Fines increase with how fast speeders are going when caught. The highest penalty is for those who allegedly are driving 26 mph or more over the limit. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

OPINION |

So there I was, reviewing every single criminal case pending on Casenet from 2022 in Greene County.

That effort is not for this column. It’s for a separate project I’m researching for later this year.

But some things catch your eye. Like the charges filed against speeders.

As you probably know, the faster you’re going when caught, the greater the fine.

In fact, there are categories of speeding — related to fines — according to the State Traffic Fine Center, which can be accessed via Missouri Courts.

For you unfortunates ticketed for driving 1-5 mph over the limit, the fine is $50.50.

(These fines do not include court costs or the points the Missouri Department of Revenue can assess against your driver’s license.)

Category of 26 mph or more over limit

For the record, if you’re found guilty of driving 1 to 5 mph over the limit the crime is an infraction and not a misdemeanor and no points are assessed.

  • 6-10 mph over the limit, the fine is $60.50
  • 11-15 mph over the limit, the fine is $70.50
  • 16-19 mph over the limit, the fine jumps to $100.50
  • 20-25 mph over the limit, the fine is $155.50

Tack on another $25 to all the above fines if you’re caught speeding in a school zone.

For you slow pokes, the fine for driving 40 mph on an interstate is $60.50.

What I noticed in looking at the criminal charges for speeding — I was perusing charges filed November 2022 when I caught this — is that there’s another definition of speeding in Missouri.

It’s 26 mph and over.

Infinity and beyond!

It’s a Class B misdemeanor.

For driving that fast you have to go to court

What happens in these cases is that you must appear in court before a judge and this judge can sentence you to county jail for up to six months and fine you up to $1,000.

So I jotted down three criminal charges filed in November of 2022 of people accused of driving 26 mph or more over the limit.

Three is a tiny sample size. I’ll draw no conclusions. I’ll not use the names of these three alleged lead foots.

I looked at the charges because I was curious.

Driver 1: A 24-year-old man from Elkland

88 in a 60 zone.

He was driving a 2007 Chevy Silverado pickup.

Stopped by Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper at 5:23 p.m. at Highway 65 and Battlefield Road.

Also charged with driving with a revoked or suspended driver’s license.

Case pending.

Driver 2: A 21-year-old man from Ozark

87 in a 60 zone.

He was driving a 2006 Honda CR-V.

Stopped by a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper at 8:22 a.m. going north of Highway 65 near the James River Expressway.

According to the ticket, the driver allegedly told the trooper:

“I was just headed to work and looking straight ahead.”

Case pending.

Driver 3: An 18-year-old man from Nevada

64 in a 35 zone.

He was driving a 2015 Hyundai Sonata.

Stopped by a Greene County sheriff’s deputy at 5:41 p.m. on Farm Road 135, also known as South Golden Avenue.

Also charged with driving an unregistered vehicle.

Case pending.

This is Pokin Around column No. 92.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at spokin@sgfcitizen.org. His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin