Georgia Driver Hit With $1.4 Million Fine For Driving 90mph

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Mariane Angela Contributor
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A Georgia driver won a million-dollar ticket in a shocking turn of events. The surprise of a lifetime, unfortunately, was not a lottery jackpot, but being slapped with a traffic ticket worth $1.4 million after being pulled over for speeding, according to WSAV.

Connor Cato, who allegedly drove 90 mph in a 55 mph zone, was surprised to see the fine he was apparently issued for speeding Sept. 2, WSAV reported. While Cato had initially expected a super-speeder ticket, he never thought he’d have to pay a total of $1,480,038.52 for it, per the outlet.

Cato questioned the city about the outrageous amount of the fine. He later got a response from an official stating, “You either pay the amount on the ticket or you come to court on Dec. 21 at 1:30 p.m.”

Criminal defense attorney Sneh Patel expressed his disbelief at the situation, saying, “At first when I was asked about this, I thought it was a clerical error. But then you told me you followed up and apparently it’s not a clerical error. But again, I have never seen something like this, ever.”

“It’s a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature, it will be $5,000. Now, the bond amount should be relevant to that.” Patel clarified the exorbitant fine is typically associated with cases involving serious crimes like drug trafficking, murders or aggravated assaults, not traffic violations, WSAV added.

“Now, the bond amount should be relevant to that so for misdemeanor, you wouldn’t see bond amounts over $5,000 maybe $10,000 just to ensure if it’s a crime that involves violence or if you’re anticipating they will commit more crimes, it would set a higher amount or if you think they won’t show for court, you set a higher amount,” he explained. (RELATED: NFL Star Says He Was Speeding Before Ohio Car Crash, Video Shows)

A spokesperson for the City of Savannah confirmed the $1.4 million amount is merely a placeholder and not an actual fine. They explained the figure is automatically generated by the system for super-speeders who are required to appear in court. The practice of using such a placeholder has been in place since 2017, the outlet reported.

The actual fine imposed on Cato will be determined by a judge and will not exceed $1,000, excluding additional state-mandated costs. The city attributed the exorbitant placeholder to the way the software for generating traffic tickets was designed, as it automatically used the largest number possible due to the mandatory court appearance for super-speeders, per the outlet.

The City of Savannah has acknowledged the need to adjust the language in e-citations to avoid similar confusion in the future, offering a glimmer of hope for others who may find themselves facing seemingly outrageous fines.