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- What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Hawaii?
- What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Hawaii?
- Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Hawaii
- How to fight a speeding ticket in Hawaii
- Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance?
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If you receive a speeding ticket—or moving violation—in Hawaii, you can either admit the conviction and pay, deny and submit a written statement, deny and request a court hearing, or admit but explain the mitigating circumstances in writing or at court.
Penalties range from minor fines to possible jail time depending on the type of infraction and how much the driver was speeding. While Hawaii does not use a point system to monitor violations, accumulating too many violations on your motor vehicle record (MVR) can result in license suspension.
Every state manages speeding tickets differently—it’s important to look into the specific rules and options in the state you’re driving in before you try fighting one.
Whether you’re a Hawaii resident or an out-of-state visitor, car insurance super app Jerry is here to break down how a moving violation might affect you in the Aloha state.
What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Hawaii?
If you get pulled over for speeding in Hawaii, the officer will ask to see your license and registration. While they can let you off with a warning, chances are more likely they will write you a ticket.
The ticket will include your specific violation and the fine. You will need to sign the back of the ticket to confirm you will either request a court trial or pay the fine within 21 days of the citation date.
Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt—you can still fight your ticket in court or in writing if you choose to do so.
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What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Hawaii?
First-time speeding violations in Hawaii will see maximum fines of $200 with a $10 surcharge if the limit was exceeded by more than 10 mph.
You also will receive a surcharge of $100 for speeding in a construction zone and a surcharge of $125 for speeding in a school zone.
Hawaii punishes excessive speeding as a separate misdemeanor with greater fines, license suspension, community service requirements, or possible jail time. This applies to anyone caught driving more than 80 mph or speeding at least 35 mph over the posted limit.
Generally, the more violations you receive within a certain time, the greater your fines will become in Hawaii. Here are some estimated maximum fines and penalties for speeding and excessive speeding:
|Ticket||Occurrences||Fine or penalty|
|Speeding||Second violation within a year||$300|
|Speeding||Third violation within a year||$500|
|Excessive speeding||First offense within five years||$500 - $1,000, license suspension for up to a month, 36 hours of community service, or 48 hours to five days in jail|
|Excessive speeding||Second offense within five years||$750 - $1,000, mandatory license suspension for a month, 120+ hours of community service, or five to 14 days in jail|
|Excessive speeding||Third offense within five years||$1,000, license revocation for 90 days to a year, and ten to 30 days in jail|
Drivers convicted of excessive speeding must also take a driving retraining course and complete an assessment for driver education.
Key Takeaway: Fines for speeding tickets in Hawaii will depend on the number of violations you’ve received within the last year. If you’re caught driving more than 80 mph or 35 mph over the limit, you will receive an excessive speeding ticket—your fines will depend on the number of offenses within the last five years.
Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Hawaii
If you receive a moving violation in Hawaii, you have a few options to handle it.
- Pay the fine—admitting your guilt
- Deny your guilt by sending a written statement to the court
- Deny your guilt by requesting a court hearing
- Admit your guilt, but explain the mitigating circumstances to lessen the penalty
No matter what option you choose, you will need to take action within 21 days of the citation issue date. Citations that have not been paid or answered within this time may receive a default guilty judgment by the court—you’ll have 90 to 180 days to pay the assigned penalty in this case.
If the fine is still not paid after this period, it will be sent to a collection agency, which can significantly hurt your credit score.
How to pay a speeding ticket in Hawaii
The easiest way to handle a speeding ticket is to pay the fine, thus admitting to the infraction and incurring the penalty.
In Hawaii, you can choose to do the following:
- Pay by mail
- Most citations include a pre-addressed envelope that you can use to mail in payment—you’ll want to include a copy of your citation
- Pay in person
- Deliver payment to the nearest district court to you
- Pay by phone
- Call (800) 679-5949—you’ll need your citation number, license plate number, and a VISA or Mastercard on hand
- Pay online
- Use the online portal at Hawaii’s State Judiciary website
Traffic citations in Hawaii are filed with the state court—so checks and money orders can be made payable to “DISTRICT COURT.”
Note that some citations may require that you appear in court—check your citation closely to ensure that payment is an option for you.
How to fight a speeding ticket in Hawaii
If you don’t have the money, believe you were wrongly accused, or wish to avoid getting a violation on your record—fighting the ticket is your best option. Luckily, Hawaii has multiple methods through which you can try to accomplish this.
Deny with a written statement
You may choose to deny guilt through a written statement. This statement can be sent in the envelope included with your citation and must be delivered to the court within 21 days of the citation’s issue date.
If your citation did not come with an envelope, you can use your own—it should be blank and can be addressed to the district court on the island where the citation was issued.
Here are some guidelines you should follow:
- Type your statement, if possible
- Keep your argument brief with factual evidence to support your claims
- You may include photographs and other supportive documents in the envelope—note these will not be returned to you
- You’ll have 30 days to request a retrial if the court finds you guilty
The court will mail you their decision once they review your statement and documents along with the officer’s notes. If the court judges in your favor, the violation and fines will be dropped.
Deny with a court hearing
If you choose to contest your violation in court, you will need to mail in a request for a hearing in the pre-addressed envelope within 21 days of the citation. The court then will notify you by mail of your hearing date, time, and location.
Once you are at court, you will have the opportunity to explain to the judge why you are denying committing the moving violation. The judge will then review your defense with the officer’s notes and determine to either dismiss or impose the penalty.
You have the option to request a retrial within 30 days of the court’s decision.
Admit but explain mitigating circumstances
If you admit to committing the infraction but believe that the penalty should be reduced, you’ll want to explain the mitigating circumstances through a written statement or in court.
The process is the same as denying the infraction through either method. The primary difference is that you’re admitting your guilt—the violation will go on your record, but the severity of the infraction and the cost of the fine might be reduced.
Because you are admitting to the violation, you cannot request a retrial if you disagree with the judge’s decision.
What if you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket?
If you can’t afford to pay, you can request that the court consider imposing community service instead of a monetary fine. The court either may choose to accept your request or make other adjustments to your penalty—like requiring completion of a defensive driving course instead.
If the fine gets sent to a collection agency, however, payment must be made within 30 days. Failure to do so will result in a driver’s license “stopper” on your record, which disables the renewal or the obtainment of a license until the payment has been made in full.
Key Takeaway: In Hawaii, you can deny a speeding ticket through a written statement or in court to try to dismiss the charge and fines. You can admit a speeding ticket but explain the mitigating circumstances through a written statement or in court to try to reduce the penalty and fines.
Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance?
If it’s determined you’re guilty of committing a moving violation, your insurance rate will increase. The amount will depend on how fast you were driving—less than 15 mph over the limit can lead to 21% higher premiums. This climbs to 29% if you drove more than 15 mph over the limit.
Here’s how drivers’ insurance premiums shifted in Hawaii after receiving a speeding ticket:
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Will I lose my license if I don’t fight a speeding ticket?
While Hawaii no longer calculates points to monitor offenses, they do keep track of how many violations you’ve committed. Having too many violations on your motor vehicle record (MVR) within a short time frame can lead to license suspension or even license revocation.
Therefore, if you’ve accumulated several moving violations over the last few years, you may want to consider fighting the ticket.
Should I fight or pay my speeding ticket?
Fighting your ticket can be beneficial if you believe you did not commit the citation you received and have evidence to prove it. Without sufficient evidence, it’s unlikely you’ll win your case—paying the ticket may be your best option.