Table of Contents
- What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Rhode Island?
- What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Rhode Island?
- Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Rhode Island
- How to fight a speeding ticket in Rhode Island
- Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance?
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If you’re issued a Rhode Island speeding ticket, you can either pay the fine or fight the ticket by requesting a dismissal based on a good driving record. You can also plead not guilty.
Getting a speeding ticket can be stressful, both mentally and financially. If you choose to fight the ticket, you’ll have to worry about court appearances. It could also become a financial burden with the fines that come with the ticket and a potential hike in your insurance rates. Worst case scenario, your license could be suspended.
Depending on your state, there are different ways in which you can deal with a speeding ticket. It is essential to know what your state allows and what options you have before fighting a speeding ticket.
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What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Rhode Island?
If an officer pulls you over for speeding in Rhode Island, you will be asked to show your license and registration. In some cases, you will be let off with a warning, but you’re more likely to get a speeding ticket under the municipal court or ticket tribunal.
When you sign the ticket, you agree to pay the fine before the due date or appear in court on the date listed.
It should be noted that signing your ticket does not mean you are pleading guilty. You still get to decide whether to fight the ticket or just pay the fine.
What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Rhode Island?
The base fee for a speeding ticket in Rhode Island starts at $95 for driving 1 to 10 mph above the speed limit.
This is only the minimum fine, meaning it can increase based on other factors such as the speed you were driving or if you have a previous conviction.
You may also be subject to additional fees, DUI surcharges, court fees, and administrative fees. These fees are calculated based on the speed listed on your ticket.
Taking all of this into account, the table below shows how much you could be fined in Rhode Island for different speeding tickets.
1 - 10 mph over
$95 + $10 per mile over
$95 + $15 per mile over
11+ mph over
$95 + $10 per mile over
$95 + $15 per mile over
$95 + $20 per mile over
If you commit a fourth speeding offense within 18 months, you may face Colin Foote penalties, including fines up to $1,000.
Depending on the situation, there is also a possibility of higher fines.
Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Rhode Island
If you’ve been issued a speeding ticket in Rhode Island, you have four different options to deal with the ticket. You can:
- Plead guilty and pay your fine
- Request a dismissal based on a good driving record (only applied if you have no moving violations in the last three years and cannot be used if the speeding violation was 14 mph over the speed limit
- Appear at the Traffic Tribunal or Municipal Court to plead not guilty
- Community service in exchange for dismissal (drivers under 21 years old)
However you choose to handle your speeding ticket, do so before the date of your arraignment. You must either pay the fine or appear in court by or on that date, or you could face
new charges and additional fines. Your license could also get suspended.
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How to pay a speeding ticket in Rhode Island
Paying the fine on your speeding ticket is the simplest way to handle it. In Rhode Island, you have a few options to pay your fines.
If your ticket is handled by the Traffic Tribunal, it can be paid:
- By mail
- By phone
The ticket must be paid no less than seven days before your court date.
If your ticket is handled by the municipal court, contact them for your payment options.
Once the court has received payment, your case will be closed. The ticket will stay on your driving record for three years.
How to fight a speeding ticket in Rhode Island
If you can’t afford to pay the fine, don’t want a speeding ticket on your record, or don’t believe you are guilty of speeding, there are several ways you can fight a speeding ticket in Rhode Island.
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Request a dismissal based on a good driving record
If you have no driving violations on your record in the last three years, you can ask the judge to dismiss your ticket under the "good driving statute." However, you cannot call on this statute if:
- Your speeding violation was over 14 mph of the posted speed limit
- You were in an accident when you got the speeding ticket
- You have a commercial driver’s license
If the judge dismisses your ticket, the ticket will not appear on your driving record and will not impact your insurance premiums.
Do note that if you decide to use the good driving statute, you will also be responsible for paying the court costs of $64.25.
Plead not guilty in court
Your other option for fighting a traffic ticket is to appear in court and plead not guilty. You will need to go to court on your arraignment date to submit a not guilty plea and request a trial.
Depending on the consequences if you lose the case, you may also want to hire a traffic ticket attorney to increase your chances of getting the speeding ticket dismissed.
If the police officer who issued the ticket doesn’t appear in court, your ticket could be dismissed based on a lack of prosecution. If your ticket is dismissed, there will be no fines or citations on your record.
If you are a driver under the age of 21, it might be possible for you to perform community service in exchange for the ticket being dismissed. Contact the court that has jurisdiction over your ticket to find out more about this option.
What if you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket?
If you are found guilty of a speeding ticket but can’t pay the ticket in full, you must contact the appropriate clerk’s office and request to be put on a payment plan. If you cannot pay, you can request an ability to pay hearing before a judicial officer of the relevant court.
Be prepared to attach copies of the following documents:
Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance?
If you’re found guilty, a speeding ticket will hike up your insurance premium. In Rhode Island, insurance rates go up by about 21% for speeding up to 15 mph over the speed limit and 29% for speeding over 15 mph over the speed limit.
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Will I lose my license if I don’t fight a speeding ticket?
It’s possible to lose your license for speeding in Rhode Island, depending on how many offenses you commit.
On the third speeding offense, a judge can suspend your license for 30 to 60 days depending on your speed. If you commit a fourth offense within 18 months, you will face potential Colin Foote penalties, including a maximum two-year license revocation.
Should I fight or pay my speeding ticket?
If you can prove that you weren’t speeding, it could be worth fighting your ticket so that your driving record and insurance premiums won’t be affected. However, if you don’t have evidence to back up your claim, you may want to pay off the fines or ask the judge to dismiss the ticket under the good driving statute.