A speeding ticket is a massive disruption to your day and also a significant financial inconvenience. The ticket itself will likely cost a few hundred dollars, if not more, which could certainly eat into your budget. While you may feel frustrated about that expense, your first impulse may be to simply pay the ticket so that you don’t have to continue worrying about it.
That approach could actually cost you far more money than you might imagine in the long run. When you pay a ticket, you have effectively pleaded guilty to a traffic offense. The consequences of that guilty plea could last for years and cost you thousands of dollars.
The ticket is only the beginning of the cost
The fine for the ticket is only the initial financial impact of a traffic infraction. The total cost will likely be several times higher than the price of the ticket itself. In addition to a fine of as much as $5,000 in extreme cases, you also have to consider what that ticket will do to your car insurance costs.
Drivers in their 40s can expect to pay a roughly 14% increase in premium costs after a single speeding ticket. That means hundreds of dollars more each year for the same amount of coverage. Depending on your insurance company’s policies, you may be subject to those increased rates for three to five years after the ticket. Every ticket you get after the first will increase what you pay even more.
How do you fight a traffic ticket?
You have the right to defend yourself in traffic court after an officer issues a citation claiming that you broke the law. In fact, you can have an attorney represent you.
When you have a lawyer defending against a citation for a traffic infraction, you may not even need to miss work to attend the hearing. If the defense is successful, you can avoid the increase in insurance costs and the fine. Additionally, you will maintain a clean driving record, which may be important if your job responsibilities ever involve driving.
Determining the true cost of a traffic ticket may give you the necessary motivation to fight back against your recent speeding citation.