My FINE so High
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.
Georgia has a “first
time offender” statute for determining speeding ticket
fines. These are however only
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
base fines would
(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
fine in red, because that’s all these fines are, the
fine. In addition to the
fine, Georgia law allows and mandates the collections of certain
“junk fees” in addition to the
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
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.
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
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
Now it is true, some
courts apply the first offender
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
fines as allowed in Georgia code 40-6-1 only apply to
offenders. Expect 35-60% junk fees to be added to these
courts apply first time offender fines to all defendants regardless
of previous driving history. Purely up to the discretion of the
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.
convictions in properly signed Work Zones can and most likely
will be doubled for all first time offenders, plus junk fees
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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