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Should you pay your traffic ticket?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2020 | Criminal law

Even the safest drivers can violate the rules of the road. For example, you’re running late for work or school and decide to drive a bit faster than the speed limit. Unfortunately for you, a police officer is sitting by the side of the road, waiting for speeders to come zooming past.

In addition to speeding, here are some of the most common traffic violations:

  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to use your turn signal
  • Running a stop sign or red light
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles

If you’re pulled over for any type of traffic violation, don’t admit to anything. The officer is likely to ask you if you know what you did wrong. Even if you do, a simple “no” is the best answer you can give.

Should the officer let you go with a warning, thank them and safely pull away. Conversely, if they issue you a traffic ticket, there are other steps to take.

Most importantly, review the citation as soon as you can for accuracy. If you notice a mistake, it could work in your favor when fighting your ticket in traffic court.

Next, decide if you should pay your traffic ticket or request a hearing. The benefit of paying the ticket is the ability to quickly put the trouble in your rearview mirror.

However, if you do this, you may not be happy with the impact it has on your life. Here are some of the consequences:

  • Money out of your pocket
  • Points on your driving record
  • Insurance premium increase (or maybe even a cancellation)
  • License suspension

The impact depends largely on the type of traffic ticket and your current driving record. For example, there’s a big difference between rolling through a stop sign and driving 100 miles per hour on the interstate.

Before you pay your traffic ticket, think about the effect it will have on your life. It may make more sense to fight the ticket in court, as this gives you the opportunity to minimize the consequences.

There’s nothing fun about traffic court, but the right defense strategy can make it well worth your while.