Do You Know What to Do When You Get A Speeding Ticket?
The dreaded speeding ticket. Dealing with it can be a headache and it can cost you, in fines and in dings on your auto insurance coverage. If you’ve never experienced a speeding ticket, just remember there’s a first time for everything. Are you prepared?
It’s estimated that of the one in ten drivers who get stopped for speeding annually, about 30% don’t actually get ticketed. There are ways to deal with a ticket beyond simply paying in full.
The cost of a speeding ticket is based on several factors. How fast were you going? Do you have a history of getting ticketed for driving too fast? Where do you live? Some states have higher penalties. You’ll almost always see your car insurance rates increase.
There are some things you can do when you’ve received a speeding ticket.
Three Approaches to Dealing with a Speeding Ticket
1. Just pay it.
This is the path of least resistance. Paying your fine is the quickest way to get the experience over with. Be sure you pay it on time; your citation will include the due date. If you pay late you could receive additional fines.
2. Put up a fight.
If you feel you didn’t deserve the ticket for some reason, you can fight it. You’ll need to appear in court on a specific date. For an especially serious offense, consider hiring an attorney to represent you; otherwise, you can argue your case on your own. The judge will tell you to pay the fine in full before you leave, reduce your fine or dismiss your ticket.
3. Admit it and try for mitigation.
If you haven’t had any violations for a long time or it’s your first speeding ticket, this might be as good option to take. Admit that you were speeding and explain the circumstances. Sometimes this will result in an extension of the payment deadline, a lower fine, or let you take a defensive driving course. Depending on where you live, and what the judge demands, a defensive driving course can lead to a dismissed ticket and possibly reduce or erase the dings on your driving record. Or, you could be told to pay in full.
The best plan of action, of course, is to avoid getting a speeding ticket in the first place.