You can be charged with a crime for exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 mph.

Arizona has a criminal charge called Excessive Speed, a.k.a. criminal speeding. If you are driving more than 20 mph over the posted speed limit, you can be charged with excessive speed. Many states do not have a similar law, so people visiting Arizona are often caught off guard.

As traffic ticket attorneys, we can’t advocate speeding, but if you were to speed, always keep it out of the criminal speeding range, even though this can be hard to do in Phoenix sometimes. In our experience, most police officers aren’t going to bother ticketing someone from driving less than 10 mph over the posted limit.

radar speed limit sign showing 89 in a 45
photo enforcement device

Photo Enforcement Cameras trigger at 6 and 11 mph over the posted speed limit.

Photo enforcement devices can be found throughout Arizona, and are particularly common in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. These cameras are equipped with radar and a camera. If one of these devices catches you driving 11 mph or more over the posted speed limit, or 6 mph or more over in a school zone, you may get one of these tickets in the mail.

If you do get a ticket, call us first before you take action! Too often, we see drivers unnecessarily pay these tickets or waive their rights before they call us. Often, a driver doesn’t need an attorney for a photo enforcement ticket. They just need some good advice on how to proceed, and then they can avoid the fines, points, and increased insurance that come along with just paying a photo radar ticket.

What is the speed limit if no limit is posted?

The general state law on speeding is A.R.S. 28-701A which requires drivers to drive at a speed reasonable and prudent for the conditions. If a speed limit is posted, the posted speed is presumed to be the reasonable and prudent speed limit.

But what if there is no sign posted? This is more of an issue on lightly travelled surface streets. The maximum speed limit on local streets in residential areas and business districts (if no limit is posted) is 25 mph. It is 15 mph in alleys. Even though a speed limit sign may not be posted, police may still give you a ticket if you exceed these limits.

Arizona residential street with no posted speed limit