Is a federal speeding ticket a misdemeanor?

Posted on November 30, 2021 by John

Generally, yes. Just because you are not on a state-owned road does not mean you can’t get a traffic ticket. If you are issued a traffic citation by a federal officer in California, it will be because you violated a section of the same California Vehicle Code 23103 VCthat covers public freeways and local roads on federally owned and operated land. 

What is considered public land in California?

  • Any National Park
  • National Forests
  • Military Bases

Citations can be issued for the same offenses as traffic violations on public roads. Issues beyond the normal traffic tickets might include illegal camping, civil disturbance and fish and wildlife infractions.

When it comes to speeding tickets…

Speeding violations are processed in pretty much the same way as other speeding tickets.

  • Federal law enforcement mails the ticket to Central Violations Bureau (CVB), a federal agency, for processing.
  • CVB mails a Notice to Appear in court approximately four (4) weeks prior to your court date. If you do not receive a Notice to Appear within 45 days of receiving your ticket, call CVB at 800-827-2982.
  • Courts are located in several areas throughout California. You can pay the ticket or request a court appearance, just like a regular ticket. Fines are paid to the U.S. District Court.

Misdemeanor or Felony?

Speeding tickets on public land are judged by similar criteria to those received on other California roads. Just because it is initiated by the federal government does not make it a more serious offense, so no worries there. The meaning of the term “misdemeanor” where the federal government is concerned, however, may be more a matter of semantics. For instance, penalties for speeding on federal land can be a lot harsher. Generally, speed alone is not considered anything but a misdemeanor, unless someone is injured or a crime is committed in the process. However, a record of the infraction will remain on your driving record for 5 years. In some instances, the ticket can show up on your record as a criminal offense. So don’t let the term “misdemeanor” fool you. When dealing with the federal government, it’s best to run things by an attorney who can explain your options.  

Call Us

If you live in Barstow, San Bernardino County, or Mojave and have received a federal speeding ticket or other traffic citation, call David Leicht, Esq now @ 760-256-3104 for a free case evaluation.  

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