What Should I Do Once I Get a Traffic Ticket?

You were driving down the highway while jamming out to the latest Justin Bieber album when, all of a sudden, you hear the whirring sirens and see the flashing blue lights approaching your rearview mirror. Getting a ticket for speeding is never a fun process. There’s the embarrassment of being pulled to the side of the road, the upfront cost associated with paying the ticket, the rising price of your car insurance and the slight on your previously clean driving record. After you process the initial shock of receiving your ticket, it’s time to move on to the next step – getting rid of the citation. There are two possible solutions for dealing with a traffic violation ticket.

1. Pay the Ticket

There’s an easy way to make your traffic violation ticket disappear—pay the required fine. If you choose this option, make sure the ticket is paid by the indicated due date. If it isn’t, you could be charged additional fees on top of the full amount of the citation.

However, it’s not always recommended that you pay your traffic violation tickets. First of all, the price of a speeding ticket could really set you back financially depending on what state you were in or how fast you were going. Speeding tickets cost $150 on average, but that cost can vary based on multiple factors. Secondly, paying the ticket immediately admits guilt for the violation. This will affect your driving record, which will, in turn, affect your insurance costs. In many cases, a traffic violation can cause your insurance to increase over $100 a month.

2. Argue the Ticket

This leads to option two—fighting the ticket. While this takes more time and effort than simply paying the ticket, taking your ticket to court could strike the violation from your record and remove the need for the fine. If you believe your speeding ticket was unjustified, you could argue your case in front of a prosecutor. To do this, you should first decide if you would like to represent yourself or have an attorney represent you. The judge must then determine whether or not you committed the traffic violation using evidence gathered from the officer who issued the ticket, any speed guns or a dashcam video. The prosecutor will then decide if you have to pay the full amount of the ticket, pay a reduced amount or pay nothing at all.

Getting pulled over for a traffic violation is never easy. But, you’re not alone. Over 112,000 speeding tickets are issued on a daily basis to people just like you (who may also be jamming to Justin Bieber). Take a deep breath and determine the best path to take with your ticket. If you’re worried about the possibility of traffic court, you could always speak with a qualified attorney, like a Criminal Defense Attorney in DC, who can ensure your traffic violation is treated fairly.

Thank you to the experts at The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., for their insight into criminal defense law.