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the Georgia $peedingTICKETKILLER 

Why i$ My FINE so High page

 

We will attempt to explain on this page how speeding ticket fines are calculated in the state of Georgia and why your fine may be so high.

First Time Offenders

Georgia has a “first time offender” statute for determining speeding ticket base fines. These are however only base fines and ONLY apply, let us repeat, and ONLY apply to first time speeders. If you have never before been convicted of a speeding crime in the state of Georgia, a violation of OCGA 40-6-181, then you will qualify for first time offender status and the following base fines would apply.

40-6-1.

(b) Unless a different maximum fine or greater minimum fine is specifically provided in this chapter for a particular violation, the maximum fine which may be imposed as punishment for a first offense of violating any lawful speed limit established by or pursuant to the provisions of Article 9 of this chapter by exceeding a maximum lawful speed limit:


(1) By five miles per hour or less shall be no dollars;
(2) By more than five but not more than ten miles per hour shall not exceed $25.00;
(3) By more than ten but not more than 14 miles per hour shall not exceed $100.00;
(4) By more than 14 but less than 19 miles per hour shall not exceed $125.00;
(5) By 19 or more but less than 24 miles per hour shall not exceed $150.00; or
(6) By 24 or more but less than 34 miles per hour shall not exceed $500.00.

So, if you have never been convicted of violating OCGA 40-6-181 and are charged with doing 45 in a 30 MPH zone, you base fine would be $125.00 as provided in section (4) above as an example.

But guess what? $125.00 dollars is NOT the amount you will be paying. You will notice that we highlight the word base fine in red, because that’s all these fines are, the base fine. In addition to the base fine, Georgia law allows and mandates the collections of certain “junk fees” in addition to the base fine.

Georgia refers to these junk fees as state mandated surcharges, but they really are nothing more than another form of a “tax”. This additional tax will cost you on average an additional 35-60% tacked on to your base fine.

So for a speeding charge of 15 MPH over the limit; expect to pay as much as $200.00. For a complete breakdown on how these junk fees are determined and are allowed by Georgia law, and where the money is actually going to, be sure to visit our Revenue Enhancement Tax Exposed page.
 

Previous Offenders

Here is why fines vary so much from court to court across Georgia. If you have been previously convicted of speeding in Georgia, going back as many years as they court wishes to check, you do NOT qualify for first offender status and therefore the court can charge you up to the maximum penalty of a misdemeanor, all the way to $1000 dollars, plus junk fees added, and its purely in the courts discretion. This is why one court can or may charge so much more than another. You may hear a friend or family member state such a court only fined them so much and then wonder why a different court is charging you such a higher fine. It’s purely up to the discretion of the court and the courts across the state of Georgia use no set base fines for repeat offenders and the fines vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As long as the court is not charging you more than $1000.00 dollars plus junk fee’s added, they are operating within the limits of the law, even if other courts charge considerably less.

Now it is true, some courts apply the first offender base fines to all defendants in their courts no matter if they are first, second, or third time offenders. Purely up to the discretion of the court. Most courts will have a copy of your driving record handy, will notice you have had a previous speeding ticket, and will nail it to you.
 

Speeding in EXCESS of 33 MPH

Whether you are a first time offender or not, and are convicted of doing in excess of 33 MPH over the limit, say you are charge with doing 85 in a 50, then the base fines listed in 40-6-1 above do NOT even apply. The court is now legally authorized to charge you up to the maximum of a misdemeanor, all the way up to $1000 dollars plus junk fees added.
 

Speeding in Work Zones   OCGA 40-6-188

Not all construction zones are “Work Zones” as defined by Georgia law. It is not within the scope of this webpage to explain the technicalities of Work Zones. That information is contained in detail on our CD along with photographs.

If you are charged with speeding in a properly signed Work Zone it will state the code section 40-6-188 on your ticket, and that fine can be as high as $2000.00 plus junk fees added. In 2003 the Georgia Legislature designated Work Zone violations as being a misdemeanor of a High and Aggravated nature. Expect all Work Zone fines to be DOUBLED for first time offenders. If you are convicted of speeding in a properly designated Work Zone as in our example above, 45 in a 30, expect your $125 dollar fine to be doubled to $250 dollars plus junk fees added. If you are NOT a first time offender, expect your fine to be anywhere from $100-$2000.00 dollars plus junk fees added.
 

Summary

·         Base fines as allowed in Georgia code 40-6-1 only apply to first time offenders. Expect 35-60% junk fees to be added to these base fines.

·         Some courts apply first time offender fines to all defendants regardless of previous driving history. Purely up to the discretion of the court.

·         Base fines for speeds of 34 MPH or greater are not currently addressed by Georgia law. Therefore the courts can charge you up to the maximum of a misdemeanor, up to $1000.000 plus junk fees added. Purely up to the discretion of that particular court.

·         Speeding convictions in properly signed Work Zones can and most likely will be doubled for all first time offenders, plus junk fees added.

·         Speeding convictions fines in properly signed Work Zones can be as high as $2000.00 dollars plus junk fees added. The amount of your fine is solely up to the discretion of that particular court up to the maximum of $2000.000.

This is why speeding ticket fines vary so greatly from court to court across Georgia and why you may have a friend or family member tell you that his fine was much less than yours and having you wonder why.

 

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