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Criminal Speeding in Arizona

A criminal speeding ticket may be more serious than you think.

In Arizona, you can be charged with criminal speeding when going more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, or when exceeding 85 miles per hour anywhere in the state.

Speeding may seem like a minor violation, when compared to something like a DUI, but in the state of Arizona, excessive speeding can be a misdemeanor crime, making it a serious yet common criminal offense. To put it clearly, Arizona speeding laws should be taken seriously.

With penalties of up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines, criminal speeding in Arizona is more than just a traffic citation, it’s something that can affect your personal life and finances for longer than expected.

Have you been charged with criminal speeding in Arizona?

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Want to See How We’ve Helped Others with Criminal Speeding Cases?


Highland Justice Court

Charges: One count criminal speeding, One count racing
Results: Cased dismissed, attended traffic school

Flagstaff Municipal Court

Charges: One count criminal speeding
Results: Reduced to civil traffic violation

Mesa Justice Court

Charges: One count criminal speeding
Results: Reduced to civil traffic violation, attended traffic school

Ironwood Justice Court

Charges: One count criminal speeding
Results: Reduced to civil traffic violation, attended traffic school

Arizona Speeding Laws

What is criminal speeding in Arizona? In our state, speeding citations are classified as being in one of two categories: civil speeding violations or criminal speeding. Most cases of minor speeding are civil speeding violations.

However, criminal speeding tickets can be issued in these common cases:

  • When a driver exceeds 85 mph anywhere in the state
  • When a driver exceeds 35 mph while near a school crossing
  • When a driver exceeds a posted speed limit by 20 mph in a business or residential area
  • When a driver exceeds 45 mph when no speed is posted in a business or residential area

If you’ve been pulled over during any one or more of these situations, you could face criminal speeding charges that can affect your ability to drive, and if you have more than one criminal speeding charge, the penalties can be even greater. As you can see, what is considered criminal speeding in Arizona depends on the overall speed, as well as the posted speed limit and general location of where you’re speeding.

Additionally, you can be charged with other offenses, like reckless driving, while also being charged with driving excessively over the speed limit.

Felony Speeding in Arizona

Excessive speeding in Arizona can be a class 3 misdemeanor, but criminal speeding alone is not a felony. If there are other offenses involve, like a DUI, then that may result in felony charges. But in the state of Arizona, there is technically no felony speeding. There may be related charges, such as a hit and run, which may also change the outcomes and charges of your situation.

Read A.R.S §28-701.02 to learn more about excessive speeding.

Penalties for Criminal Speeding in Arizona

As a class 3 misdemeanor, criminal speeding carries up to 30 days and jail and up to $500 in fines. But the penalties don’t end there.

If you were arrested during the traffic stop, you’ll have to pay to have your car retrieved from where it was towed, and there may be other surcharges involved.

The Arizona Motor Vehicle Department adds three points for a criminal speeding traffic ticket, and when if you get more than 13 points in one year, your license can be suspended. The more points you collect in a year, the greater the suspensions you face.

Additionally, your car insurance provider could increase your premiums, meaning you’ll pay more for the same coverage. These increases often last months or years, so you could be paying for your speeding ticket for much longer than you thought.

Considering these punishments, a criminal speeding ticket can be costly.

How Long Does A Criminal Speeding Ticket Stay On Your Record In Arizona?

Standard speeding tickets are automatically cleared from your motor vehicle record after a period of time. Unfortunately, criminal speeding offenses do not.

In Arizona, misdemeanor and felony convictions remain on your record until age 99. As criminal speeding is a Class 3 misdemeanor, that means your criminal speeding ticket will be on your record for life.

That may sound pretty harsh for a traffic violation, but the good news is that employers and government agencies that run a background check will be able to see the circumstances of your Class 3 misdemeanor conviction.

While some employers may see it as a red flag, most people are willing to take a criminal speeding ticket with a grain of salt when your criminal record is otherwise clean.

If your criminal speeding ticket becomes an obstacle for employment background checks, the bad news is that you’re stuck with the Class 3 misdemeanor for life.

Arizona law doesn’t allow records to be expunged, and criminal speeding tickets are not allowed to be “set aside” like many other misdemeanor convictions.

Get Help Fighting an Arizona Speeding Ticket

Our criminal defense team can provide superior legal counsel during your criminal speeding case.

Instead of letting a public defender control your outcome, the attorneys at JacksonWhite Law will be invested in making the most of your day in court.

You’ll have the best chance of avoiding the maximum sentence and minimizing the impact of your speeding offense.

The criminal defense team can help you:

  • Reduce your penalties and fines
  • Reduce your charge to a civil speeding violation
  • Get your speeding offense completely dismissed

At JacksonWhite, we’re invested in protecting your driving rights. Save money, avoid your maximum sentence and get back on the road quickly with the experienced defense team.


Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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