Four Ways A Speeding Ticket Can Really Mess Up Your Life
Speeding tickets are more than just an expensive inconvenience. They can have far-reaching consequences in your daily life, as well. Before you simply pay the ticket and move on, make sure you aren't in danger of having this one innocuous ticket ruin your entire life.
#1: Community Service – or Worse
It's a given that the speeding ticket may cost you quite a bit in fines. It may cost you even more if you are expected to attend traffic court, which is often the case if the citation is for excessive speeding and reckless driving. The real cost, though, is that your punishment may go beyond fines. Excessive speeding and reckless driving is sometimes met with community service or even jail time, which is a steep cost that you can only pay with your time.
#2: Insurance Hikes
Every ticket you get is going to result in a higher auto insurance rate. This is especially true if it's a moving violation like speeding or reckless driving. These violations remain on your driving record for two years or more, depending on your state. This means it can take years for your insurance rates to go back down.
#3: Job Loss
If you drive for a living, you may lose your job over a single speeding ticket. Even if you keep the job, you are likely to now be lower on the selection list for the next raise or promotion. It's well worth it to fight a ticket if it means that you can keep your job - even if all you can just get it reduced to a non-moving violation.
Also, keep in mind that some traffic violations are considered felonies. This is usually the extreme end of things, like reckless driving and DUI. A felony can lead to job loss even if you don't sit behind the wheel as part of your duties.
#4: Ruined Credit
The court can be a real stickler. You need to make sure that your fine is paid on time or it will be reported on your credit report. Not only will this raise your interest rates and make it more difficult to get approval on loans and credit cards, it can also affect insurance rates beyond just your car. Many employers also check credit reports, so it can hurt your future hiring chances.
It can be well worth it to fight a ticket, even if you think you deserved it. At the very least, the court may be willing to lower the charges or dismiss them in exchange for traffic classes. Consider contacting a professional for help, such as those at Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland LLP.