challenge the officer’s assessment of your speed if the aircraft was traveling into the wind. Further, aircraft speed detection relies on both officers being present in court.
- VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder) speed detection uses a small computer which calculates the speed of your vehicle based on how long it took you to travel a specific distance. The VASCAR unit is usually hooked into the speedometer of the officer’s vehicle. In many instances the officer will pass you on the highway, traveling at a high rate of speed, then will be waiting down the road to pull you over and ticket you. Because the officer knows the distance he traveled and the distance you traveled, VASCAR can compute your speed. The down side to VASCAR—and the way your attorney may challenge the officer’s assessment of your speed—is that it is dependent on the officer triggering the start and stop buttons at precise times, therefore is subject to human error.
- Radar detection has been used since the 1950’s and is still one of the most commonly used forms of speed detection, particularly for smaller departments which may not be able to afford laser or aircraft detection. Radar works by sending out a radio wave signal (which is much wider than the beam sent out by laser), then waiting for it to be bounced back to the radar machine. One of radars biggest flaws lie in the fact that in heavy traffic, it may pick up a vehicle other than yours. As with all mechanical devices, radar detection devices must be checked frequently and maintained rigorously in order to be accurate.
- The police officer may have determined your speed through the use of pacing, which means the officer “caught up” to you, then stayed the same distance behind you for at least 2/10ths of a mile, while watching his or her own speedometer. Determining speed through the use of pacing makes a case which is much more prone to human error—after all, the police officer must stay the same distance from your bumper for 2/10ths of a mile, while watching the police cruiser’s speedometer as well as the traffic around him or her. Talk about multi-tasking! Mistakes can be easily made, and your Florida traffic attorney may be able to challenge the officer and find that mistakes were made in your case.
Consequences Other Than Statutory Penalties for Speeding Fifty Miles Over the Limit
If you receive a conviction for going fifty miles above the speed limit, it is highly likely that your insurance company will drop your coverage. Finding coverage once you have been dropped can be practically impossible, and it is illegal to drive without benefit of auto insurance. If you are able to find a company that will insure you, you can bet you will be paying shockingly high premiums for the privilege of keeping your insurance. If this is not your first conviction for this offense, you could find yourself without a driver’s license, therefore unable to even drive to work and make a living.
Motions and Possible Defenses for Your Florida Speeding Ticket
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, your Florida traffic attorney may submit certain motions or offer up potential defenses on your behalf. Some of those include:
- Your attorney may request a Motion to Dismiss based on your denial of the right to a speedy trial, if your actual trial date turned out to be more than 45 days from the date you were arraigned.
- If crucial evidence was denied to you and your attorney, and that evidence was necessary to your defense, your attorney may request a Motion to Dismiss. Of course the judge may simply delay the trial and order the prosecution to provide you with the necessary information.
- Your attorney may request a Motion to Dismiss due to insufficient evidence; this would occur immediately after the prosecution has presented their case against you and “rested.” If the prosecutor failed to prove all required elements of the crime you are charged with, then the Motion to Dismiss may be granted.
- If, during your hearing, the arresting officer had more than his or her fair share of “I don’t remember,” answers, your attorney may submit a Motion to Dismiss due to incompetent witness—meaning the officer has no clue what went on the day he issued your speeding ticket.
- If the officer committed some sort of procedural error related to calibration, use or maintenance of the radar or laser, a Motion to Dismiss due to inadequate procedures could be offered.
- If the police officer who issued your speeding ticket simply fails to show up for your court hearing, your attorney may submit a Motion to Dismiss due to insufficient evidence.
Why You Must Speak to a Florida Traffic Ticket Attorney
When it comes to choosing a Florida traffic ticket attorney, we know you have many choices; we hope you will choose The Law Place due to the level of experience we bring to the table on your behalf. Our attorneys will work aggressively to ensure your speeding ticket does not affect your reputation, criminal record, driver’s license status and finances; we have over three decades of legal experience and a comprehensive knowledge of Florida laws related to your offense. The attorneys of The Law Place bring stellar credentials on your behalf and believe your speeding ticket is serious enough to warrant our full attention.