It’s hard to nail down an average cost for a speeding ticket in Texas. Each municipality has their own fee system, and the fee structure is all over the board. Let’s look at a few examples.
In Travis County, TX they charge by the mile. It’s $10 per mile over the speed limit ($20 if you’re in a school zone), and you’ll also have to pay court costs. But if you were going over 94 miles per hour you’ll have to call the court to find out how much you owe.
Right next door in Cedar Park, TX it’s $5 per mile over the speeding limit and $10 per mile in construction zones. But in most cases traffic violation fines are capped at $200.
In Houston, TX it’s a flat fee system based on how fast you were going and the zone. It ranges from $170 for going 1-5 miles per hour over the speed limit to $500 for going 30+ miles per hour over the speed limit in a construction zone.
Speeding tickets in Texas can be as much as $1,200 depending on location, speeds (how high above the limit), if it's a school zone or if there are other charges involved. With many speeding tickets in Texas well over $100, no driver wants to dish out their hard-earned cash to pay for being a lead foot. This is especially true for first-time offenders that had a clean driving record otherwise.
If you got a speeding ticket in Texas, don’t worry. You have options, and you don't automatically have to pay that hefty fine.
What to do After Getting a Speeding Ticket in Texas
If it’s your first time getting a speeding ticket in Texas you’re probably not 100% sure what to do. Dealing with a ticket isn’t convenient, but there are a few ways you can handle it.
Read the Ticket First
The ticket should have information printed on it telling you what step to take next. Usually, the options are to pay the fine or contest the ticket. If it isn’t clear what you need to do, call the phone number on the ticket for more information.
Decide If You’re Going to Contest the Ticket
In Texas, you can contest a speeding ticket. That means you can make your case before a judge for why the speeding ticket is inappropriate and should be dismissed.
Some drivers will choose to contest their ticket on their own. In court, the judge will ask the driver how they plead. If the driver pleads not guilty and the officer who gave them the ticket doesn't show up, the ticket is typically dismissed along with any fines or penalties. This is a best-case scenario because if the officer shows up you’ll need to make your case to the judge.
The second option is to hire a lawyer to contest the ticket on your behalf, and if necessary, go to court. The reason people choose this over self-representation is the fact that lawyers are experienced and tend to have a better chance of getting a ticket dismissed. If that’s the case, you won’t have to pay the ticket, but you will have to pay legal fees.
Consider Taking a Defensive Driving Course
A state-approved defensive driving course is an alternative for drivers who don’t plan to contest their ticket in court. Drivers can take a defensive driving course online or offline in a classroom in order to:
Eliminate any points from the driver's license associated with the speeding violation.
Reduce the fine for the speeding ticket.
Avoid higher auto insurance premiums.
This option is available for first-time speeding offenders who don’t want to go to court and simply want to have the ticket dismissed.
The True Costs of Repeat Speeding Tickets
Many drivers think the cost of a speeding violation is just the ticket. However, that isn't the case most of the time. Points on your license or losing your license for having too many points in a certain period of time are much worse than the cost of the speeding ticket.
Those points can cause your auto insurance premiums to go up costing you hundreds more each year. And if your license is suspended or revoked due to multiple speeding tickets you’ll have to pay an additional reinstatement fee to get your driving privileges back.
Even the safest drivers get a speeding ticket from time to time. If you're one of the drivers that had a clean driving record before getting a speeding ticket look into your defensive driving options. Taking the course will keep the points from being added to your license, and it costs much less than paying the actual ticket.
Keep safe behind the wheel, pay attention to speed limit signs and know your rights if you are given a traffic citation for speeding. You may be eligible to take our Texas defensive driving course using your phone, tablet or computer. It’s the shortest course with the lowest price in Texas - get started now!
*This article was updated on 2/25/21