Traffic tickets have underlying penalties besides the fine, which are usually on the citation. Your driver’s license may be revoked or suspended, depending on the severity of the charge and whether it is or is not your first time to commit the violation. Depending on the state where the supposed violation occurred, your driving record points might be hurt. Your car insurance rates might also increase.
Paying the traffic ticket
If you pay the traffic ticket, it would mean you admit to the violation and that you accept any consequences indicated thereafter. This way, you don’t have to appear in any court hearing. You simply have to follow the instruction on your citation to pay the fine. You can pay either via mail or online, but you have to pay your fine before the due date of your ticket.
If you fail to pay on time, you will be fined with bigger amount. You could even lose your driving privileges and you might get arrested.
If you opt to plea not guilty, then it means you challenge the charges against you in court. You must be able to notify the presiding court on time before the due date of your traffic ticket.
Courts usually require you to appear in court personally if you plea not guilty. There are other courts that allow you to have the trial through mail. To be sure about whether you must appear on court or not, it would be best to check your traffic ticket citation. You can contact the court if you have any questions about the traffic ticket.
Fight or fold?
The big question is – are you going to fight or to fold? There are traffic tickets that would be better off paid for, while there are others that should be challenged in court.
But, how do you decide whether that ticket is worth your time going to court or not?
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding to fight or fold:
- Did vehicles or other objects obstruct the officer’s view when the incident occurred? If so, then you have a fighting chance of proving that the officer did not see clearly the offense made.
- Was the officer able to stop the right car? Under heavy traffic and other road obstructions, the officer may easily stop another identical car. If so, you can tell the judge that the officer stopped the wrong car.
- Where you driving safely even though you slightly went pass the speed limit? There are states that allow you to go over the speed limit just a little bit as long as you were driving under safe conditions.
- Did the officer properly apprehend you? If the officer did not use VASCAR, laser or radar to determine your speed, then you can contest the citation in court.
- Is there a legal defensive loophole for the violation you were charged with? For example, you can drive slowly in the left lane if you are planning to turn left.