To most people, a traffic ticket is a simple annoyance. There is the temporary frustration of dealing with police during the traffic stop itself, followed by the financial pain of paying the fine. What people don’t always realize is that the citation won’t just cost them money when they pay the fine. It could also affect their license and what they pay for insurance.
In addition to the financial penalty, there will also be points added to your state driving record that will affect your license every time you pay a fine, which is essentially the same thing as pleading guilty to the traffic violation.
How does the points system work in Florida?
Every time you pay a ticket, the state will add points to your license. Those points will impact your license and insurance rates for the next five years in most cases. The number of points you accrue for each ticket will depend on the traffic offenses involved. Speeding, failing to yield or improper backing citations carry three points, but reckless driving will add four points to your license.
If you accrue 12 points within 12 months, the state will suspend your license for 30 days. If you accrue 18 points within 18 months, you will lose your license for three months. Those who accumulate 24 points within 36 months will face a year-long suspension of their license.
Additionally, even if you don’t accrue enough points for the state to suspend your license, even a single ticket on your record will probably increase what you have to pay for your motor vehicle insurance. The more points you have on your record, the more you will probably pay for your policy.
How do you protect your license and your budget?
After a traffic stop, paying the ticket is not your only option. You obviously cannot just ignore it, but you can fight it instead. Carefully reviewing the circumstances that led to the ticket can help you decide if a defense is an option.
Going to court to fight a ticket will not only protect your license but also your driving record, keeping your insurance costs low and making any future tickets less of a risk for your driving privileges.