Speeding tickets are broken down into three main categories in Rhode Island:
- § 31-14-1. Reasonable and prudent speeds.
- § 31-14-2. Prima facie limits.
- §31-14-3. Conditions requiring reduced speed.
Speeding tickets are civil violations, which means that tickets will only appear on your driving record at the Department of Motor Vehicles and not on a criminal record.
Despite being civil in nature, speeding tickets can still cost drivers hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, and insurance penalties. Drivers can also face mandatory appearance at time-consuming and expensive driver retraining courses, in addition to lengthy license suspensions, upon conviction of speeding violations. With so much at stake, it is important to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced RI traffic ticket attorney upon receipt of a speeding ticket in Rhode Island.
The penalty for “reasonable and prudent speed” and/or “conditions requiring reduced speeds” is a $95.00 fine. However, the penalties for “prima facie limits” are much more complicated and are imposed based on the rate of speed and the number of previous speeding violations imposed against the motorist. The chart below is an unofficial guide on speeding violations, and should not be considered legal advice or relied upon in lieu of an actual consultation with a lawyer.
|Speeding 1-10 MPH over||Speeding 11+MPH Over|
|First Offense||$95.00 fine||$205.00 minimum fine with $10.00 assessed for every MPH over the speed limit|
|Second Offense within twelve (12) months of first offense||$95.00 minimum fine with $10.00 assessed for every MPH over the speed limit||$205.00 minimum fine with $15.00 assessed for every MPH over the speed limit|
|Third Offense within twelve (12) months of first offense||$95.00 minimum fine with $15.00 assessed or every MPH over the speed limit License Suspension up to thirty (30) days||$205.00 minimum fine with $20.00 assessed for every MPH over the speed limit License Suspension up to sixty (60) days|
|Fourth Offense within eighteen (18) months of the first offense||See Colin B. Foote Act below||See Colin B. Foote Act below|
Colin B. Foote Act and Speeding Tickets in Rhode Island
The Colin B. Foote Act, also called “Colin’s Foote” or “Multiple Moving Offenses” is codified under Rhode Island General Laws § 31-27-24. This law allows Rhode Island judges to impose enhanced penalties for drivers with four (4) moving violations within an eighteen (18) month period. These penalties include:
- Fines totaling $1,000;
- Sixty (60) hours of driver retraining, costing $850.00;
- Sixty (60) hours of community service; and
- A license suspension for up to one (1) year or revocation of driving privileges for up to two (2) years
Speeding Ticket Trials in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, the police have the burden of proof in a speeding ticket trial. They must prove guilt beyond clear and convincing evidence. In a speeding trial involving speedometer “clocking” or radar, the officer must prove:
- That he has been properly trained in the use of radar equipment; and
- That the speedometer or radar equipment was calibrated within a reasonable time by an appropriate method; and
- That the speedometer or radar equipment was in good working order on the day of the violation.
Good Driving Record Dismissal of Speeding Tickets in Rhode Island
Who is eligible to use the “Good Driving Statute”?
- The law applies to drivers both with Rhode Island driver’s licenses and out-of-state licenses;
- You must have had a valid driver’s license for at least three (3) years; and
- You must not have any moving violation within the past three (3) years
Who cannot use the “Good Driving Statute”?
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders;
- Drivers with a speeding violation in excess of fourteen miles per hour (14 MPH) above the posted speed limit;
- Speeding violations involving an accident where there has been property damage or personal injury.
How do you use the “Good Driving Statute”?
- You must appear in court on the hearing date listed on your ticket
- If you have an out-of-state license, you must bring a certified copy of your driving record from the State that issued your license. Note, Rhode Island license holders will not need to obtain a copy of their driving record, as the Court will already have a copy at the hearing
What happens if you use the “Good Driving Statute”?
- You pay mandatory court costs of $60.00, rather than the fine on the ticket
- The violation will not appear on your driving record
- The violation will not be reported to your insurance company
- You cannot use the good driving statute for another three (3) years
Hiring a Rhode Island Traffic Ticket Lawyer to Fight Your Speeding Ticket
Having an experienced RI traffic ticket attorney by your side can greatly increase your likelihood of success at the Rhode Traffic Tribunal. The Law Office of John L. Calcagni III can help you in a number of ways:
- If you are an out-of-state driver and want to use the Good Driving Statute, we can appear on your behalf and in your absence to help avoid you traveling to Rhode Island
- We can fight against the Colin Foote sanctions
- We will fight to keep your driver’s license
- We can take your speeding ticket to trial and challenge the police department’s actions
If you have received a speeding ticket and need representation, contact the Rhode Island Traffic Ticket Attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III, Inc. at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.