If you’ve received a ticket for a traffic violation, you may be hesitant to contest the ticket. On the one hand, contesting a ticket takes time and energy, both of which are precious. On the other hand, failing to contest a ticket could result in both immediate financial consequences and challenges down the road.
Generally speaking, if you have a clean driving record, you’re a safe driver, you’re unlikely to get another ticket any time soon and your traffic violation was minor, you can probably just pay your fine and move on with your life. But, if you already have points off of your license, you’re likely to be profiled or stopped within the next few years, and/or your violation is significant, it’s likely worth your time to fight your traffic violation.
Criminal traffic violations
In Pennsylvania, you can be charged with criminal wrongdoing for certain traffic violations. In these instances, you’ll want to mount a strong defense against these charges. If you’re “only” cited with a civil traffic violation, you’ll lose points off of your license and be ordered to pay a fine. But if you’re cited with a criminal traffic violation, you’re risking jail or prison time if you don’t win your case.
Civil traffic violations
If you’ve been cited with a traffic ticket for a minor infraction, like failing to signal, you will lose points off your license, be ordered to pay a fine, and may be ordered to attend driver education classes. There are two primary reasons that you may want to fight a civil traffic violation. First, losing points off your license now means that your license may be suspended if you lose any more points in the relatively near future. Second, if you don’t fight your ticket, your insurance premiums could go up and cost you a significant amount of money for a few years.
Carefully considering the ways in which your traffic violation may impact your life moving forward will help you to make an informed decision about whether fighting your ticket is worth your time. Making this effort doesn’t make sense in every situation but doing so is a smart move under many different circumstances.