What is the difference between a major speeding infraction and a minor speeding infraction in MN?

Asked over 4 years ago - Saint Paul, MN

I recently passed a unmarked highway patrol on my way to work. I was told I was on radar at 79 in a 60mph zone. I did not ask to see the radar. After being issued a citation for washington county I checked the fine schedule and +19 is a $145 fine. Either I got lucky or I was cut a break because +20 increases the fine to $225 and is the biggest increase on the schedule next to the highest $385 for 31 and above over limit. Is this because +19 is a minor note of infraction and +20 is a major and considered reckless? Also, does MN allow Traffic school for dismissal of a citation?

Thank you

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Thomas C Gallagher

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . When it comes to speed limit enforcement in Minnesota, in general the greater the difference between the alleged speed and the so-called limit, the greater the severity of the consequences may be. The most common situation is that of a person with no priors on their drivers license (DL) record (for petties, in the past five years). For these people, and even those with priors, the value of keeping the ticket off the DL record far exceeds the value of any fines, etc. What kind of outcome can keep it off your DL record? If you are a Minnesota resident, with a Minnesota DL, a so-called Dimmler law outcome will work: pleading guilty to an amended charge of 65 in a 60 mph zone, and pay the fine. Another is called various things but most commonly a "continuance for dismissal" where the charge is dismissed, usually a year after the court date, if no same or similar violations and pay money. First-timers can sometimes get this without a lawyer, if the case is not perceived as too egregious. Otherwise, a person will need a lawyer to have a chance at being successful.

  2. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Negotiating a good resolution given the circumstances of your case will take an attorney familiar with the policies and procedures of the court where the matter is pending.
    It would be worth your while to consult with a traffic attorney familiar with the judges and practices in the court where you received the ticket to explore your options.

    Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.

    Good luck to you.

    God bless.

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