Speeding, or intentionally driving faster than the posted speed limit, is likely one of the most ubiquitous crimes. Almost everyone speeds at some time or another. Whether you are a habitual offender or were just late to work one day, getting caught while speeding can turn a mildly unsafe practice into a major headache.
Many people who wind up with a speeding ticket just bite the proverbial bullet and pay the ticket. They may not understand that they do have the right to defend against a traffic citation in court. Even if they know that, they may not think that fighting against a simple ticket is worth their time or effort. For many people, however, pushing back against a speeding ticket is a smart decision.
Speeding tickets are expensive in more ways than one
When considering the consequences of a speeding ticket, most people will think of the time lost during the traffic stop and the actual fine for the ticket. Depending on how fast you were going and other potential factors, such as whether or not you were in a construction zone, a speeding ticket could cost you hundreds of dollars. The financial costs don't end when you pay the fine.
Receiving a ticket will impact your driving record with the state. That, in turn, will impact the insurance rates you pay. Even if you try to avoid informing your insurance company about the ticket, chances are very good they will find out when it comes time to renew your insurance policy. A single ticket may only increase your premium a little bit.
If you have had past infractions, however, this most recent ticket could substantially increase your insurance premium. In some cases, it can even push you into a high-risk pool. That can mean paying substantially more and even needing to change your insurance company just to get coverage.
Going to court could mean reduced penalties, in some cases
There are many different ways in which a driver can approach defending against the speeding ticket. Sometimes, the radar gun used to time speed had not received adequate maintenance or calibration prior to the citation. That could impact the legal viability of the ticket. Other times, factors related to the officer operating the gun could protect you from the consequences of a speeding ticket.
Even if there are no mitigating factors that get your ticket thrown out of court, defending against the ticket could benefit you. It is possible for the judge in the case to offer you a plea to a less serious offense that has a smaller fine or less of an impact on your driving record. That could protect you from insurance issues and other social costs related to speeding tickets.
Before you pay that pending ticket, consider what the potential consequences could be and whether going to court to defend against the ticket is your best choice.