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Drive More. Worry Less.

The REAL Cost of LA Traffic Violations

by Thomas Sechehaye

Are you fed up with LA driving? Are you frustrated, and worried about getting a ticket? Ticket costs have skyrocketed! Sure you can fight, but do you have the time to devote to get the justice you deserve? Moreover, hiring an attorney typically costs way more than the ticket…so that only adds to the worry and anxiety.

If you’re concerned about getting a ticket and want to stop worrying about what to do next, the team at Auto Allies is here to help.

What’s the Cost of an LA Traffic Violation?

Before you throw your hands up, take a moment to get familiar with the costs of tickets.

The most common tickets are for speeding, running a red light, and texting while driving..

Let’s jump into the nitty gritty of just how much these traffic violations cost…

Speeding Tickets

According to the Judicial Branch of California, speeding tickets might not seem like a huge deal - at first.

The base fee for going over the limit is $35, although depending on your speed, the court can tack on fines up to $100. Additional surcharges, penalties, and fees may be added.

What can this look like? Here’s a quick example of how a $35 base fee escalates.

Speeding 1 to 15 mph over the limit may result in a fee of $238. Speeding 16 to 25 mph brings the base fee to $70 and the total to $367. For 26 to 99mph over the limit, the base fee is $100 and the total fee jumps to a whopping $490.

And it gets worse. A ticket for speeding 100 mph or more over the speed limit has a base fine of $200. So if you don’t want to have your ATM on speed dial, slow down and don’t speed.

Running a Red Light is Expensive

Running a red light comes with a starting fine of between $100 to $200 bucks.

However, this can easily jump to $500 or more; once fees and penalties are assessed. Moverover, there can be an additional $35 fee for making an illegal right turn at the red light.

At a lot of intersections in California, you’ll notice those snarky red light cameras, set up to capture drivers. These cameras are triggered by sensors, so if you blast through a red light, expect to get a surprise in the mail.

The financial costs are only one side of it. Each red light violation adds 1 point to your license., and 2 points if you were simultaneously driving recklessly. Fortunately, you can avoid the 1-pointer by completing a traffic school program.

Cost of Texting while Driving

Driving while texting is prohibited in California, and somewhat expensive. The fine for a first-time cell phone violation is at a minimum, $162 and you guessed it, increases with every violation after that.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) statistics show that your chances of being involved in a collision increase by 400%. So it’s not just the cost of the ticket. Texting while driving can be deadly.

Cost of Aggressive or Reckless Driving

Examples of reckless driving include road rage, street racing, operating an unsafe vehicle, driving in a distracted manner, and driving without headlights at night.

Because this is typically a misdemeanor criminal offense, it may carry a fine plus jail time. The law, CA Veh Code § 23103 (2022), defines reckless driving as “willful or wanton disregard of persons or property.”

This ticket can come with a fine of $145 to $1,000, and a misdemeanor charge can carry imprisonment of five to 90 days. If convicted, punishment can be a fine, jail time, or a combination of the two..

And just when you thought that was bad enough, the charge gets worse if someone was hurt, or killed; or if you have a previous reckless driving conviction on your license.

Costs of DUI Tickets

The average cost of DUIs are the most expensive. While the initial minimum fine of $390 doesn’t sound awful, that’s just the beginning. The court can tack on penalties, assessments, and fees on top of the fine, so count of the total cost of around $2000 or higher. Plus, individuals can face jail time of up to six months.

A second DUI costs more and has more serious consequences. The fines range from $390 to $1,000, with additional penalties that can bring the total fine to over $4,000. Plus, a second DUI can lead to a jail sentence of up to 1-year.

While many people think of a DUI as ‘drunk driving’ it also refers to driving under the influence of drugs. It carries a mountain of additional fees and penalties. Costs include booking, fingerprinting, vehicle towing and impound fees, victim restitution costs, DUI school, DMV license fees, car insurance increases, and bail.

Find Out How To Drive More and Worry Less

At Auto Allies, we do everything possible to get your ticket dismissed. Do you have a citation our team can help with? Learn More.