Traffic tickets are a common occurrence, but many people don't realize the serious consequences that they can have. In addition to the fines and court costs, traffic tickets can also lead to points on your driving record, increased insurance rates, and even a suspended license.
Fines and Court Costs
The fines and court costs associated with a traffic ticket can vary depending on the severity of the violation and the state in which you live. However, even minor traffic violations can result in fines of hundreds of dollars. Additionally, you will also be required to pay court costs, which can add up to several hundred dollars more.
Points on Your Driving Record
For most traffic violations, you will receive points on your driving record. The number of points you receive will depend on the severity of the violation. For example, a speeding ticket can range between zero and 5 points.
Points on your driving record can have a number of negative consequences. First, they can lead to increased insurance rates. Insurance companies use your driving record to determine your risk level, and drivers with more points on their record are considered to be riskier and therefore pay higher rates.
Second, points on your driving record can also lead to a suspended license. If you accumulate too many points on your record, your license may be suspended or revoked. This can make it difficult or impossible to get to work, school, or other important appointments.
In addition to the fines, court costs, points on your driving record, license suspention and increased insurance rates, traffic tickets can also have other negative consequences. For example, some employers may conduct background checks on potential employees, and a traffic ticket on your record could hurt your chances of getting a job.
Additionally, some traffic violations, such as DUIs and reckless driving, can also result in jail time.
What to Do If You Get a Traffic Ticket
If you get a traffic ticket, the first thing you should do is carefully review the ticket. Make sure that the information on the ticket is correct, and that you are being cited for the correct violation.
If you believe that the ticket is in error, you may be able to have it dismissed. However, if you are guilty of the violation, you will need to decide whether to pay the ticket or fight it in court.
If you decide to pay the ticket, you will be admitting guilt to the violation. This will result in points being added to your driving record, and your insurance rates may increase.
If you decide to fight the ticket in court, you will have the opportunity to present your case to a judge. If you are successful, the ticket may be dismissed or reduced to a lesser violation.