New Mexico Speeding Ticket

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If you are issued a speeding citation in New Mexico, you can pay a penalty assessment or plead not guilty in municipal court to contest the ticket. 
Whether it’s your first, second, or third violation, getting a speeding ticket can impact your driving record and your wallet. Depending on the severity of the violation, a speeding ticket could cost you money in fines, court fees, and an increase in your insurance rate.
Each state has different ways they handle traffic violations, so it’s important to understand the local statutes regarding speeding in your state. 
That’s why the price comparison and car insurance broker app, Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about what happens when you get a speeding ticket in New Mexico.
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What happens if you get a speeding ticket in New Mexico?

If you are pulled over for speeding in New Mexico, you may be let off with a warning or you’ll receive a ticket for a traffic violation. You can receive a speeding ticket for surpassing an “absolute speed limit” or violating the “basic speeding law”.
An absolute speed limit is the maximum speed you can legally drive on the roads. The signs posted on the side of highways, business districts, residential areas, and school zones indicate the absolute speed limit assigned to the area. Absolute speed limits vary from state to state, but in New Mexico they are:
  • 75 miles per hour on highways
  • 35 miles per hour in business and residential districts
  • 15 miles per hour in a posted school zone
The basic speed law dictates that all drivers use caution to control their speed to avoid collisions with any people or vehicles in the area. Even if you’re not going faster than the absolute speed limit, your speed could be considered unsafe and in violation of the basic speed law. 
If you receive a speeding ticket, the police officer will present you with two options: pay a penalty assessment or go to court to contest the ticket. The citation will reflect your choice to either pay the fine or appear in court. 
Key takeaway: Always follow the absolute speed limit, but also pay attention to your surroundings and reduce your driving speed when appropriate. 

What are the fines for a speeding ticket in New Mexico? 

The fines for speeding tickets in New Mexico depend on your speed in comparison to the absolute limit or reasonable speed in the area.
TicketFine amount
Up to 10 mph over speed limit$25
11 - 15 mph over speed limit$30
16 - 20 mph over speed limit$65
21 - 25 mph over speed limit$100
26 - 30 mph over speed limit$125
31 - 35 mph over speed limit$150
More than 35 mph over speed limit$200
Speeding in a marked construction area will normally result in the addition of fine amounts to those outlined in the table above. 
If you fail to pay your speeding ticket by the due date, you could face serious penalties. From additional fines to a driver’s license suspension, or even a warrant for your arrest.

Other penalties for speeding in New Mexico

Depending on how fast you were driving, a speeding violation will add three to eight demerit points to your record.
A speeding violation can result in a “reckless driving” or “careless driving” conviction depending on the circumstance. 

Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in New Mexico

You have two options to deal with a speeding ticket in New Mexico. You can either pay the penalty assessment or contest the ticket in court. The option available to you depends on the box checked on your citation. 
If the ‘Penalty Assessment’ box is checked on your citation you’ve agreed to pay the fine by way of the payment options are listed on the back of the ticket. You can make a payment by mail or in person at the specified court address. Some courts allow payment over the phone with a credit card. 
If the ‘Court Appearance’ or ‘Traffic Arraignment’ box is checked on your citation you are responsible for appearing in the specified Court by the date indicated. If you do not appear in court, they will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and suspend your license for renewal.
Key takeaway: You are legally obligated to complete the action corresponding to the checked box on your citation. 

How to fight a speeding ticket in New Mexico

To fight your speeding violation you’ll need to plead not guilty and make multiple court appearances. The specific municipal court in charge of your case will be printed on your ticket, along with the date for your arraignment.
At your arraignment, you’ll plead not guilty, and your pre-trial conference or trial before a judge will be scheduled. 

Pre-trial conference

During your pre-trial conference, you and the New Mexico state prosecutor will work out a plea agreement. This will require you to change your plea to guilty to receive lighter penalties for your charges. 
If you can reach a plea agreement, you won’t have to go to trial. If you can’t come to a plea agreement, the court will schedule your trial. 

Trial before a New Mexico judge

At your trial, both you and the New Mexico state prosecution will present your opening arguments, evidence, and witnesses to the judge. Cross-examinations and rebuttals will occur before each side presents closing arguments and the judge issues a verdict. 
A guilty verdict could result in points being added to your driving record, license suspension, same-day payment of fines, community service, or even jail time. You can always choose to appeal the court’s conviction by filing a Notice of Appeal.
If the judge finds you not guilty of the traffic violation, all charges will be dismissed. Points will not be added to your driving record, your car insurance rate will remain the same, and you won’t have to deal with penalties or pay any fines. 
Key takeaway: The outcomes of fighting your traffic citation in New Mexico can have long-term positive or negative effects on your financial situation and your future.

Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance? 

Your insurance premium will increase if you’re convicted of a traffic violation. A speeding ticket increased the average cost of car insurance by 17 percent for drivers in New Mexico. 
If you are having trouble finding affordable car insurance because of a bad driving record, download Jerry, the personal insurance broker app. 
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“I have a really bad record, so all of my previous insurance quotes were pretty high. I started using Jerry and the fantastic app saved me $130 a month on my insurance.” —Jett A.
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