Connecticut traffic laws have two similar but distinctly different speed-related laws on the books: “speeding” and “traveling unreasonably fast.” The two charges are related, but the differences between them have a profound impact on what penalties you could face for being found guilty. Let’s take a closer look at these two charges and learn more about this key difference.
The Law According to C.G.S. § 14-219
Connecticut General Statutes § 14-219 is what defines these two charges and does so based on two factors: how fast you were actually going, and how much you were exceeding the speed limit. “Traveling unreasonably fast” is the lesser of these two charges and involves drivers who exceed the speed limit by up to 20 miles per hour. As you might suspect, this means the vast majority of speed-related infractions are actually “traveling unreasonably fast” charges. That being said, don’t let that fool you into thinking one of these tickets isn’t something to worry about: a guilty plea or a conviction could result in hundreds of dollars in fines and court fees, plus an increase in your car insurance premiums.
“Speeding” refers to any driver who travels more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit while still doing less than 85 miles per hour. These penalties are much more serious than a traveling unreasonably fast citation: the fines are larger, the fees are steeper, and the impact to your driving record is much heavier. Speeding could add up to five points to your driver’s record, which places you halfway toward a 30-day driver’s license suspension!
Why does speeding not include speed violations above 85 miles per hour? The answer to that is simple: 85 is a hard speed limit for the entire state, and any driver who exceeds this limit could be charged with reckless driving, arguably the most serious speed-related charge of them all. In fact, it goes beyond simply being considered a traffic offense and is instead considered to be a Class D misdemeanor for a first offense, which could land you up to 30 days in jail, up to $300 in fines, and a 30 to 90 day driver’s license suspension.
If you have been charged with a speed-related violation, including speeding or driving unreasonably fast, you need to speak with a Connecticut traffic ticket attorney as soon as possible to start fighting back. Call The Sills Law Firm today at (860) 524-8118 and set up a free consultation.