Traffic citations seem so minimal to most people that they simply pay them. Even if a person feels like the police officer was unfair or the citation wasn’t appropriate, paying the ticket at least initially seems like the best approach to resolving the situation.
However, there are many good reasons to push back against a traffic ticket, especially if the officer had a questionable reason for pulling you over or if you don’t agree with their assessment of the situation. The following three reasons may convince you to fight that pending ticket.
- Every citation you get adds to your total point count
New York has a points system for traffic infractions. Every time you receive a citation because of a traffic stop or a crash, there will be a specific number of points added to your license record. They stop counting toward your total after 18 months.
If you have more than six points, you will have to pay a driver responsibility fee. If you accrue more than 11 points in an 18-month period, the state might suspend your license. The defense allows you to keep your total number of points at zero or at least below that suspension threshold.
- An uncontested ticket will cost you more than a fine
The state fine that you pay for a ticket isn’t the only cost involved. When the time comes to renew your motor vehicle insurance policy, you will likely find that your premiums go up. The more infractions you have on your record, the greater the increase in your costs. For some people, their most recent ticket might force them into the high-risk pool for their insurance provider, meaning their costs will go up significantly.
- Your traffic ticket could lead to a criminal record
Not all citations are just civil infractions. If you get written up for reckless driving, the officer involved actually intends to charge you with a misdemeanor offense. If you don’t challenge the citation and fight back, you will have a criminal record that could affect everything from your educational opportunities to your future employment options.
Traffic ticket defense can be valuable and will likely not disrupt your life as much as a standard criminal defense would. You may want to consider fighting back against the traffic ticket rather than paying it and taking all the consequences that come with the citation.