Whether you were distracted or in a rush while driving, getting pulled over by a police officer for a moving violation will force you to concentrate and slow down immediately. If you are like most motorists, it is likely that you will decide to pay the fine and not contest the traffic ticket before the police officer reaches your window and explains your traffic violation.
Unfortunately, paying your traffic ticket now so that you can avoid court later can be costly. In addition to the cost of this fine, you could be on the hook for other expenses and face further headaches down the road.
How that traffic ticket affects your wallet and your driving privileges
When you pay the fine for your traffic ticket, you are admitting that you are guilty of committing a violation. Your finances and driver’s license could be affected in these ways:
- Your car insurance rates could dramatically increase. Auto insurers raise premiums on drivers they consider risky to insure and may not lower these premiums until years have passed without a traffic violation. If you receive many tickets in a short amount of time, your insurance company could drop your coverage altogether.
- Your driver’s license is no longer clean. You accumulate demerit points, which are added to your license when you receive a ticket and remain on your record for two years. Your license could be suspended or revoked if you have too many points on your license.
- If you receive another traffic ticket in the near future, you could face higher fines and stiffer penalties. In Virginia, police officers can easily access your driving record when they pull you over for a violation. These officers take a firm stance on speeding and other traffic violations, so they are more likely to issue a ticket for a repeat offense than a first-time driving offense.
When you are pulled over for a speeding ticket or other violation, it may be tempting to admit your guilt so that you can move on with your day. Consider contesting your ticket in court before your fine. Understanding the repercussions of your actions could save you money in the long run.