According to California (CA) Vehicle Code 22348(a), if a person operatives a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than 100 miles per hour (MPH), that person is guilty of an infraction. That infraction carries punishments that can increase if the driver has prior speeding infractions or committed other related crimes while speeding.
If you have been charged with driving over 100 (MPH) on a California highway, it is in your best interest to secure legal representation right away to minimize the extent of your penalties.
What Happens When You Commit an Infraction
An infraction is a petty offense. A person who commits an infraction violates a regulation or ordinance, or in the case of CA Vehicle Code 22348, a state traffic rule.
Incarceration is not a penalty for an infraction. Those convicted are usually fined up to $250, though certain traffic infractions, such as driving over 100mph on a highway can bring higher penalties.
Some infractions fall into the “wobbler” category, meaning the person can be charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Speeding in one such “wobbler” infraction, making it even more essential for you to be defended by a skilled attorney.
Penalties for Driving Over 100 MPH on a Highway in California
California Law requires specific penalties for violations of Vehicle Code 22348.
- First-time offenders receive a base fine of $500 and license suspension for up to 30 days.
- Those who offend a second time, within three years of the first infraction, receive a base fine of $750 and may face a 6-month license suspension.
- Those who commit a third infraction within five years receive a base fine of $1,000 and may lose their license for one year.
Offenders also receive two points on their license or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record.
Points often lead to an increase in driver’s insurance rates. Additionally, accumulating points within certain timeframes can also lead to a negligent operator license suspension, and you may lose driving privileges for a year.
Mandatory Court Appearance
Violations of Vehicle Code 22348(a) also bring a mandatory court appearance. Drivers must appear before a judge or can hire a lawyer to represent them. Since prosecutors generally offer better deals to defendants with legal representation and experienced defense lawyers can work to have your charges reduced or dismissed, it is in your best interest to seek representation by a lawyer.
If you or your legal representative fails to appear in court on your assigned date, you can be charged with a misdemeanor of “failure to appear.”
For some traffic infractions, drivers can attend traffic school to avoid adding points to their licenses. Traffic school is not an option for infractions of vehicle code 22348(a) or any incident in which violaters drive 25mph or more above the speed limit.
How Your Infraction Can Become a Misdemeanor
If you commit other related traffic violations along with your infraction of code 22348(a), you may be charged with criminal offenses, leading to increased penalties that include possible jail time.
Under California Vehicle Code 23101, “A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” The punishments for reckless drivers depend on a variety of factors, including:
- Whether the driver was under the influence
- Persons other than the driver were injured
- Whether the driver is a repeat offender
If only the driver is injured, the charge for reckless driving is a misdemeanor, bringing five to ninety days in jail and/or a fine ranging from $145-$1000 and two points on the driver’s license. If others are injured and/or the driver was under the influence, penalties increase significantly.
Speed Contest/Exhibition of Speed
California Vehicle Code 23109 makes it a crime for drivers to intentionally engage in a speeding contest against other drivers or timing devices.
If no one is injured in the contest, drivers are charged with misdemeanors which can include jail time, fines, community service, and/or license suspension for up to six months. If injuries or property damage result, they will bring additional charges and penalties.
Why You Need a Los Angeles Traffic Lawyer
If you are charged with a violation of Code 22348(a), your lawyer can challenge the charge in court. For example, your lawyer may argue you were speeding because of an emergency or may challenge the way the officer determined you were speeding.
If you face additional charges along with your infraction and may receive a misdemeanor or more serious penalties, a lawyer will know how to defend you. If you are charged with reckless driving, the prosecution must show you were aware your actions could cause serious harm and that you willfully ignored that risk.
Speed alone does not prove recklessness. Your lawyer will work to prove the prosecution’s evidence does not meet the criteria for conviction. If you are charged with engaging in a speed contest, your lawyer will investigate the situation carefully and may argue there is insufficient evidence to prove your willful speeding or that you did not intentionally engage in the speed contest.
Whatever the situation, your lawyer will seek to reduce your charges and the associated penalties. Your lawyer’s expertise can result in
- Dismissal of charges
- Reduced Charges
- No point penalties, and no subsequent increase in insurance rates
- Reduced fines
- No, or reduced, jail time
- No, or reduced, license suspension time
Contact a Los Angeles Traffic Lawyer Right Away
Anytime you face traffic-related charges, it is in your best interest to secure knowledgeable, experienced legal representation. It is not uncommon for a singular infraction to lead to more serious charges and consequences. Attempting to navigate the legal system on your own can lead to unintentional errors, causing bigger problems as well as missed opportunities to reduce your punishment.
If you have been charged with a violation of California Vehicle Code 22348(a), visit a Los Ángeles DUI Attorney today for help with securing expert legal counsel.