Seeing those red and blue flashing lights behind you and getting pulled over can absolutely ruin your day. Not only will you now be late to your destination, but you also have a costly problem to handle: your ticket.

Whether you get cited for failure to yield, not using a turn signal properly or exceeding the posted speed limit, your citation is more than just an inconvenience and a fine that you’ll have to pay. In fact, a traffic ticket could have an impact on your finances for multiple years even after your court case is resolved.

For a majority of drivers, the biggest financial consequence of a traffic citation is an increase in your car insurance rates.

The amount that you pay for motor vehicle liability insurance stems from the amount of risk your insurance provider believes you pose. The more infractions that are reported on your driving record, the more likely it is that you will be considered a financial liability for the company. To offset the risk, insurance companies charge you higher rates. More specifically, people with accidents or citations on their records will typically find themselves paying more money for the same amount of auto insurance coverage than individuals who do not have any infractions on their record.

Concerns about the increase in insurance premiums might motivate some people to avoid notifying their insurance carriers about any recent traffic tickets. That won’t stop the insurance companies from finding out about it, as they frequently review your driving record (i.e. every time you purchase a new policy, every time your policy is renewed and sometimes even during the months in between).

Even if insurance costs are not an issue for your personally, fighting a ticket in traffic court can save you the money you would pay for the fine and can help keep points off of your record that could eventually trigger a suspension. If you’ve been charged with a traffic citation, call an experienced traffic attorney to learn more about your options.