A conviction for certain moving violations can add points to your license. At eight points or higher, you may face repercussions from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department. The Arizona Point System of offenses includes criminal speeding as a 3-point offense.
The full range of point offenses includes:
- 0 points. Dismissal of charges
- 0 points. Non-moving violations
- 2 points. All other moving violations not listed below
- 3 points. Civil or criminal speeding
- 3 points. Driving over or parking in a gore area near a traffic ramp
- 4 points. Failure to stop or yield, causing serious injury
- 6 points. Leaving the scene of an accident
- 6 points. Failure to stop or yield, causing death
- 8 points. Aggressive or reckless driving
- 8 points. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Accumulating eight or more points in 12 months requires attendance at Traffic Survival School (TSS) in addition to any sentences handed down by the court in any criminal moving violation case.
While a single conviction of criminal speeding in Arizona will only add three points to your license, habitual speeding and convictions can put you over the eight-point limit before requiring traffic school. In addition, you must also serve the mandatory minimums for a criminal speeding conviction.
Have an Experienced Attorney Represent You in Court for Your Criminal Speeding Charge
Many people don’t consider excessive speed to require an attorney to defend them. They don’t realize that criminal speeding in Arizona goes through criminal court, just like assault, burglary, or domestic violence.
If you’re facing charges for excessive speeding in Arizona, you have three options:
- Plead guilty during the arraignment.
- Don’t hire an attorney, and represent yourself instead.
- Hire an experienced criminal attorney to help build a defense against the prosecutor’s position.
If you plead guilty, your record will include a criminal conviction, which is non-expungable in Arizona. You will also receive three points on your license.
If you plead not guilty, the court will assign a prosecutor to your case to represent the officer who wrote your excessive speeding ticket. Their only goal is to obtain a conviction. As such, it’s not wise to attempt to defend yourself without an experienced attorney.
Court Procedures for an Excessive Speeding Ticket
Criminal court procedures differ from civil court procedures. If you miss a court date, you may receive additional charges for contempt of court.
Look at your ticket to find which court you or your attorney needs to report to—and when—for your arraignment. The arraignment is the date when you will enter your plea with the court. You also need to learn your rights in the case and the maximum penalties for a conviction of criminal speeding in Arizona.
After entering a plea of not guilty, your attorney and the prosecution will enter initial discovery, where both parties gather information about the details of the case. Your attorney and the prosecution will both gather and exchange case-specific information such as:
- Certifications and licensing records
- Dash cam and body cam footage
- GPS tracking data
- Traffic pattern research
- Radar gun maintenance logs
- The ticketing officer’s disciplinary history
Discovery occurs throughout the pre-trial conferences and court dates as new information comes to light.
Pre-trial conferences are informal meetings between the defense and the prosecutor to discuss evidence, issues with disclosures or discovery requests, and mitigating factors of the case.
During discovery and pre-trial conferences, the state must supply evidence to meet the burden of proof to support a conviction. The prosecution often does not have substantial evidence, allowing your defense attorney to file for dismissal, reduced charges, or reduced sentencing.
Case Resolution for Excessive Speed
Case resolutions come in many forms. Your case resolution depends on the judge, the exhibition of speed above the posted speed limit, the ticketing officer, and additional special circumstances in your case. Some common resolutions include:
- Not-guilty verdicts
- Pre-trial dismissals
- Dismissals with LifeSkills, Traffic Survival School, or Wise Choice Alternatives
- Reduction from criminal offense to civil offense, deferred prosecution, or non-moving violation
- Reduction of sentencing to community service