Traffic tickets are usually the result of a moving or non-moving civil infractions, which are non-criminal traffic offenses. Examples of these types of traffic offenses include speeding, running a stop sign, running a red light, failing to wear a seatbelt, or double parking. These traffic offenses are not punishable by incarceration, but rather penalties like fines or license suspension.
After receiving a traffic ticket, you typically have 30 days from the date of issuance to satisfy your obligation. The actual ticket will indicate exactly how much time you have to take action. You should not delay in taking action, as significant delays will drastically increase the applicable penalties. Penalties can include a license suspension and/or late fees on top of an already high fine.
The amount of the fine and/or the number of points added to a driver’s record depends upon the severity of the violation. Completing a driver improvement course may help to reduce or eliminate points, as well as prevent car insurance premiums from skyrocketing. If a driver accrues too many points within a 12 month period, the driver’s license may be indefinitely suspended.
Options for Dealing with a Traffic Ticket
- Paying the fine – In most cases, the penalty can be paid online, via phone, or in person. These fines can also be paid by cash, check, money order, or credit card. By paying the fine, you’re essentially pleading “no contest” to the offense, which can result in significant unforeseen consequences.
- Challenging the ticket and going to court – The second option for dealing with a traffic ticket is to fight the ticket and appear in court. You definitely want to have an experienced traffic lawyer representing you if and when you attend any court proceeding. In most cases, this is preferable that simply paying the fine, as you will avoid any issues like higher insurance rates or points on your license.
Missing a traffic court date can have very serious ramifications. Most likely, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended. If you inadvertently missed your court date, you should immediately notify the court and take the necessary steps to have your license reinstated.