Why It’s Prudent to Contest Every Traffic Ticket
It’s important to fight every traffic ticket you receive. Many believe that it’s not important to contest a speeding or traffic ticket. Instead, they pay the fine and forget about it. There are several problems with just paying your ticket.
For most traffic offenses, the court will send the Secretary of State a record of your traffic conviction and this will be recorded on your driving record. Also, most traffic offenses carry points which will also be put on your driving record. For example, if you paid a fine for a “five over” speeding ticket, your driving record would show that you sped “five over” and have two points. The Secretary of State keeps a tally of all of your points. Accumulating too many points can result in a suspension of your driving privileges.
There are also your car insurance rates to consider. Your driving record is public information. Your insurance company may review your driving record to determine the insurance rate to charge you. Traffic tickets recorded on your driving record can result in big insurance rate hikes. Successfully contesting the ticket may be wise from a financial standpoint, since insurance rate hikes may last for years.
Finally, one has to consider the future. One of the main goals in contesting a ticket and going to court is to get your ticket reduced to an offense that does not result in points and does not go on your driving record. Prosecutors are much more likely to offer a reduced charge if your driving record is clean.
Contesting each and every traffic or speeding ticket, including the first one, can go a long way toward maintaining a clean record and keeping your insurance rates as low as possible.
How an attorney can help
An attorney who handles traffic cases in your area may help negotiate a favorable plea that avoids or lowers points and is not reported to the Secretary of State. If a favorable plea is not possible due to the circumstances, then a formal hearing can be held which is similar to a trial. At the hearing, the attorney will ask questions to establish your case, cross-examine the police officer and argue on your behalf. Then, the Judge will determine whether or not you are responsible for the traffic ticket.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain from this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice or the formation of an attorney – client relationship. You should consult a lawyer for individual advice regarding your own situation.