The three hidden costs of paying a traffic ticket
A traffic officer pulls you over, makes allegations and writes a ticket. It may seem like the easiest way to put this behind you is to pay the ticket and move on. Although this may be the easiest step in that moment, it can have long-term consequences.
Three impacts that come from paying off the ticket include:
- Guilt. Paying the ticket is the same as agreeing to the allegations. You have essentially stated that the allegations made by the officer are true, you were under the influence of alcohol, speeding, driving recklessly or whatever else the ticket may claim.
- Increased insurance. Once you pay off the ticket, even if it is the only ticket you on your record, there is a strong risk that your insurance will go up.
- Points. The ticket will also likely result in points on your driving record. These can add up over time and ultimately lead to the suspension of your driver’s license. The points will vary for the offense and can range from 1 for offenses like driving 1 through 5 miles per hour over the speed limit to 8 for reckless driving.
Tennessee state law generally calls for a suspension of the driver’s license when the driver has accumulated 12 or more points in a span of any 12-month period.
Should I ignore the ticket?
No. It is important to deal with the ticket but do so wisely. Legal counsel can review the ticket and discuss your options, better ensuring your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.