A speeding ticket in Rhode Island can be a very common thing that happens to many people. However, even though speeding tickets can be common, they can have long lasting and devastating consequences. You can find yourself with a license suspension (especially if you get multiple speeding tickets), having to do driver retraining classes, and paying hefty fines and costs. There are collateral consequences to a license suspension that can bring a hardship to your job and family.
You can be represented by a lawyer when you receive a speeding ticket. Attorney David Ellison is an experienced Rhode Island traffic offense lawyer, who has represented many clients throughout the State of Rhode Island on speeding tickets.
Can a Judge Suspend Your License for a Speeding Ticket?
A judge can suspend your license for a speeding ticket in Rhode Island. Rhode Island law gives Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal Magistrates wide discretion regarding the punishment of drivers who have violated speeding laws in Rhode Island. Under Rhode Island General Laws 31-41.1-6(c), "A judge or Magistrate may include in the order the imposition of any penalty authorized by any provisions of this title for the violation, including, but not limited to, license suspension..."
In Philip Dey v. State of Rhode Island, A.A. No. 14-124, 6 (2015), the Rhode Island Sixth District Court upheld a punishment of a four-hour driver re-training course, a three (3) month license suspension, and a fine totaling $95 with an additional $35 in court costs. In that case, the defendant was charged with traveling forty (40) miles per hour within a thirty five (35) mile per hour zone and had been convicted of speeding tickets in the past. The motorist appealed but was unsuccessful because the District Court found that the punishment was just and within the Magistrates' discretion. The court reasoned that Magistrates have the power and discretion to suspend a person's license and/or issue driver retraining if that person has violated any provisions of Title 31 based on Rhode Island General Laws 31-41.1-6(c).
What are the Statutory Fines for Speeding in Rhode Island?
The penalties for speeding in Rhode Island, can be found in Rhode Island General Laws § 31-41.1-4.
Speeding 1-10 mph over the speed limit: $95 fine
Speeding 11+ mph over the speed limit: an additional fine of $10 per every mile over, minimum $205 fine.
Speeding 1-10 mph over the speed limit: $10 per mile for each mile in excess of the speed limit.
Speeding 11+ mph over the speed limit: $15 per every mile over, if within twelve (12) months of the first offense
Speeding 1-10 mph over the speed limit: $15 per mile for each mile in excess of the speed limit and a potential 30 day license suspension.
Speeding 11+ mph over the speed limit: $20 per mile for each mile in excess of the speed limit and a potential 60 day license suspension.
If you receive a fourth offense of speeding within 18 months, you are facing potential Colin Foote penalties, which include the following:
up to 2 year license revocation
up to 1 year license suspension
up to $1,000 in fines
60 hours of community service
60 hours of a driver retraining course.
Can You Use Your Good Driving Record for Speeding?
Under Rhode Island General Laws § 31.41.1-7, you can request a dismissal based on having a good driving record. In order to be eligible, you can not have any violations in the prior three (3) years. You must appear at your hearing or have a lawyer appear on your behalf. You will have to pay $60 in costs to the court (thirty-five dollar ($35.00) administrative fee for court costs associated with the dismissal and twenty-five dollar ($25.00) surcharge on all dismissals based upon a good driving record to be deposited into the Rhode Island highway maintenance account).
Note: You cannot use the good driving record statute for any speeding violation in excess of 14 m.p.h. above the posted speed limit.
What are Some Laws Related to Speeding in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island Reasonable and Prudent Speeds
§ 31-14-1 Reasonable and prudent speeds. –
No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care. Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4.
Rhode Island Speeding Prima Facie Limits
§ 31-14-2 Prima facie limits. –
(a) Where no special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with § 31-14-1, the speed of any vehicle not in excess of the limits specified in this section or established as authorized in this title shall be lawful, but any speed in excess of the limits specified in this section or established as authorized in this title shall be prima facie evidence that the speed is not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful:
(1) Twenty-five miles per hour (25 mph) in any business or residence district;
(2) Fifty miles per hour (50 mph) in other locations during the daytime;
(3) Forty-five miles per hour (45 mph) in such other locations during the nighttime;
(4) Twenty miles per hour (20 mph) in the area within three hundred feet (300') of any school house grounds' entrances and exits during the daytime during the days when schools shall be open.
(5) The provisions of subdivision (4) of this subsection shall not apply except when appropriate warning signs are posted in proximity with the boundaries of the area within three hundred feet (300') of the school house grounds, entrances, and exits.
(b) Daytime means from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset. Nighttime means at any other hour.
(c) The prima facie speed limits set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in §§ 31-14-4 – 31-14-8.
Rhode Island Minimum Speeds:
§ 31-14-9. Minimum speed.
(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
(b) Police officers are authorized to enforce this provision by directions to drivers, and in the event of apparent willful disobedience to this provision and refusal to comply with direction of an officer in accordance with this section, the continued slow operation by a driver shall be a civil violation and is subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4.
If you are charged with a speeding violation, do not hesitate to contact Rhode Island Driving without Insurance Lawyer David Ellison today at 401-230-5520.