Step 1: Talk to a real life lawyer. They will need more exact information than you provide here, so see other steps noted below for how to get that info so you don't waste your/their time.
Reasons: You may have been charged with criminal speeding, or you may (and this is relatively likely) have a warrant for you for failure to appear, contempt of court, failure to pay, or any one of about a half-dozen other things. You may indeed have multiple such items issued, depending on the exact way the ticket was written and the temperament of the judge in the city/county that handles these matters...also, depending on the astronomical alignment of the stars. Our legal systems aren't known for their predictability.
Other Possible Steps, beyond lawyer (but not a replacement!): Call around to get in touch with the courthouse in the area where you were given the ticket, and ask to speak to someone about an old speeding ticket. After some transfers you should be able to get to the right courthouse/department and they can look up your ticket, give you the status, and also helpfully tell you if there is a warrant issued for your arrest in the case. There may not be - but there may be. I wouldn't be afraid of this part - the FBI will not descend on your house for calling the court, nor will the court suddenly "remember" the ticket and go after you. You're pretty darn safe to call and ask.
You can also Google around for the US county you received the ticket and check out their website. Often you can just enter your name and birthdate and search for old tickets, warrants, fines, etc - but this varies by county and state.
Why Not Just Go For it?
- You can be denied entry to the US. While in no way a guarantee, nor even particularly likely, this can change at any time and there are no promises made. If you are denied entry I imagine this would ruin your vacation plans, so you do have the option to file an I-192 Application For Advance Permission To Enter as Nonimmigrant, so they'll let you know if you can even enter the country.
- You can be denied permission to drive. Did you want to drive in Florida?
- If originally granted permission to drive initially, there is no guarantee the ticket will be "seen" during the permission granting. During a routine traffic stop you could find out that you are not, in fact, allowed to drive, and you can be arrested on the spot and/or fined for driving without legal authorization.
- Even if you don't drive, if for any reason you have a talk with the authorities and they notice an out of state warrant, the idea that this won't be a problem for you is simply wrong - the standard procedure is to go ahead and arrest you and take you to the local jail. You may not be extradited to California if they don't want to pay, but California doesn't have to decide that right away - you can easily spend a minimum of a business day in jail, and depending upon local laws and conditions this could be an entire weekend or longer even if you are a naturalized US citizen. How long you might be in a jail as a non-citizen could vary quite a bit. According to one legal site:
According to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and many
comparable state rules, an arrest based on a valid warrant can be
executed anywhere in the United States. Whether or not that arrest
will occur, however, simply depends.
- Technically speaking, yes you could also be allowed to enter the US and then arrested once you get to immigration or beyond. We're not talking SWAT-team action here - just a casual glance at a screen that shows you have outstanding warrant(s) in a US state. While our legal systems are not the most modern in the world, the growth and sharing of databases has exploded in the past few years and it would be foolish to think old ways of doing things are permanent.
"You'll probably be fine" is rightfully considered on the same level of wisdom as behavior that generally follows someone saying "hold my beer" - it is almost never worth the risk. Sure, you might be fine - but you might also be in for a really, really unpleasant experience. And don't take my word for it - talk with a legal professional before you bet on relying on the kindness and/or complacency of the US legal system.
Again, as a lifetime citizen of the US and someone who lived 20+ years in Florida, I urge you to speak with a professional on this matter, if for no other reason than peace of mind so you can enjoy your vacation (and know if you need to cancel it!). If you were a citizen of the USA I would still urge you to do this, and as an "alien" this is a no brainer - talk with a professional first!