Can You Get Jail Time for Speeding?

Hey, what’s up? I’m attorney Derek Gray of McMinn, Logan & Gray – a criminal defense law firm located here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I get a lot of frequently asked questions during my consultations. That sparked the idea that I should create a video series for frequently asked questions. We’ll call it the FAQ series. And so, this week, I wanted to start with a question that I’ve gotten a number of times – no question is a dumb question when it comes to criminal law.

The question was – Can I go to jail for a speeding violation in Winston Salem, North Carolina?

Okay, and to answer that question, let’s start here. Let’s start with the actual law itself. So you want to look at North Carolina General Statute 20-141, and within that statute, you’ll see that everything 15 miles and under the speed limit (as far as the speeding citation is concerned) is an infraction. You can only be fined via an infraction. So you will have court costs and possibly a fine that the court will assess. However, anything 15 miles per hour over the speed limit is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which, if you have the worst possible record, you can get up to, I think, 20 days in jail and maybe a $200 fine.

If you’re in a commercial vehicle, it would be a Class 2 misdemeanor, which would be punishable by up to 60 days in jail. So it really depends. But the answer is yes, it is possible. But I will say this: it is highly unlikely. In my 14 years of practice, I’ve never seen anyone go to jail for a speeding ticket. Is it possible under the law? Technically, yes. I would advise you to go ahead and contact an attorney, someone that can help you navigate this process as far as getting points on your license and potentially impacting your ability to drive. But more than likely, you’re probably not looking at jail time. Unless you just get a judge that’s completely upset with you and looked up your record, and you have a horrible record for driving, but to answer your question, highly unlikely, but it is possible.

Author Bio

Derek M. Gray

Derek Gray is a Partner of McMinn, Logan & Gray, a North Carolina criminal defense law firm. With more than 15 years of experience in criminal defense, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including DUIs, misdemeanors, felonies, domestic violence, and other criminal charges.

Derek received his Juris Doctor from the North Carolina Central School of Law in 2007 and is a member of the North Carolina State Bar Association. With his experience as a former Assistant District Attorney, he has represented more than 1,000 criminal defense clients in North Carolina and received more than 100 5-star Google ratings.

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