Should You Plead Guilty To A Traffic Ticket?

Posted on: 7 May 2021

When you get a traffic ticket, you have the option to mail in a guilty plea with a payment for the fine or go to court. Whether this is a good idea depends on the consequences of the ticket you received.

Fine Only

Some tickets only have a fine. They don't affect your insurance or add points to your license. Once you pay the full amount of the fine, the ticket will never affect you again.

Tickets that only have fines are usually non-moving violations. These are things like parking tickets, not wearing a seatbelt, or not having your insurance card with you. A non-moving violation means you broke the rules of the road but didn't impact the safety of other drivers.

When you only have to pay a fine, it's a simple math problem if you should fight the ticket. How much is the fine, how much will a lawyer cost, and what are your chances of beating the ticket? Many traffic lawyers offer a free consultation to help you decide.

Fine and Points

Moving violations carry a fine and points. This is for more serious traffic offenses like speeding or running a red light. The consequences of pleading guilty to these tickets are also higher.

First, if you get a certain number of points within a certain period of time, your license could get suspended. That could create a problem if you choose not to fight a ticket you might be able to beat and then later get another ticket that you have no chance of beating.

Second, tickets that add points to your license usually make your insurance rates go up. This can often be more than the cost of the traffic fine. This gives you even more incentive to see if there is a way you can try to beat the ticket.

Criminal Charges

Some serious traffic tickets can lead you with a criminal record. This can include reckless driving or excessive speeding. Keep in mind that your ticket could be criminal even if the police officer doesn't take you to jail in handcuffs. Signing the ticket is like being released without bail.

Most people obviously don't want a criminal record and will want to have an attorney try to beat their ticket. The big mistake to avoid is not realizing that your ticket is criminal and just pleading guilty, thinking the only consequence is a fine.

To learn more about whether you should plead guilty to a traffic ticket, contact a local traffic lawyer today.

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