This depends on many things, but the main one is the state where you are driving. In some states, if you exceed the speed limit by 20 miles per hour, you can be charged with reckless driving.
Different states have different maximum speed limits. Some states may not have a threshold of how many miles per hour you can exceed the speed limit to be considered reckless. They will just have a maximum speed limit and if you exceed that, then it is considered reckless driving.
The thing that matters here is one, two, three … or more miles that you were doing above the speed limit. Actually, the number of miles could mean incarceration or just a fine, or both.
When you could be booked for reckless driving
- Driving at any speed above 20 mph over the speed limit
- Exceeding the maximum speed limit in certain places, for example, Virginia
- Where you exceeded the speed limit – highway or local street
- The state where you are driving
- Driving fast in unfavorable conditions like populated areas
I was only 1 mile above the speed limit
In some areas, you may even be ticketed for driving two, or even one mile above the speed limit. You could go to jail in some states for driving at 20 miles per hour above the speed limit. In some states, reckless driving is a considered a class 1 Misdemeanor. It carries a jail term and in some states, it carries a fine.
Some jurisdictions will consider jail term for exceeding a certain speed limit. For example, in the state of Virginia, you are likely to be jailed for a term not exceeding 12 months if you exceed the speed of 100 mph. Still in Virginia, you are considered a reckless driver when you drive above 80 mph.
In the state of California, the laws can be a tad confusing. However, there are maximum fines and jail terms for reckless driving.
In the recent years though, the authorities have been tightening the speeding laws. It is always good to stay updated. Today, driving at a speed above the speed limit of as low as 20 mph will most likely get you a hefty fine. In some states today, driving anywhere above 25 mph above the speed limit is considered a felony.
High vs. low limits for reckless driving
Some states have higher limits for reckless driving. Going back to our case example of Virginia, driving above 85 mph is considered reckless driving. In the state of Illinois, the speed limit is a bit higher as driving above 26 mph above the speed limit is considered reckless driving. In the Illinois highways, the maximum speed you can drive at is 70 mph. Thus, if you are caught doing 96 mph, you will be considered a reckless driver.
In some states, it is entirely up to the arresting officer to determine whether the speed you were driving at is a misdemeanor or a case of reckless driving. This happens in states that lack maximum speed limits defined in law.
Why you should hire a criminal attorney
As you have seen in this short article, the traffic rules can be quite a quagmire. Thus, when you have been arrested for reckless driving, it is recommended to hire lawyers for speeding tickets. The attorney will know what to do to lessen the seriousness of the offences.
This does not mean that you will not pay for reckless driving. You will, but the attorney can also make sure that you avoid incarceration. You can find location specific lawyers online. Say for example, if you are from Los Angeles, traffic ticket attorney Los Angeles can represent you and handle the issue in the best possible way for you.