Getting a speeding ticket in Delaware is an unfortunate but common occurrence. If you get pulled over and given a speeding ticket, you’ll want to know what the consequences will be and what all of your options for responding are. You’ll probably also want to keep a closer eye on your driving in the future; the fines and points from speeding tickets can add up quickly, resulting in high insurance premiums or possibly even a suspended license.
How much does a Delaware speeding ticket cost?
The basic fine for speeding in Delaware is relatively low and will vary depending on how fast you were speeding. The State of Delaware Title 21 document stipulates the following fines:
- Speeding by less than 5 mph – first offense: $20
- Speeding by less than 5 mph – subsequent offense (any additional offense within 24 months): $25
- Speeding by over 5 mph: additional $1/mile for first offense and $2/mile for subsequent offense
- Speeding by over 15 mph: additional $2/mile for first offense and $3/mile for subsequent offense
- Speeding by over 19 mph: additional $3/mile for first offense and $4/mile for subsequent offense
For example, if you were caught driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, and this was your first speeding ticket, you would be charged $20 plus $1 for each mile over the speed limit, for a total fine of $30. This amount should be listed on your traffic ticket.
Additional fines added to speeding ticket
You may be wondering why the speeding fines seem low compared to what you’ve heard of friends or family members paying. This is because the state of Delaware adds a collection of other fines to every traffic ticket, which typically brings the total to somewhere between $100 and $200. If you pay for a speeding ticket, you’ll also be paying the following fees:
- Court costs: $20 if you settle through voluntary assessment (see below) or $35 if you take your case to court
- Victims Compensation Fund: 18% of the base fine or $10, whichever is greater
- DELJIS Fund: $1
- Videophone Fund: $1
- Court Security Fund: $10
- Transportation Trust Fund: 50% of the base fine
- Fund to Combat Violent Crime: $15
- Seat Belt Assessment: 40% of the base fine up to $20, only if you were not wearing a seatbelt when ticketed
- Ambulance Fund Fee: $10
Delaware’s point system
For speeding and other traffic violations, Delaware will add point to your driver’s record. The number of points will depend on how fast you were speeding, as explained below:
- Speeding by 1-9 mph: 2 points
- Speeding by 10-14 mph: 4 points
- Speeding by 15-19 mph: 5 points
- Speeding by 20 mph or more: 5 points
Other violations, such as disregarding a red light or passing a school bus, will also result in points. These points are visible to your insurance company and generally result in increased premiums, so they can be quite costly. The good news is that your first speeding ticket may not result in any points. If you were speeding by under 14 mph, it was your first violation within 3 years, and you pay the ticket through voluntary assessment (meaning that you don’t go to court), you will not have any points added to your record.
License suspension and other penalties
If you accumulate enough points, you may have your license suspended or face other consequences. When evaluating how many points you have, the Division of Motor Vehicles looks at a period of 2 year (24 months). Points that are at least a year old, however, will only be calculated as half points. If, for example, you received 4 points in November of 2015 and 5 points in April of 2016, your calculated point total in January of 2017 will be 7 points. The penalties according to Delaware’s Driver Improvement Problem Driver Program are as follows:
- 8 points: advisory letter
- 12 points: mandatory driving course
- 14 points: 4-month license suspension
- 16 points: 6-month license suspension
- 18 points: 8-month license suspension
- 20 points: 10-month license suspension
- 22 points: 12-month license suspension
Serious speeding violations
Delaware jumps directly to license suspension if you were speeding by at least 25 mph.
- Speeding by 25 mph: 1-month license suspension, or attend driving course
- Speeding by 30 mph or more: 1-month license suspension, plus additional month for each 5 mph over 25 mph above the speed limit
- Speeding by 50 mph or driving 100 mph on the highway: one-year suspension
Defensive driving courses
Most states will let you remove points from your record by taking a defensive driving course. Delaware does things a little differently; you can earn a credit against future points, but not clear points you’ve already received. A defensive driving course provides a 3-point credit, which will be applied to future violations over the following 3 years. Cautious and savvy drivers may want to take this preventative step.
Paying your speeding ticket by voluntary assessment
If your speeding ticket does not specify that you have to appear in court, you may choose to pay the ticket by voluntary assessment. This is the easiest way to pay your ticket if you know that you are guilty. You can send a full payment to the Voluntary Assessment Center by mail, phone, fax, online, in person, or at a kiosk location. You must submit a full payment within 30 days of receiving the ticket. Keep in mind that paying through voluntary assessment means pleading guilty to the violation. Unless this is your first violation in 3 years and you were speeding by less than 15 mph, points will be added to your driving record.
Probation before judgment
Probation before judgment (PBJ) is a procedure through which you can avoid conviction for your ticket. However, you are only eligible if you have never been convicted of the same offense or been placed on probation for any offense in the past 5 years. Then, whether or not to grant PBJ is at the judge’s discretion. If you are required or choose to go to court, you may request PBJ at the beginning of your case. If it is granted, you will enter a plea of guilty or no contest, and the court will defer further court proceedings until a probation period is over. There may be a set probation period (such as six months), or probation may simply last until you pay your fine. If you complete the probationary period without committing any further offenses, no conviction will be entered on the record. That means no points will be added to your driver’s record. Keep in mind that probation before judgment applies to all violations and misdemeanors, not just speeding tickets, and can only be used once every 5 years.
Fighting a speeding ticket in court
If you believe you have a decent case, you may wish to contest your Delaware speeding ticket in court. Fighting your ticket in court may result in a smaller violation (and correspondingly smaller fine) or getting your ticket completely overturned. If you decide to contest your ticket in court, you have the best chance of winning with an experienced traffic attorney. To help you find an attorney, you may want to upload your case to BernieSez.com. BernieSez connects you with local lawyers who will be able to help with your case. Simply upload the details of your case for free, and lawyers will contact you with bids to work for you. It’s an easy and fast way to find great, affordable legal representation. Click/tap on the button below to get started.