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The consequences of a traffic ticket can reach beyond a minor annoyance and a small fine. Depending on the type of violation, misbehaving while motoring could mean losing your license, increased insurance rates, and additional fines and fees.
Losing Your License
Losing your license is pretty much a given, for serious traffic violations such as driving while intoxicated, but you can also lose your license for numerous habitual traffic violations in a brief period of time.
For example, in many states, you will accumulate points for each traffic violation. More serious violations are cause for more points than minor infractions. When the points start to accumulate, your license can be suspended.
You may have a chance to redeem yourself before your license is suspended at a revocation hearing. It’s best to provide proof at the hearing of how you’ve improved your driving, or changed the situation that caused the violation in the first place. If you received a DUI, proof of attending Alcoholics Anonymous would be a great way to show the hearing officer that you’ve made positive changes.
In some cases, you can drive with a restricted license if your situation calls for it. For instance, a single mother who needs to drive to work and take her children to school might qualify if the traffic violation allows. If you have this type of situation, be sure to notify the hearing officer.
Insurance Can Skyrocket
An insurance premium that skyrockets is very common when you have multiple moving violations. One traffic violation can cause a spike in your insurance, but more than one – and your insurance could be more expensive than your car payment. If you have more than one infraction, it may be worth your time and effort to fight it in court.
If you’re worried about rising insurance rates, or wondering can you register a car online, never call your agent and tell on yourself! If you plead not guilty in court and win, there’s no need for your insurer to know. It’s better to get an anonymous quote based on your driving history, current tickets, and age. An acquaintance or family member can help you do this. This will give you an idea of how expensive your new rate is going to be. If you find your current insurer’s rates are going to be too expensive, get quotes from multiple companies.
Fines and Fees
If you plead guilty to a traffic ticket, you must pay the fee associated with the violation. Often you can arrange monthly payments in the event you can’t pay the full amount. Sometimes a judge will reduce the total, but if you don’t pay the fine or show up in court to explain – a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. Always take your traffic ticket seriously.
On top of paying for your traffic violation, you’ll find that you’re also paying processing costs or court fees; all cleverly disguised as part of your traffic fine, of course. As you can see; the time, money, and headaches associated with a traffic violation can really add up. Fortunately, in many states, traffic school is an option.
When you get a ticket, traffic school is your new best friend if you want to avoid license suspension, points on your driving record, and increased insurance fees. True, you will have to pay the cost of traffic school, but it’s much less expensive than the alternative.
Of course, the law varies from state to state concerning who can use traffic school to get out of a ticket. Some violations such as drunk driving, a hit-and-run, or multiple tickets may not qualify, but you should always ask about the rules in your state. Even with a serious offense, enrolling in traffic school will only help you in court, showing the judge that you’re working on becoming a safer driver.
Traffic school can bring down insurance rates, keep tickets completely off your record, and teach you how to be a defensive driver.
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