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Kang & Co Solicitors is a truly specialist high-end law firm providing legal advice and representation for all matters involving Criminal Law and Driving Offences. We are ranked as a top tier law firm by The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partner’s prestigous law guides.

Our head office is located at 1 Victoria Square in Birmingham City Centre and we offer our services throughout England and Wales on a private fee-paying basis. We also have an office at 330 High Holborn in London and another office in central Milton Keynes. We are frequently instructed by individuals and businesses nationwide.

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Birmingham Office

1 Victoria Square
West Midlands
B1 1BD

330 High Holborn Kang and Co Solicitors London

London Office

330 High Holborn

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Milton Keynes Office

The Pinnacle
Midsummer Boulevard
Milton Keynes

Business Hours

Monday – Friday
09:00 – 17:00
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Meetings at our offices are by Appointment Only

Can You Go to Jail for Speeding? Understanding the Offence

by | Mar 1, 2024 | Articles, Driving Offence Advice

Speeding is one of the most common motoring offences on UK roads, often resulting in fines and penalty points on your license. However, there is a common misconception about whether speeding can lead to imprisonment. In this  motoringarticle, we will delve into the legal aspects of speeding offences in the UK, exploring whether jail time is a possibility, potential defences available, examples of different speeding offences and sentencing guidelines for different levels of speeding.

Can You Go to Jail for Speeding?

In the UK, imprisonment for speeding offences is rare but not unheard of. While most speeding offences are dealt with through fines and penalty points, there are circumstances where a custodial (prison) sentence may be imposed. For example, if your speeding offence is deemed to be particularly serious or if it results in an accident causing serious injury or death, the court may consider imprisonment as a suitable punishment. In this type of scenario, a motorist would be charged with an alternative offence such as dangerous driving causing serious injury rather than speeding.

Understanding Speeding Offenses

Speeding offences occur when a driver exceeds the prescribed speed limit for a particular road or area. The penalties for speeding can vary depending on the severity of the offence. In less serious cases, you may receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), which typically includes a fine and penalty points on your driving licence. However, in more severe cases, particularly where excessive speed or dangerous driving is involved, the consequences can be more severe.

Examples of different Speeding Offences

Example 1 John:

John is caught driving at 100mph in a 30mph zone. His excessive speed posed a significant danger to other road users, and he was subsequently charged with dangerous driving. John may receive a sentence of six months in prison, along with a lengthy driving ban.

Example 2 Sarah:

Sarah was driving at 50mph in a 30mph zone when she lost control of her vehicle and collided with another car, causing serious injuries to the occupants. Sarah could be charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving and could be sentenced to two years in prison.

Defences for Speeding

If you are facing a speeding charge, there may be defences available to you depending on the individual circumstances of the offence. Common defences or challenges to speeding can include:


If you can demonstrate that you had no choice but to exceed the speed limit to avoid immediate danger, you may have a valid Special Reasons Argument.

Incorrect Speed Measurement:

You may challenge the accuracy of the speed measurement device used by the police if you believe it was faulty or improperly calibrated.

Emergency Situations:

If you were responding to a genuine emergency, such as a medical emergency or a threat to personal safety, this may be considered as a potential challenge to a charge of speeding.

Sentencing Guidelines for Speeding Offences

The sentencing guidelines for speeding offenses in the UK are outlined in the Road Traffic Act 1988. The severity of the punishment will depend on various factors, including the speed at which you were driving, the road conditions, any previous convictions, and the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors.

Speed Limit (MPH)
Recorded Speed (MPH)
41 and above
51 and above
66 and above
76 and above
91 and above
101 and above
Disqualify 7 – 56 days OR 6 points
Recorded Speed (MPH)
31 – 40
41 – 50
56 – 65
66 – 75
81 – 90
91 – 100
Disqualify 7 – 28 days OR 4 – 6 points
Recorded Speed (MPH)
21 – 30
31 – 40
41 – 55
51 – 65
61 – 80
71 – 90
3 points

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is the primary legislation governing motoring offences in the UK. Section 89 of the Act outlines the penalties for speeding offences, including fines, penalty points, and imprisonment for the most serious cases.

In conclusion, whilst imprisonment for speeding offences is relatively rare in the UK, it is essential to understand the potential consequences of reckless driving. By adhering to speed limits and driving responsibly, you can help ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. If you are facing a speeding charge, it is advisable to seek legal advice to explore your options for defence and representation in court.

Remember, the information provided in this article is for general guidance purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For specific legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances, contact our specialist motoring legal team on 0345 222 9955 or fill out a call back form.

Do you require legal advice &/or representation?

If you are facing a driving offence prosecution and require expert legal representation at Court, call our lawyers on 0330 818 9843 or complete our Contact Form.

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