10 Dec Is there any downside to just paying a ticket?
Is there any downside to just paying a ticket?
If you just pay a ticket, even if it was issued erroneously, it will go on your driving record. When it comes time for renewal or applying for insurance in another state, that may be held against you—you might even lose discounts or be denied altogether. A ticket can also cost you points on your license. Depending on where you are in relation to how many points are allowed and how close to renewing/your license expiring, these additional costs could mean that getting a ticket actually means much more than what meets the eye! Don’t assume paying is no big deal – even tickets that seem like no-brainers can add up in unexpected ways.
If so, what are they? In most cases, there’s not much downside. If you opt for a trial and lose, you’ll get hit with all kinds of fees (court costs, surcharges, etc.). But if that happens, it probably won’t be that bad. Keep in mind that in many cases prosecutors will reduce your charge from something more serious to just whatever was cited in court. And then there are prosecutors who take most tickets no matter what—so those people might as well just pay up front instead of losing at trial only to owe even more money later down the line.
A big one. If you plead guilty, even if it’s just a plea of guilty with an explanation, that conviction will go on your DMV record and follow you for years, potentially reducing your chance of landing higher-paying jobs in regulated industries (like finance or education). It will also take points off your license and increase insurance rates—for three years after conviction. And if that isn’t bad enough, it could lead to future convictions for more serious offenses like vehicular assault.