How Much Is A Speeding Ticket In California?

How Much Is A Speeding Ticket In California

Updated June 21, 2024

It only takes seconds for your daily drive to turn into something expensive and inconvenient. To clarify, you could briefly lose track of how fast you're going and get pulled over by law enforcement for speeding. Breaking California traffic laws can be expensive, and it's important to understand what to expect if you receive one.

This will help you mentally prepare for the outcome and determine if you need help from a legal professional. Let's explore how much you can expect to pay for a speeding ticket in California and the factors that influence this amount.

How Fast You Were Going

This is one of the most influential factors regarding how much you'll pay for your speeding ticket. The faster you were going, the greater your financial penalty.

There are various legislative codes related to how fast you were driving at the time you were pulled over. These include:

  • VC 22349(a): exceeding the speed limit
  • VC 22350: unsafe speed
  • VC 22356(b): exceeding 70 mph speed limit
  • VC 22348(b): exceeding 100 mph

The officer may decide in some cases to charge you with reckless driving if your speed far exceeds the speed limit. This comes with many additional penalties, such as jail time, expensive fines, and license suspension.

School Zones/Pedestrian Zones

If you were caught speeding in pedestrian or school zones, there's a chance your penalty will be substantially higher than normal. More often than not, speeding fines are doubled in these areas. This can easily make a speeding ticket far more impactful.


If you're pulled over for speeding while you're racing, your penalties will be much more severe. Scenarios like these are known as "exhibitions of speed," which involve driving dangerously to impress others. It's up to the prosecution to prove you were racing, as getting pulled over for speeding isn't enough on its own.

Speeding Under Adverse Conditions

Adverse conditions make speeding far more dangerous than it would otherwise be. Some of the most common include poor visibility, inclement weather, or heavy traffic. Those who speed in these scenarios are far more likely to get in an accident or cause someone else to get in one.

It's worth noting you can sometimes get pulled over for speeding in adverse conditions even if you're going the speed limit. For example, let's assume you're driving through a 45 mph zone on a wet road with heavy fog present. Failure to adjust your speed in these conditions can make you a hazard to others.

How Much Is a Speeding Ticket in California?

There's no universal answer to this question. Depending on the factors mentioned above, your ticket could be anywhere from around $200 to over $500. If your charge includes reckless driving, you can expect to pay even more.

Reducing the Cost of Your Ticket

While dealing with California traffic tickets can be expensive, there are steps you can take to reduce speeding ticket costs. This can help you save a substantial amount of money in some cases. Let's explore key strategies below.

Attend Traffic School

By attending traffic school, you'll showcase that you're making an effort to improve your future driving behavior. This can allow you to avoid getting points on your license, a scenario that could easily raise your insurance premiums.

Keep in mind you'll need to choose an accredited provider to satisfy your driving school requirements. It's also possible to attend school online, giving you plenty of flexibility.

Contest the Ticket

If you have evidence that you were wrongfully accused, you can contest the ticket in court. However, this option isn't recommended unless you can compellingly present your information.

You'll also need to argue your case effectively to get the results you desire. In most situations, contesting your ticket on your own will be a waste of time. Working with an attorney can streamline this process.

Negotiate with the Prosecutor

Hiring a lawyer can allow you to negotiate with the prosecutor and reduce the total amount you pay. It's essential to be as respectful as possible and show genuine remorse for your actions. This goes a long way toward helping you get your penalty reduced.

Finding an Attorney

One of the most important attributes to consider when looking for an attorney is their reputation. There should be no shortage of positive feedback from previous clients. A quick Google search can likely tell you everything you need to know.

Keep an eye out for how the firm handles criticism, as well. If they blame their clients for issues that occur, this is a sign you should look elsewhere.

Consider their pricing structure before moving forward. Some attorneys charge by the hour, while others charge flat rates. It's never recommended to choose the cheapest options you find during your search.

These are typically underpriced for a reason, and you'll likely encounter major issues when hiring them. An attorney in the middle of the industry's price range can often meet your needs without stretching your budget. How communicative is your attorney?

Getting left in the dark while your case is ongoing can be difficult to deal with. Not only should they be easy to get in touch with, but they should also have no trouble handling your concerns. Keep in mind that your lawyer might charge extra for contacting them outside conventional business hours.

The last thing you want is to encounter financial surprises. As you might expect, it's best to find an attorney who specializes in this area of law. Someone with at least a decade of experience is a solid option.

Take Action ASAP

If you need to take legal action against your speeding ticket in California, it's imperative to do so as soon as possible. This will provide the best chance of getting the results you need. The information in this guide will help ensure you navigate your situation appropriately.

F Your Ticket is Southern California's premier ticket defense law firm. We help our clients handle tickets related to speeding, reckless driving, DUI, exhibition of speed, and more. You'll learn more about the many ways we can help when you book a consultation today.