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- What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Idaho?
- What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Idaho?
- Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Idaho
- How to fight a speeding ticket in Idaho
- Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance?
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If you receive a speeding ticket—or traffic violation—in Idaho, you can either plead guilty and pay your fine or plead not guilty and try to fight the ticket in court.
The penalty will vary depending on the severity of the offense. Minor offenses, or infractions, result in fixed fines and points on your license, whereas a misdemeanor requires a court appearance and possible arrest.
Every state has different methods for dealing with speeding tickets—it’s always a good plan to become familiar with the rules of your current state before trying to fight a citation.
Here the car insurance comparison app Jerry breaks down how to handle a speeding ticket in Idaho—from what fines you’ll pay, to how you might contest it.
What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Idaho?
If you’re pulled over for speeding in Idaho, the officer will ask for your license and 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.
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.
They are as follows:
|Speeding 1 - 15 mph over the limit||$90|
|Speeding 16 mph or more over the limit||$155|
|Speeding in a construction zone||$106.50|
|Speeding in a school zone||$156.50|
If you are caught speeding excessively you may be charged with a misdemeanor—like reckless driving—this can face as much as $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 in Idaho, 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:
- 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 receiving points on 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, 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 results in your arrest.
It is recommended, but not required, that you hire a traffic attorney to represent you in court.
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. Losing your case may not just result in fines and points on your license, but also could result in license suspension or incarceration.
What if you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket?
If you can’t afford your 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.
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.
If you fail to pay a misdemeanor fine and are able to do so, your fine will be satisfied by jail time at the rate of $5.00 per day.
Key Takeaway: If you received a traffic infraction, you can plead not guilty via mail or in-person to receive a court date where you will argue your case to a judge. If you received a traffic misdemeanor, you are required to appear in court for a trial by jury.
Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance?
Whether you try to fight it or not, having a speeding ticket on your record will increase your insurance. 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 see as much as 29% higher premiums.
Affordable rates are still possible with a speeding ticket on your record, though. Luckily, Jerry can help.
By cross-analyzing custom quotes from 50+ top insurance companies, Jerry finds the lowest rates available for your background.
The average customer ends up saving $879 a year, so it’s worth a look!
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Will I lose my license if I don’t fight a speeding ticket?
While you won’t usually lose your license from a speeding ticket, you can get your license suspended if you’ve accumulated too many points.
In Idaho, you can acquire only the following thresholds in the given time frames before your license is 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
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.
Should I fight or pay my speeding ticket?
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.