100 MPH + Traffic Citations in California:  Vehicle Code Section 22348(b)

Fine Penalties, Points & Driving Restrictions: 

If you have received a speeding ticket for driving in excess of 100 MPH while traveling along Interstate 15 (I-15), Interstate 40 (I-40), or any other freeway or highway in the state of California, you can be assessed a base fine amount of up to $500.00 on a first-offense, up to $750.00 for a second offense within a three-year period, and up to $1,000.00 for a third offense within a five-year period of time, if convicted.  In addition to the statutory base fine, the state and county will add penalty assessments which as of January 1, 2016, would bring the total amount of bail / fine monies owed on a first offense to over $850.00 - a conviction for a second offense would require bail / fine monies to be paid to the Court, which would exceed $1,000.00! 

In addition, the following penalties may also be incurred upon conviction...

• Two points on your California DMV record - the points will remain on your DMV record for up to seven (7) years.
• A judge, at his or her discretion, has the authority to suspend your driver's license for up to 30 days, even on a first offense; on a second or third offense within a three or five year period respectively, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will issue a license suspension or a restricted right to drive for 6 months (second offense) or 1 year (third offense) - this suspension or restriction is mandatory under California Vehicle Code section 13355.
• You are NOT eligible to attend traffic school for this violation.
• Insurance Penalties:  The negligent operator points added to your DMV record are serious, because most insurance companies consider not only the points incurred, but the way in which they were incurred - speeding in excess of 100 MPH.

A driver must apply to have their license reinstated - and pay a reinstatement fee of approximately $125 - following any period of license suspension by the DMV.  In addition, your auto insurance premiums may jump by as much as two to three times what they are now - and remain there for several years - when your policy comes up for renewal.  Some carriers have also been known to cancel insurance policies, and decline to send an offer of renewal that is typically received by drivers via US Mail.

Could You be Charged or Adjudicated for Reckless Driving or Reckless Endangerment for Speeding in Excess of 100+ MPH?

A law enforcement officer has the discretion to issue you a citation for Reckless Driving (a Misdemeanor charge) whenever he considers the operation of your motor vehicle to be a “…willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” as outlined in California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 23103.  For example, my office has handled several traffic matters over the years where clients have been cited for having traveled in excess 120 + MPH.  While there was no personal injury or property damage that occurred in these cases, the clients would have all been candidates for a Reckless Driving charge just based upon the fact that their vehicles were traveling at such a high rate of speed on a highway surrounded by other vehicles, moving at a slower rate of speed, and carrying a variety of passengers, that it would be reasonable to assume the traffic defendant had a either a "willful or wanton disregard" for the safety of other motorist, or their property.  Fortunately, the officers did not re-file the more serious charges, and instead, prosecuted the cases as traffic infractions only.

Mandatory Court Appearance:
You will also be required to make a mandatory appearance in the Superior Court in which your case is assigned.  For example, if you are cited anywhere in the high desert area of the I-15 or I-40 freeways, you will be required to appear in the Barstow Superior Court - whether or not you plan to contest the traffic ticket.  You will not have the option of just posting your bail monies and forfeiting your day in court.  Important Note:  If you retain an attorney in a timely manner to fight your 100 MPH + traffic citation, then you personally WILL NOT have to appear at any of the court proceedings, including the initial court date on your traffic ticket.  California Penal Code Section 977 allows a licensed attorney to make any and all necessary court appearances in your absence!

Speed Enforced by CHP Aircraft (and Ground Units):

You have undoubtedly seen the signs "Speed Enforced by Aircraft" - I can remember these being posted along many of the highways I was traveling upon, back when I was growing up. I would envision a plane (or helicopter) swooping down out of the sky - and possibly landing on the highway - in pursuit of traffic defendants.  

New technology has made air patrols less prominent these days - they are now used more often in the pursuit of fleeing felons, DUIs, missing person searches, and tracking down suspects running from law enforcement. However, they are still being utilized, especially out on desert highways (I-15 between Barstow, CA and Primm, Nevada (aka State Line), and the I-40 between Barstow and Needles, CA) to track down drivers traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Here is how it works:  The plane or helicopter's speed is reduced so it is keeping pace (or a little slower) with the defendant's vehicle on the ground.  The pilot and flight officers from about 6,000 feet above, then use mile markers on the side of the highway to determine the aircraft's ground speed (via a stopwatch device).  The aircraft effectively "paces" the vehicle, much like a ground unit would pace a vehicle.  The flight officer will then radio a description of the vehicle and the alleged speed to an officer(s) in a ground unit, who will then detain the vehicle under probable cause for having committed a traffic infraction (or misdemeanor such as Reckless Driving if the speed is egregious enough). 

The officers in BOTH the air and ground unit must appear in Court for any contested proceeding.  In addition, arguments can be made in Court which object to the methods of calculating the vehicle's speed.  Mistakes can be made by the CHP air units with respect to the identify of the driver, the make, model and color of the vehicle, as well as the alleged speed, all of which may lead to the CHP ground units detaining the wrong person, and/or recording inaccurate speeds on the traffic citations they issue.

"Speed Enforced by Drone"?  Not at the present time in the State of California - but as an attorney, I have learned to never say never.

General Issues: 

You can’t demand a jury trial and you are not entitled to a court-appointed lawyer. On the bright side, jail cannot be imposed as the original penalty. If you are pulled over for allegedly speeding, do not admit guilt. For example, the officer may ask you, "do you know why I pulled you over?" OR “how fast do you think you were going?” - there is no creative or good way to answer these types of questions. You have the right to remain silent - so simply state that you are exercising your right to remain silent, be polite, and accept the ticket if the officer plans on issuing you one. In other words, do your best not to stand out in an officer's mind. By the way...offering a bribe to a law enforcement officer is considered a Felony!  

Defenses Strategies:

I will coordinate all the court appearances in your absence, review all the evidence, and raise any constitutional or evidentiary defenses appropriate, that are available under the law.  For example, I have found that drivers cited for traveling between 100 – 109 miles per hour are oftentimes - but not always - "paced" by the officer or the speed is visually estimated.  Attacking the method used to establish the driver's speed can be an effective way to undermine the credibility of the evidence against you.  If the citing officer(s) cannot prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt, you would be eligible for a dismissal.

In the majority of past cases I have handled of this nature, my office has been able to get these charges reduced, establish a client's eligibility to attend traffic school, or obtain an outright dismissal!

My office may be able to obtain favorable results for you! I have been in practice for over 35 years, and have a very high success rate ! Please contact our office today for a FREE case evaluation at (760) 326-LAWS (5297) or (702) 817-4661 - Call Anytime !

Felicia Woods-Yates, 
Attorney at Law

You may also submit your new case information online for a Free Consultation & Case Evaluation, and we will contact you the same business day it is received!

Connect with us on Social Media for important legal news and updates:


Check-In on Yelp to provide us with feedback...

The information presented on this website should not be construed as legal advice as it is presented as information only. Nor does viewing the information contained on this website form an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for consulting with an attorney regarding the specific facts of a legal matter. Please note that substantive law and procedure discussed on this website may have changed as a result of legislation, judicial interpretations or changes in administrative policies or procedures.

Note: This website is not intended to offer services to clients for any matter outside the jurisdiction of the State of California.