Delaware Speeding Ticket

When caught speeding in Delaware, you have two options: Voluntarily pay the fee or fight the ticket in court.
Written by Max Werner
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
In Delaware, your options for dealing with a speeding ticket are pretty limited. You can either pay the fine upfront or fight the charges in court.
Each state has different laws regarding speeding, but most will result in hefty fines and points added to your license. When faced with a ticket, drivers may plead not guilty in the hopes of battling their case in court—but whether this option is right for you depends on the severity of your ticket.
To get you comfortable with your options, we've put together a complete guide on speeding in tickets in Delaware. Here we’ll cover everything from how to pay fines to the consequences of missing a court date. 

What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Delaware? 

When pulled over for speeding, an officer will ask for two things: your license and vehicle registration. After checking your record, the officer will give you a ticket along with a voluntary assessment—which allows you to pay fines without needing a court appearance.
For more severe violations, you could be handed a “notice to appear,” a document that mandates a court appearance. First-time offenders may be given a warning instead of a ticket.
You’ll have to sign whichever document you receive, but know that your signature is not an admittance of guilt—you can still plead not guilty after signing.

What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Delaware? 

Delaware will charge you a $20 fine for going less than 5 mph over the speed limit if it’s your first offense and $25 for subsequent offenses. Penalties increase based on driving history and speed.
Fees are applied to the baseline ($20 for first offenders). For example, if you're caught going 71 mph in a 55 zone—for first offenders—you’ll have to pay a $20 fine and an additional $2 for each mile over the speed limit. This means your total fine would come out to $52, which should be listed on your ticket.
In addition to fees, Delaware also applies surcharges to your ticket—which will typically raise your total by $100 to $200. The conditions for surcharges are as follows:
  • Court costs: $20 for voluntarily paying the fine, $35 for taking the case to court
  • Victim Compensation Fund: 18% of base fine or $10
  • DELJIS Fund: $1
  • Videophone Fund: $1
  • Court Security Fund: $10
  • Transportation Trust Fund: Half of the base fine
  • Fund to Combat Violent Crime: $15
  • Ambulance Fund: $10
  • Seat belt assessment: 40% of base fine if ticketed while not wearing a seatbelt ($20 limit)
Severe violations will result in maximum fines—and suspensions. Here are the suspensions associated with severe violations:
  • 25 mph over the limit: One-month suspension
  • 30 mph or more: One-month suspension, an additional month for each 5 mph above the limit
  • 50 mph or more: One-year suspension
  • Driving 100 mph on the highway: One-year suspension
Those ticketed for speeding 25 mph over the limit can take an optional defensive driving class in place of a month-long suspension.
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Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Connecticut

When faced with a speeding ticket in Delaware, drivers can either voluntarily pay the fee or fight the case in court. For those paying the fee upfront, points are added to their license once the payment is processed. 
In Delaware, points can have profound effects, such as raising your insurance rate or suspending your license. A defensive driving course can earn drivers a 3 point credit—but this credit can only be applied to future violations (not pre-existing tickets).
No matter what option you choose, make sure to act before your notice is due. Waiting can result in steep fines, legal penalties, or both.

How to pay a speeding ticket in Delaware

Delaware has plenty of options for paying speeding tickets. Residents may choose to pay by mail, phone, fax online, or in person
To pay by mail, submit payment to the Voluntary Assessment Center—along with a copy of the ticket. To pay online, visit the Delaware ePayment
and enter the correct information.
Those faxing the payment should call 302-739-6911 to confirm the receipt—or risk payment not going through. In-person payments can be completed at the nearest
Justice of the Peace Court
By paying voluntarily, you are pleading guilty to the offense. Points will be added to your license after payment is processed. Note that this option is only available for those with a voluntary assessment document—otherwise, a court date is required.

How to fight a speeding ticket in Delaware 

There are many reasons you may want to fight a speeding charge—avoiding points, fines, or admitting guilt. Those who plead not guilty will have to settle their charges in court. 

Plead not guilty in court

With an experienced traffic attorney and a decent case, fighting a ticket in court is a good option for those looking to avoid the implications on their record. This method could result in similar fines or having your case overturned—but the right legal advice can be expensive.
A case can also be dismissed if the original officer cannot make the court date—usually set a few months after receiving the ticket.

Probation before judgment

When in court, you may ask a judge for probation without judgment—resulting in probation without any marks on your record. This probation could last up to six months or be completed whenever you pay the fine but is ultimately up to the judge’s discretion.
Probation without judgment is only applicable for those who have never been found guilty of the infraction before, and it can be used once every five years (for different violations).

What happens if you don’t pay or fight your ticket?

Harsh penalties await those who fail to act on a ticket within 30 days. Penalties include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Increased fines
  • Suspension of drivers license 
  • Issuance of an arrest warrant
If you can’t afford to pay for a ticket, contact the Voluntary Assessment Center as soon as possible. While you cannot partially pay a fine, this center may be able to work with you to find an extension.

Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance? 

Delaware residents can expect a 22% increase in their monthly premiums after receiving a  speeding violation. This increase can be harsher for more severe infractions—but differs based on provider and driving history.
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The state of Delaware will likely revoke your license if you don’t pay a speeding ticket within 30 days. Worse, failure to pay on time can result in an arrest warrant depending on your county.
Deciding whether to pay or fight a speeding ticket is purely situational. Once you pay a speeding ticket, permanent points are added to your license. If you think you have a fair chance of revoking a ticket, you should consider fighting the charge—but only if you’re comfortable with the legal (and financial) implications of a guilty verdict.
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