Getting a speeding ticket or other traffic violation fine can be a burden, especially if it affects your car insurance rates. But, it must be dealt with to keep your driver’s license in good standing. In some cases, you will simply pay the ticket and wait for the points to expire or pay for traffic school to eliminate them more quickly. You can also dispute the ticket in the hopes that the severity of the ticket is reduced.
Pay Your Ticket
If you know you were speeding, you might be tempted to just pay up and move on. Wherever you were pulled over, each county can have different fines for speeding, and these fines could be significant depending on how fast you were going. Not only this, points will be added to your license based on how far over the speed limit the officer says you were going.
If you decide to pay, the points will remain on your license for a year and your auto insurance rates have a good chance of increasing. It is vital that if you go this route, that you pay the ticket on or before the deadline to avoid further problems. Paying up is generally not recommended for more extreme violations, such as DWI charges. A DWI can result in losing your license which is not always a fair charge.
Dispute in Court
While this might sound complicated, if your ticket was simple, such as speeding five to 10 mph over the limit, disputes can be fairly routine and could take five minutes. Disputing is recommended if you know you were not actually speeding, but some people take their tickets to court to see if the fines and points can be reduced.
If your traffic violation was serious such as a DWI, with the potential of losing your license, you might consider hiring a lawyer to represent you and help collect evidence to improve your case. After the prosecutor and your lawyer present their evidence, the judge will decide what to do, whether that is to leave the fine alone, reduce it, or even dismiss the ticket.
Mitigation is useful for people who have never had a traffic ticket, or if it’s your first one in many years. In this case, you would admit fault and explain your situation. In some cases, the judge or lawyer in charge may give you more time to pay, reduce your fine, delete the points on your license, or allow you to take a class in traffic school in exchange for reducing the charges.
While this does not always work, it does not count against you to try. Be aware though, after you admit fault you cannot go back and appeal.
In serious situations that involve extreme fines, insurance rate hikes, or even jail time, utilizing a speeding ticket lawyer could be the difference between you driving to work or taking the bus for a year.