Should I just pay my traffic ticket or fight it in court?

It is always a smart idea to schedule a court date to contest your traffic ticket.

There can be several downsides to not fighting a traffic ticket, including:

  1. Fines and Penalties: Depending on the type of traffic violation, not fighting a ticket could result in fines and penalties that can be quite costly.
  2. Points: Many traffic violations can result in points being added to your driving record, which can impact your insurance premiums or even lead to the suspension of your driver’s license.
  3. Increased Insurance Rates: Traffic violations can also result in increased insurance rates. Insurance companies often use a driver’s history of traffic violations as a factor in determining their premiums, so failing to fight a ticket could result in higher rates for several years.
  4. Reputation: Traffic violations may also negatively impact a driver’s reputation. Employers, for example, may perform background checks that include driving records, and multiple traffic violations could reflect poorly on an individual’s character and reliability.
  5. Legal Consequences: In some cases, ignoring a traffic ticket could lead to legal consequences, such as an arrest warrant or suspension of your driver’s license.
  6. Missed Opportunity: Failing to fight a ticket means missing the opportunity to dispute the violation. In some cases, the ticket may have been issued in error, or there may be mitigating circumstances that could result in a reduced fine or even a dismissal of the charge.
  7. Misdemeanors: Many traffic infractions are misdemeanors and carry not only fines but actual jail time.

Overall, it is almost always advisable to have an attorney fight a traffic ticket on your behalf. The potential downsides of not doing so can be significant. Reductions on infractions and points are frequently negotiated by attorneys in court. Exercise your rights and protect your driving privileges.