Idaho Speeding Ticket

A speeding ticket in Idaho can be paid or fought in court. It may result in points added to your driving record.
Written by Shannon Fitzgerald
If you receive a speeding ticket in
, you can either plead guilty and pay your fine or plead not guilty and try to fight the ticket in court. 
  • The penalty that comes with an Idaho speeding ticket will vary depending on the severity of the offense.
  • Minor offenses, or infractions, result in fixed fines and
    points on your driver’s license
    , whereas a misdemeanor requires a court appearance and possible arrest.
  • If you get a speeding ticket in Idaho, you can accept the penalty or fight the traffic citation in court if you believe it was issued in error.

What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Idaho? 

If you’re pulled over by law enforcement for speeding in Idaho, the officer will ask for your
driver's license
vehicle registration
. They may decide to give you a warning, but they most likely will write you a ticket, or Uniform Citation. 
You will need to sign the bottom of the citation as an agreement that you will either show up in court or pay the penalty before the court date the officer listed. 
Keep in mind: Signing your ticket is in no way an admission of guilt. You will still have the opportunity to fight the ticket if you choose.

What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Idaho? 

Minor speeding violations in Idaho are subject to a set of fixed fines—meaning the penalty cannot be increased, decreased, suspended, or withheld by any court in the state. 
These fixed fines depend on how much you were exceeding the posted speed limit and whether or not the violation occurred in a school zone or construction zone. 
In the state of Idaho, fines for speeding tickets are as follows:
Speeding 1 - 15 mph over the limit
Speeding 16 mph or more over the limit
Speeding in a construction zone
Speeding in a school zone
Keep in mind: If you are caught speeding excessively, you may be charged with a misdemeanor—like reckless driving—and face up to $1,000 in fines. In these cases, the fine and penalty will depend on the court and the county in which the citation was issued.
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Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Idaho

If you get a citation for speeding in Idaho, you have two options: 
  • Pay the ticket (plead guilty) 
  • Appear in court (plead not guilty) 
Whether you choose to pay or fight your ticket, you will need to do so before the court date summons listed on your citation or given to you by a court clerk. 
Failure to do so will result in a default guilty judgment from the court—you will then need to pay the fixed penalty or risk license suspension. 
If you have received a misdemeanor traffic offense: You will be required to appear in court. The penalty for missing this court date is arrest and possible incarceration, so you must show up.   

How to pay a speeding ticket in Idaho 

If you don’t have a reasonable defense, your best option is to simply pay the fine. 
Though payment methods vary depending on the county and court handling your citation, you can typically pay your ticket one of five ways: 
  • Online
  • By mail
  • By phone
  • By drop box
  • In-person 
You will need to contact the court listed on your citation for more specific payment directions. Generally, drop boxes will be located in front of or around the courthouse, and online payment portals can be found on each court’s individual website. 

How to fight a speeding ticket in Idaho

If you believe you aren’t guilty of your speeding conviction, you can appear in court to try to argue your case. Doing so might lead to your ticket getting dismissed, which can help you avoid penalty points being added to your license.  

Plead not guilty in court for a traffic infraction

To enter a not-guilty plea, you will need to send in your citation with the denial box checked to the designated court. You may also disclose your plea to a court clerk—most traffic infractions in Idaho are handled by the magistrate court, so you should follow directions to these offices within the district court building. 
Once the court has received your plea, you will be given a court date. Because an infraction is a civil offense, not a criminal offense, you are not subject to jail time and therefore not entitled to a jury trial. 
On your court date, your trial will involve you, a prosecutor, a county attorney, the officer who gave you the ticket, and the judge. 
The trial will go as follows: 
  • The officer presents their evidence 
  • You present your evidence 
  • You testify and call witnesses on your behalf
  • The officer may refute your claims 
Typically, the judge will make their decision immediately. If they rule in your favor, the citation is dropped. If they rule against you, you will receive points on your license for the traffic law violation, and you’ll need to pay the fixed fine. 

Plead not guilty in court for a traffic misdemeanor

Misdemeanor citations are considered criminal offenses and will receive a trial by jury. You are required to appear in court on the date written on your citation—failure to do so will result in your arrest. 
Once the jury has made a decision, any fines and court costs owed must be paid before you can leave the custody of the court. 
Misdemeanor charges are much more serious than infractions: Besides fines and points on your license, you could also face
suspension of your Idaho driver’s license
or even incarceration if you are convicted.

What if you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket? 

If you can’t afford your Idaho traffic ticket, you can request that the court consider community service instead of monetary payment. Many courts are willing to work with you to settle payment—you may even be able to complete a
defensive driving course
to fulfill your citation obligations. Traffic school may also allow you to receive a point reduction on your driving record.
If you don’t work alternate payment out with the court and fail to pay your infraction ticket, you risk suspension of your license and a reinstatement fee. 

Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance? 

Whether you try to fight it or not, having a speeding ticket on your record will likely increase your car insurance rate. If you were caught speeding up to 15 mph over the limit, your rates may jump by as much as 21%. Speeding over 15 mph can result in a rate increase of up to 29%. 
Affordable rates are still possible with a speeding ticket on your record, though. Gathering and comparing quotes from multiple providers can help you find the lowest possible rate with your driving history.
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While you won’t usually lose your license from a speeding ticket, you can get your license suspended if you’ve accumulated too many penalty points. 
In Idaho, you can acquire only the following number of points before your license gets suspended:
  • 8 to 11 points in a 12-month period 
  • 14 to 17 points in a 24-month period
  • 20 to 23 points in a 36-month period
Under Idaho’s points system, most traffic infractions are worth 3 or 4 points depending on the speed and setting of the violation—school zones, bridges, etc. If this will push you over a threshold, you may want to consider fighting the ticket in court, given you have enough of a defense.
While fighting a ticket allows an opportunity for penalties to be dismissed, Idaho requires fairly strong evidence to win your case. Therefore, if you believe you can sufficiently prove your innocence, fighting the ticket is in your best interest. If you don’t have much proof to back your claims, you’re better off just paying the fine.
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