Can You Get Arrested for Speeding in Utah?
Speeding laws in Utah are lenient compared to those in most other states. The reason for this is because Utah wants to reduce stress on its criminal justice system. However, there can still be serious consequences for speeding offenses in Utah. For example, having your license suspended or revoked for multiple traffic violations can make your life difficult. If you or a family member was charged with speeding in Utah, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City traffic ticket lawyer. Darwin Overson wants to help you fight traffic offenses that can have negative effects on your life and even your career. Overson Law, PLLC is here to explain whether you can get arrested for speeding in Utah.
Speeding Laws in Utah
Utah regulates speeding in a variety of situations. For example, speeding to an intersection or across railroad tracks may be a chargeable offense in Utah. There are other examples that Title 41 of Utah’s Motor Vehicles Traffic Code §41-6a-601 specifically identifies as dangerous when speeding:
- “[A]pproaching and going around a curve”
- “[A]pproaching a hill crest”
- “[T]raveling upon any narrow or winding roadway”
Utah, like other states, also lists lawful speed limits depending on the area you are driving through. Utah law dictates that drivers adhere to the following speed limits:
- 20 miles per hour in a “reduced speed school zone”
- 25 miles per hour in “any urban district”
- 55 miles per hour everywhere else
Utah identifies a “reduced speed school zone” as any roadway near a school that has flashing lights and a posted, reduced speed limit warning stating that the area is a school zone. Violating the speed limit in a school zone may result in stiffer penalties than offenses not involving a school zone. Additionally, every county or municipality in Utah has the power to adjust speed restrictions for their roads.
Using a motor vehicle to compete in a race on Utah roads is also an offense that will trigger increased penalties for speeding. To know more about speeding laws in Utah, you should consider speaking with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer.
Speeding Violations That Will Get You Arrested in Utah
Speeding usually does not end in arrest in Utah. However, certain violations may get you arrested and charged with offenses carrying possible jail terms. For example, driving faster than 20 miles per hour in a reduced speed school zone is a class C misdemeanor. In Utah, class C misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail.
You can also be fined for speeding in a school zone. The fines increase depending on the rate of speed you were traveling:
- Drivers traveling 21-29 mph may receive a $50 fine
- You can receive a $125 fine for driving 30-39 mph
- Speeds 40 mph or more also carry a $125 fine
Repeated school zone offenses will increase the potential fine.
“Speed contests” or “exhibitions” on Utah’s highways is a class B misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Racing on Utah’s streets may also result in a 60-day driver’s license suspension for a first offense. If you have another racing violation within three years, your license may be suspended for up to 90 days. Other crimes like driving under the influence while racing may ensure you are arrested.
Aside from these offenses, Utah normally charges speeding as an infraction. Utah operates on a demerit point system for driving violations. The demerit points you receive depends on how high you were over the speed limit:
- You can receive 35 demerit points for traveling 1-10 mph over the posted speed limit
- Being 11-20 mph over the speed limit may mean 55 demerits points on your driving record
- If you are 21 mph over the speed limit (or more), you will receive 75 demerit points
If you are over the age of 21 and accrue 200 or more points in three years, your license may be suspended for three months to a year. The threshold for license suspension is lower for drivers under the age of 21. If you are younger than 21 and accrue 70 demerit points in three years, your license may be suspended from one month up to a year.
When you are issued a traffic ticket, police will not commonly arrest you. However, the US Supreme Court has said that police can arrest you for minor offenses, even for traffic offenses. Talk to an attorney if you feel you were illegally arrested or had your rights violated during a traffic stop.
There are options you may have for clearing your record of these driving offenses. To learn more about these options and speeding offenses you should contact an experienced traffic lawyer.
Our Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You Fight a Speeding Offense
If you or a family member was arrested for speeding in Utah, you should consult with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney today. Overson Law, PLLC can help you reclaim a suspended license and fight speeding violations. To schedule your free consultation with Darwin Overson, call us at (801) 733-1308 or reach us online.