Traffic law

Is a Speeding Ticket a Misdemeanor?

Speeding tickets are far more common than you think. In many places, local governments raise more money on driving fines than they do with property taxes. For example, in Louisiana, this is true for 194 municipal governments. However, many offenders are more concerned with their record than a fine or higher insurance premium. For these people, they are asking if a speeding ticket a misdemeanor? Another common question is what class misdemeanor is a speeding ticket?

Read on for a breakdown of speeding tickets.

What Is a Misdemeanor Offense?

Before we dive into speeding tickets, it is important to define what a misdemeanor is legal. Any crime with a punishment of fewer than 12 months in jail is considered a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor offense does not always include jail time. Instead, the judge may sentence you to probation or community service. In many cases, a fine is levied against the guilty party. Many people want to know whether a misdemeanor shows up on your criminal record. Unfortunately, misdemeanors do stay on your public record for life. However, they are recognized as a lower offense than a felony.


Is a Speeding Ticket a Misdemeanor?

The number one question on a speeding offender’s mind is how severe the punishment is. The vast majority of speeding tickets are classified as an infraction. This means that a fine is assessed, but the offense does not show up on your permanent record. Nevertheless, there are some instances in which a speeding ticket is upgraded to a misdemeanor offense. For example, this scenario may unfold when a person is injured due to excessive speeding. Another example is if the property is damaged.

Drag racing is considered reckless and intentional by the courts. Those found guilty of drag racing may receive a misdemeanor charge instead of a simple infraction. The faster you were driving, the more likely a misdemeanor charge is. A class 3 misdemeanor is considered slightly above an infraction in terms of severity. A habitual traffic offender (HTO) driving 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit may get a class 3 misdemeanor.

The faster you are going increases the likelihood of the crime being considered a class 2 misdemeanor. This is especially true when coupled with other significant consequences like injury or property damage. The bottom line is that a prosecutor will consider many factors before pursuing a misdemeanor. They will check your criminal record and driving history. First-time offenders, for instance, are unlikely to see a misdemeanor charge. Also, the prosecutor has to make his case to the judge successfully. There are websites like that help you get an attorney to defend you in court.

A Recap of Speeding Ticket Classification

Nobody wants a criminal offense on their permanent record. You are likely asking yourself, is a speeding ticket a criminal offense?

It depends on the details, and an attorney could help you prevent receiving a misdemeanor charge. If you enjoyed this article asking if a misdemeanor speeding ticket, check out our law blog for more great content.

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