Fighting traffic tickets for "speeding in a school zone" in Nevada
(NRS 484B.363)

Speeding in a school zone in Nevada carries double fines. So while a typical speeding ticket in Las Vegas may cost $205 to settle, a ticket for speeding in a school zone would carry a $410 fine.

Unless the speeding caused an injury, prosecutors are often willing to lessen charges for speeding in a school zone to non-moving violations, which carry no demerit points. But if a defendant fails to handle their traffic ticket case by missing court appearances or payments, the court will issue a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest.

In this article our Las Vegas traffic ticket attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about speeding in a school zone in Clark County and throughout Nevada. We discuss several issues including defense strategies, punishments, demerit points, record seals, and more. Click on a topic below to jump directly to that section:

If you have been injured by a car that sped in a Nevada school zone, call our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys to learn more. You may be eligible for compensatory damages.

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Speeding in a school zone carries double penalties.

1. What are the laws for speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Speeding in a school zone is not a distinct misdemeanor crime from speeding. Instead, it is an added penalty for the underlying speeding charge. But note that speeding in a school zone that results in a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist is automatically charged as reckless driving.

Nevada law prohibits people from driving faster than 15 miles per hour in a school zone, which are sections of streets which are adjacent to school property. Nevada law also prohibits people from driving faster than 25 miles per hour in a school crossing zone, which are sections of streets not adjacent to school property that pupils cross while following a designated walking route to school.

Note that drivers are also not allowed to make a U-turn or to overtake and pass another vehicle in an school zone or school crossing zone.1

Also see our article on stopping for a school crossing guard in Nevada.

2. How do I fight charges for speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Charges for speeding in a school zone should be dismissed if:

  • School was not in session that day;
  • The incident occurred from the half hour after school was no longer in operation to a half hour before school was next in operation;
  • The yellow lights of the speed limit beacon (if there was one) were not flashing in a manner which indicated that the speed limit was in effect; or
  • The incident occurred during the times designated on the school zone sign that indicates the speed limit is not in effect (and there was no speed limit beacon indicating otherwise)

Note that “speed limit beacon” means a device which is used in conjunction with a sign and equipped with two or more yellow lights that flash alternately to indicate when the speed limit in a school zone or school crossing zone is in effect.

2.1. School zone signs

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The defense attorney could also investigate as to whether the alleged school zone was even legal and followed all the rules. If the city failed to follow school zone sign laws, the judge may be willing to reduce or dismiss the speeding charge.

For example, an area must not be designated as a school zone if imposing a speed limit of 15 miles per hour would be unsafe because of higher speed limits in adjoining areas...

Furthermore, all legal school zones must have signs marking the beginning and end of each school zone, and each sign marking the beginning of such a zone must include a designation of the hours when the speed limit is in effect or that the speed limit is in effect when children are present...

Finally, each permanent sign which designates a school zone or school crossing zone and the speed limit in that zone must be uniform in size and color and must clearly designate the hours during which the speed limit applies. And each portable sign designating a school zone or school crossing zone and the speed limit in the zone must be uniform in size and color (a portable sign may be placed on or beside a roadway only during those hours when pupils are arriving at and leaving regularly scheduled school sessions).

2.2. The defendant was not speeding

Another defense is that the driver was not speeding, and the police simply mistakenly thought he/she was.

In crafting a defense strategy, the driver's attorney would attempt to compile such evidence as surveillance video, photographs, and eyewitnesses to show that the driver was going at a legal speed in the school zone, and that the state's case is too weak to sustain a guilty verdict.

3. What are the penalties for speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The fines for speeding in a school zone is twice the amount of speeding in a non-school zone. So a $205 ticket for speeding ten (10) miles over the limit in a non-school zone would double to $410 ticket if the speeding occurred in a school zone.

Note that speeding penalties vary from city to city and county to county. It is rare for judges to impose jail for speeding unless the defendant has an extensive criminal history.

3.1. With collision (reckless driving)

Speeding in a school zone that results in a collision with a pedestrian or a bicyclist is prosecuted as reckless driving. If no substantial bodily harm happens to the victim, speeding in a school zone is prosecuted as only a misdemeanor:

  • A first-time offense carries $250 to $1,000 in fines and 50 to 99 hours of community service.
  • A second-time offense carries $1,000 to $1,500 in fines and 100 to 199 hours of community service.
  • A third-time or subsequent offense carries $1,500 to $2,000 in fines and 200 hours of community service.

In addition, the court may impose a maximum of six (6) months in jail.

But if substantial bodily harm or death results to the victim by the driver's speeding in a school zone, the driver faces charges for category B felony reckless driving. The sentence is one to six (1 - 6) years in Nevada State Prison and fines of $2,000 to $5,000.2

4. Can I get a charge for speeding in a school zone reduced to a non-moving violation in Las Vegas, Nevada?

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Maybe, especially if the driver has no or little traffic ticket history.

