A police officer blares a siren behind you. Your stomach lurches as you pull over and wait for the officer to approach your window, looking for your license to present.
The officer shines a flashlight into your car as you nervously answer the questions. A few minutes later, you hesitantly pull back onto the road with a speeding ticket on the seat beside you.
Sound familiar? Each year, countless drivers in Missouri experience that sinking feeling after being pulled over. According to one source, Missouri drivers received more than 120,000 speeding tickets in a recent year. So you are not alone.
If you’re one of these drivers, don’t feel bad. Now that you are on this page, you will discover that someone is here to help you. We are Missouri traffic law attorneys who can give you the essential information about traffic laws and speeding tickets that you need to know.
What are the speeding laws in Missouri? Our state has two kinds of speeding laws:
- Basic speeding law
- Absolute speed limits
Basic Speeding Law
As in other states, Missouri's basic speeding law requires that you drive "at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person."
The law boils down to driving at a safe speed, given both the speed limits in the area and the local driving conditions (i.e., weather, traffic, daytime versus nighttime, and so on). Merely driving below or at the speed limits is not enough: conditions factor into safe driving practices as well.
For example, even if you're driving in a 50-mph zone, if you are in bumper-to-bumper traffic or a heavy snowfall, you may need to drive below the speed limit in order to be driving at a safe speed.
Unsafe driving may also result in a careless and imprudent driving conviction, which is a Class B misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to six months in jail or $1,000 in fines.
Absolute Speed Limits
Of course, you should not exceed the posted speed limit on any road or highway in Missouri during any kind of conditions. Missouri state law requires you to respect the following absolute speed limits unless signs state otherwise:
- 60 mph on urban interstate freeways and highways
- 65 mph on rural expressways
- 70 mph on rural interstates and freeways
Violating an absolute speed limit is a Class C misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to 15 days in jail or $750 in fines if convicted. However, your charge depends upon the exact speed at which you are driving. Speeding five mph will carry a different penalty than exceeding 25 mph above the permitted speed limit.
Missouri Speeding Tickets
If you choose not to contest your ticket, you will need to pay the full fine. The cost of the ticket depends upon how fast the officer or radar determined that you were speeding. The state breaks down the fines based on units of five miles per hour by which you exceeded the speed limit:
- 1-5 mph in excess: $73 fine
- 6-10 mph in excess: $83 fine
- 11-15 mph in excess: $108 fine
- 16-20 mph in excess: $133 fine
- 20-25 mph in excess: You must appear in court and may receive criminal charges and additional fines and points on your record.
When you commit a traffic violation, you receive points, which are penalties that go on your driving record. If you were driving less than five miles per hour above the speed limit, you might not receive any points—just a fine.
However, if you drive more than five miles per hour above the speed limit, you will receive three points for a violation of state law if a state trooper or highway officer stops you. You will receive two points for violating county or city laws if a local police officer pulls you over.
Traffic Lawyers in Missouri
You may be wondering, “Do I really need a lawyer in Missouri, just for a speeding ticket?” If you are planning to contest the ticket—or if you are required to appear in court for a traffic violation—then the answer is yes. Speeding tickets are one the easiest ways to increase points on a driving record that can result in a suspension or increased insurance rates.
You need a credible, licensed, traffic attorney who can present your case before the court and get you the most favorable ruling based upon your individual circumstances. This traffic lawyer must also be familiar with the rules of your jurisdiction and state. Without such an experienced professional, you will have a harder time advocating for yourself in court.
The points you receive from the ticket will remain on your driving record for years to come, leading to higher car insurance and trouble down the road if you rack up further traffic violations. Your traffic lawyer can help keep those points off your driving record. Your chances of gaining employment could also be in jeopardy, especially if your employer requires you to drive.
Traffic attorneys can also help preserve your “Safe Driver” status with your insurance company and prevent your car insurance rates from shooting through the roof. If you merely pay the ticket without consulting an attorney, you may lose your “Safe Driver” status and any benefits (such as reduced car insurance premiums) that go along with it.
Call Missouri Traffic Tickets
Hire our law firm, Missouri Traffic Tickets, today to help you out with your speeding ticket. Our team of specialized lawyers boasts 20-plus years of experience in state traffic law.
We offer an accessible client portal that keeps you up-to-date on your case, 24/7. You won’t even need to leave your house—we’ll handle the traffic case in court. Finally, our streamlined legal process allows us to charge lower fees than other firms.
Call Missouri Traffic Tickets at 417-501-0653 to get help from licensed traffic lawyers in Missouri. Our office hours are Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.