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What a traffic ticket can truly cost you

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CarInsurance.com

What a traffic ticket can truly cost you

Getting pulled over can really stress you out. So you were going a little over the speed limit, you had somewhere to get to. After you have spoken to the officer and received the ticket it is really just the beginning of how that speeding ticket can affect you.

The first impact of the speeding ticket is going to be felt in your wallet or pocketbook. Gone are the days of tickets not costing all that much to pay. Today you are lucky if a ticket costs you less than a hundred dollars. This needs to be paid in full by a certain date or there will be consequences.

The penalty for not paying a ticket can be quite severe. You could be hit with an extra fine or even lose your driver's license for a set period of time. If you lose you license it can make you life very difficult. How will you get to work to make the money to pay your bills? How will you get to the store to buy groceries?

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In some states you can choose to pay a lesser fine for your speeding ticket and take traffic school. Traffic school is not free. The cost varies but the cheapest I have ever seen is twenty-five dollars. You may see ads for cheaper amounts but they often do not include the price of the certificate, which you must have to take to the clerk at the courthouse to show that you successfully completed your course.

Traffic school steals time away from you. Instead of spending time with the family or getting work done you have to listen or read about traffic laws. It used to be that you had to meet with a traffic school instructor a few times in which to get your traffic school hours in. Now there are more choices such as DVDs or online classes you can take. Though this might be an easier way in which to participate in traffic school you still have to take time out for the class and usually pass a short test at the end to prove you paid attention.

Traffic school can help take the points off of your license for your traffic offense but it has its limits. You may not be able to do traffic school if you were too many miles over the speed limit or were cited for reckless driving. The other problem is that in many states there is a limit to the amount of times in which you can take it. If you plan to live in that same state for many years to come you do not want to go past that limit.

Once you have completed traffic school you must go back to the courthouse and show your completion certification. This takes more time out of your work day. Traffic school also has limitations in that you cannot take it more than once a year in most all states.

If you have received your second ticket within a year you cannot take traffic school but still do not want the points to go on your ticket, what do you do? Some states allow for deferred adjudication. This usually entails paying twice the fine; you really feel that in your wallet now. This option also places you on kind of probation. The probation usually states that you cannot get a ticket in the next 6 to 12 months or the deferred ticket will go back on your driving record.

If you do not have traffic school or deferred adjudication as options and want to try to keep the ticket off of your record one of your only other choices is to get legal representation. There are many car clinics advertised that are supposed to keep a speeding ticket off your record. Many times this involves paying a lawyer at least $100 to take the ticket to court. The lawyer usually tries to keep pushing back the court date until the officer is unable to make it to testify.

If you cannot afford a lawyer but still think you can beat the ticket you can go to court yourself. To do so you need to contact the courthouse and set up a court date. This will again take time away from your family or your job to fight the ticket. Unless you have a real good excuse or decent lawyer it is hard to get the ticket thrown out. Even if you are able to beat it you most likely will have to pay court costs.

You might have already used up your traffic school or other options to keep the ticket off of your driving record. If that is the case in most states you are going to get points added to your license. Some states have a certain limit which if you reach within a particular period of time your license will get revoked. The more tickets you get, for various traffic offenses, the more points go on your license.

The points added to your license vary by state. What remains true for all states is that the more points accumulated on your license the higher your insurance will go. Speeding tickets generally stay on your driving record for 3 to 5 years. Sure the first ticket is not likely to cause your insurance rates to rise. But if you have received several tickets in a short period of time your insurance is likely to go up, perhaps way up.

Each driving infraction is assigned a certain point value. The more points you have the worse your driving record reads. Certain traffic violations give you more points. If you are going extremely fast in the eyes of officer that pulled you over you may receive a reckless driving ticket. This type of ticket is usually assigned a high value of points and can really make your insurance rates go through the roof.

If your insurance's guidelines determine you have too many points they may decide to not renew you when your policy comes up. Even worse they might decide to cancel your policy altogether and now you will have to find another insurance company before you can drive your vehicle. It can really affect your work and other aspects of your life if you are without an insurance policy.

A traffic ticket for speeding can cost you a lot. Not only are you out the time it took for the officer to issue you the ticket. You are losing money on the price of the ticket, the traffic school you had to take or the lawyer you had to hire to get the ticket dismissed. If the ticket goes onto your driving record you insurance rates could be raised. If you do not take care of the ticket properly you could be out of a driver's license which will soon put you out of a job if you cannot get to work. Getting stopped for speeding has a price to be paid no matter how you look at it.

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