When the police hand you a traffic ticket, you can look up the fine amount online. However, that does not tell you everything.
Many people choose not to fight traffic charges because they think they can handle the financial penalty. Yet, a traffic ticket can have a far greater cost.
Traffic charges can have long-lasting consequences
A traffic charge does not go away once you pay the penalty. If convicted, you may feel the effects for years to come. Here are some reasons why:
- Your insurance will go up: Insurers do not need a second excuse to raise your premium. The rise depends on the offense, but it could increase as much as 60% for a hit and run.
- You could lose income: If the court suspends your license, you might not be able to get to work if you need to drive. Or, if you are seeking employment, you might have to forego several opportunities you can no longer reach.
- You may lose money due to losing time: If it takes you an hour to get home via public transport instead of 20 minutes in the car, you may need to pay someone to look after your children for the extra 80 minutes each day. Alternatively, you may need to reduce your hours, thus earning less.
- You could lose out on jobs due to a criminal record: Some driving offenses could lead to a criminal record. Employers may pass you over when they see that in a background check.
Once you understand the real cost of a traffic ticket, you will realize the importance of contesting it. Proving you are innocent could save you a lot more than your good name.