Were you pulled over for a speeding ticket? It’s never fun, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 1 in 10 drivers in the U.S. are caught speeding each year. Speeding tickets can come with heavy fines, points on your license, and even the risk of losing your driver’s license completely. Deciding what to do next can be confusing. Would it be better to fight a ticket or just pay the fine and get it over with? Here are your options, and what to consider.
Don’t Ignore the Ticket.
No matter how you decide to handle your speeding ticket, the last thing you want to do is ignore it. This could lead to higher fines, points on your driver’s’ license, or even the suspension of your license.
Should I just pay the fine?
If you’d rather not spend the time and effort to contest a speeding ticket, or you don’t think it would do any good, you always have the option to simply pay the fine. If you do decide to just pay off a speeding ticket, expect your auto insurance rates to go up.
The amount owed will vary based on your state and the amount you were speeding. For example, if you were driving 25 mph over the speed limit, you’ll pay a higher fine than you would for driving only 10 mph over. The amount you owe will be listed on your ticket, as well as instructions for payment. Be sure to follow all instructions and pay your speeding ticket on time to avoid additional fines.
What if I want to contest the speeding ticket?
If you can show that you weren’t speeding or you feel your ticket was unjustified for other reasons, you can choose to fight the speeding ticket. In North Carolina, you will need to schedule a court appearance. Your ticket will have instructions for pleading not guilty and fighting your speeding ticket.
What else can I do?
If this is your first offense, or you haven’t had a traffic violation in years, you may be able to mitigate the charges and get a reduced fine. Certain mitigation options will keep the traffic violation off your driving record, meaning you won’t face higher insurance rates or points on your license. First-time offenders may be given the option of taking a driver’s course in order to remove the charge from your driving record. You also have the option of seeking reduced fines or payment extensions.
Will I need a lawyer?
To learn more about your options, or if you want someone to represent you in court, contact a traffic ticket attorney who is experienced in speeding cases. If you’re facing more serious penalties such as suspension of your license, a lawyer may be able to help you reduce the charges or find an alternative. Hiring a lawyer doesn’t mean you’ll get the outcome you want, but you will have a better chance with representation.