Taking Care Of Traffic Tickets: What To Know

Even though many consider a traffic ticket to be very unimportant in the wider scheme of things, those who are ticketed should take the ticket and the consequences very seriously. Read on for some tips on handling a traffic ticket that will help keep you out of trouble and spend a lot less money.

You May Not Want to Fight It

Read your ticket very carefully (including the very small print on the back). There are instructions on what to do if you decide to pay for the ticket and move on with your life. However, be sure you understand the effect a ticket could mean for your driving record, your auto insurance, and your wallet. If you drive for a living, for example, admitting fault to a ticket could cost you your job even if you were not driving the company vehicle at the time you were ticketed. Tickets can be extremely expensive to pay and are based on the offense. In some cases, for example, speeding offense costs are based on how much over the speed limit you were driving when law enforcement clocked you.

Unfortunately, most states have laws that convert a speeding ticket into a reckless driving violation if you are a certain amount over the speed limit. That turns a simple traffic ticket into an arrestable offense. A reckless driving conviction could mean a loss of your driving privileges, high fines, and a mark on your criminal record. It's vital that you speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your reckless driving offense to find out what can be done to fight it. Your auto insurance premiums are likely based on your driving record too. You could end up paying higher premiums if you plead guilty and pay the ticket.

If You Decide to Fight the Ticket

You will probably need a lawyer to successfully fight a traffic ticket. When you consider the cost of the ticket and the effect it will have on your driving record, your auto insurance, your job, and more, hiring a lawyer may turn out to be a bargain. To fight against the ticket, you must present a defense. Some common issues that might affect your case include:

  • Proof that you did not violate a traffic law.
  • The officer mistook your vehicle for another.
  • The radar or other speed-detecting device in the officer's vehicle was not functioning correctly, was not properly calibrated, or had other issues.
  • Signage, such as a speed limit sign, was missing or otherwise obstructed from view.
  • The ticket contained an error.

Speak to a criminal defense lawyer that helps drivers with traffic tickets to find out more.