Picking a traffic ticket is not fun, but it’s a common occurrence. Research shows that one in ten drivers in the U.S get stopped for speeding annually. Out of this figure, about 70 percent get tickets. However, ensure you avoid picking a speeding ticket. Why? This can cause a myriad of problems with your insurance rates and the cost of the ticket itself.
What’s more, if you get too many, your license can be suspended. However, you can take several steps to lower the damage a speeding ticket can cause. While doing so is difficult, here’s what you need to know about your options.
1. Hire a Lawyer to Represent You
Matters of the law are complex, and so is trying to dispute a ticket. But if you plan to do so, it’s best to hire a local ticket lawyer. Also, if your driving privileges have been limited, you need to understand about hardship license. This is another area where an attorney comes in handy. He or she will help protect your rights if the traffic ticket is because of a minor traffic violation.
2. Remain Calm
Don’t overreact. Most people end up overreacting, making the case even more complex for them. Once you realize that a patrol officer will issue you a speeding ticket, remain calm. You also need to appear respectful to the officer. Don’t argue with the officer.
Additionally, never attempt to persuade an officer to recant the citation. You’ll be making the issue worse than it is. Follow whatever directives the officer issues you to the latter.
3. Understand How the Law defines your Offense
You can get a traffic ticket based on different violations. Whatever it is, you need to understand how the offense is defined by law. This is essential to a successful defense in traffic court. If possible, ensure you look up the law you’re accused of violating. In most cases, the officer issuing the ticket will write the name of the offense and the number of the code section. You can confirm the offense by conducting a quick internet search.
4. Pay the Ticket
In some cases, people don’t want to challenge a speeding ticket, so they resort to paying for it. Now, this comes with some consequences. First, there’s the cost of the ticket. It can vary depending on the magnitude of the offense. Additionally, the fines vary depending on the state. Second, you’ll get points on your license. Again, this depends on the ticket you received. Remember, these points will cause your insurance rates to spike. Finally, ensure you pay the ticket by the date on the citation.
5. You Can Seek Mitigation
This is another choice you have when dealing with a speeding ticket. If you’ve not had any tickets or violations in the past, this is an excellent option. Typically, mitigation is where you admit to the ticket. You also need to explain the circumstance under which you committed the violation. Explaining the circumstances can lead to the judge having leniency with you.
6. Cross-check Your Information on Your Ticket Copy
Once you’ve signed the paper copy of the ticket, an officer will present you with a ticket copy for your records. The ticket carries your contact and personal information. It also includes the offense’s location, the officer’s name, and the posted speed limit. The officer will also include the speed you were driving when they pulled you over. Ensure you check whether the information is accurate. If not, notify the officer to make the relevant changes.
7. Fight the Ticket in Court
If you’ve decided to fight the ticket, you’ll need to go to court. In court, a prosecutor will need to prove you were speeding. Even if the ticket isn’t justified, traffic violations are difficult to beat. For instance, if the officer doesn’t appear at the hearing, you’re off the hook. However, don’t rely on this. Instead, consider hiring a lawyer to represent you.
8. Inform Your Auto Insurance Company
Once you’re issued a speeding ticket, you might need to notify your automobile insurance firm. Sometimes, your automobile insurance rate may go up after one or more speeding tickets. In some cases, your insurance company may even drop your policy. This happens if you’re issued with several speeding tickets over a short period.
There you have it! The steps you need to follow when you’re caught for a traffic response. As you can see, it’s critical to take care of a traffic ticket immediately. Paying the ticket or attending traffic school are the best options to resolve the ticket. This ensures it doesn’t lead to more financial loss or complex inconveniences. Remember: don’t delay, but act immediately.