5. How many demerit points will speeding in a school zone put on my driver's license in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Speeding one to fifteen (1 - 15) miles per hour over a school zone limit carries four (4) demerit points. Speeding sixteen (16) miles per hour or higher in a school zone carries six (6) demerit points. Demerit points stay on driver's licenses for one (1) year before going away. Having twelve (12) or more demerit points at the same time causes a six (6) month driver's license suspension.3

It may be possible to fight a license suspension at a Nevada DMV hearing, which is similar to a trial. Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor in Nevada: The penalty is up to six (6) months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. 4

6. Will speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada increase my car insurance premiums?

Yes. But if the charge gets reduced to a non-moving violation or dismissed completely, there should be no insurance hike.

7. Do I have to do traffic school if I get cited for speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Usually not. But in some cases, suffering through traffic school is the only way the judge will agree to reduce the speeding ticket to a non-moving violation, which carries no demerit points.5

8. What happens if I ignore my ticket for speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Nevada courts always issue bench warrants when a person charged with a crime does not show up to court or does not pay a fine on time. People with bench warrants may be arrested at any time. It may be possible to get a bench warrant recalled: The defendant's attorney would file a "motion to quash the warrant" and appear at a hearing in an effort to convince the judge to recall the warrant.6

9. How will speeding in a school zone affect my commercial driver's license in Las Vegas, Nevada?

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The DMV levies the same demerit point penalties on a person's non-commercial driver's licenses and his/her commercial driver's license (CDL). It does not matter whether the CDL-holder was driving a commercial vehicle when he/she was ticketed.

Whenever a CDL-holder picks up a traffic ticket, he/she has a legal obligation to inform his/her boss within thirty (30) days of the ticket being given.7

9.1. CDL Suspension

Federal law makes it a "serious offense" for CDL-holders to speed at fifteen (15) miles per hour over the speed limit. Committing two (2) serious offenses within a three (3) year span will result in a 60 day suspension. A third offense within a three (3) year period will result in a 120-day CDL suspension.8

10. What happens to my out-of-state license if I sped in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

It depends on a state, so out-of-state defendants are advised to consult with a home-state attorney.

11. When can I seal a conviction for speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

A Nevada misdemeanor conviction for speeding or reckless driving may be sealable one (1) year after the case closes (not when the ticket is issued). Note that convictions for non-moving violations also have a one (1) year waiting period for getting sealing. And if the defendant was convicted of felony reckless driving, the waiting period is five (5) years after the case ends.9

If the speeding charge gets dismissed, then the defendant can try to get the record sealed right away.10

12. Will I get deported for speeding in a school zone in Nevada?

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Speeding in a school zone is not a deportable offense. But since immigration law is constantly changing, non-citizens facing speeding charges should still consult with an attorney to discuss how to protect their resident status. Read more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Nevada.

13. Should I fight my citation for speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada or just pay the fine?

Fight it. Speeding tickets carry high fines and demerit points. If a defense attorney is able to get the charge reduced to a non-moving violation or dismissed, the defendant should have lower or zero fines and no demerit points on his/her license.

14. Can I go to trial for speeding in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Sure, but nearly all speeding cases settle without a trial. Note that defendants facing only a misdemeanor charge are entitled only to bench trials, not jury trials. In bench trials, the judge decides the verdict and hands down a sentence.11

15. Do I need an attorney if I sped in a school zone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

It is not necessary but highly encouraged. In practice, the D.A. gives better deals when the defendant has counsel. And in the vast majority of traffic cases, the defendant never has to go to court as long as he/she has an attorney appearing for him/her.

Traffic ticket in a school zone? Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...

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Call our Las Vegas traffic ticket attorneys at 702-DEFENSE for a FREE consultation today.

If you have been cited for exceeding the speed limit in a school zone in Clark County, Nye County, or elsewhere in Nevada, call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys for a FREE phone meeting at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). We may be able to get the charge dropped or lessened to a non-moving violation with lesser fines and no demerit points.

If you have been harmed in a speeding accident in a school zone in Nevada, our Las Vegas car accident attorneys may be able to secure you a settlement. Even if you contributed to the collision happening, you could still be entitled to compensatory damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. You pay nothing unless we win your case.


Legal References:

  1. NRS 484B.135; NRS 484B.600; NRS 484B.363; Nevada DMV Violation Codes.
  2. NRS 484B.130; NRS 484B.600.
  3. NAC 483.500; NAC 483.510; Nevada Driving University.
  4. NRS 483.560.
  5. See, e.g., Traffic School Information, North Las Vegas Municipal Court; Las Vegas Justice Court Traffic School.
  6. NRS 173.155; see, e.g. motion to place on calendar to quash the warrant at Las Vegas Justice Court; Nevada DMV Suspension.
  7. NAC 483.500; NAC 483.510.
  8. 49 CFR §383.51.
  9. NRS 179.245.
  10. NRS 179.255.
  11. Sixth Amendment.

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