Civil vs. Criminal speeding, ask the Judge

by Aaron Black • June 02, 2017
Criminal speeding in ArizonaAs a criminal defense attorney in Maricopa County, I defend clients on a variety of charges which includes traffic violations. It has recently come to light that Maricopa County Justice of the Peace, Judge Cody Williams has been cited with 5 speeding tickets in that last 6 years.

Judge Williams tickets range from 13 mph over the posted speed limit to his most recent ticket which was 36 miles per hour over. According to Arizona Traffic Laws if a person exceeds the posted speed limit by more than 20 mph that is a class 3 misdemeanor and is considered criminal speeding. Rather than being cited criminally for going 36 mph over the speed limit, Judge Williams was cited civilly.

When asked for my input by CBS 5 “They cited him civilly. That's somewhat suspicious. Especially if it was a Phoenix officer. I've never seen that type of discretion. I've seen judges hand out jail time on criminal speeding tickets. It happens.”

Penalties for speeding in Arizona

Civil speeding
  • Fine (varies from court to court)
  • Points on your license
Criminal speeding (ARS 28-701.02)
  • Maximum 30 days in jail
  • $500 fine plus 83% surcharge
  • Possibility of probation for one year
  • Three points on your license
  • Increased insurance rate
  • Minimum penalty could be defensive driving
My continued response to CBS 5 “It's interesting that a justice of the peace is violating the law like this. Whether it's criminal or civil, they have a duty to uphold the law. A justice of the peace is someone who is handling speeding tickets every day. They're handling traffic violations every day. They're sentencing people to fines, and on criminal speeding tickets they might be sentencing them to jail.”

Phoenix police officers do have discretion on traffic stops on how to cite alleged speeding violations and a spokesperson for the Phoenix Police stated that Judge Williams did not receive special treatment due to his job or that fact that his wife if the Chief of Police. It should be noted that Judge Williams has taken care of all of the speeding tickets either by paying the fine or attending traffic school.

Criminal speeding traffic violations can carry pretty hefty fines as well as jail time and can ultimately be life altering. Contact criminal defense attorney Aaron Black to learn more or call 480-729-1683 for a free consultation today.

About the Author

Aaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes and white-collar crime.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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