Getting your first speeding ticket may be scary, and we get that there will be a lot of questions on your mind. If you don’t know what to do, it may result in more trouble with the law and you may even end up in court. And of course, that’s why we’re here to help.
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What are you expected to do with a traffic citation?
When you get your first speeding ticket and it goes on your driving record, it’s likely that your automobile insurance rates will be increased and you may need to contact your insurance company. If your violation was a minor one, you may also be allowed to attend driving school to learn defensive driving in exchange for getting your first speeding fine.
Here’s the scenario: you were clocking 80 mph on a 65 mph posted speed limit zone. Whether you intended it or not, you’re one person guilty of going above the speed limit in an area with a posted speed limit. With a stroke of bad luck and thanks to one police officer who’s diligently doing his job, you suddenly have hundreds worth of speeding fine to pay.
Once you’re caught driving above the speed limit by a police officer, there are a number of steps that you have to go through when you’re issued a speeding ticket. Those who are aware of what happens will be adequately prepared to handle everything. While it is usually not a very complicated process, it’s still good to learn about it. When it comes to speeding tickets, it’s essential that you know your options especially if it’s your first time.
What To Do After Getting Your First Speeding Ticket
Sign and Look Over the Ticket
The very first thing that you have to do when being issued your first speed ticket is to sign a copy of it. You are legally required to sign speeding tickets, but it is not an admission of guilt. By signing the ticket, you are simply promising to either pay it or show up to court.
Take the time to look over your issued ticket after you’ve signed it. You may only have a certain amount of time to decide what you want to do. This varies depending on the jurisdiction, which is why it is important to review the details.
You also want to check the speeding ticket for costs and any possible mistakes made by the officer who issued it. If there are any errors, you will likely get it dismissed outright in court. While this may be fairly uncommon, it’s still a possibility.
Make sure that you understand all of the instructions that are given on the ticket before the officer leaves. They will be able to clarify anything that you might not understand.
Review Your Options
When it comes to a speeding ticket, you may either plead guilty and pay the fine or plead not guilty. If you select the “not guilty” option on speeding tickets, you will have to make an appearance in court. A date will be set for you to appear before a judge or court magistrate. If you don’t want to pay the fine at all, you should be ready to face these consequences we discussed on this article.
Got A Speeding Ticket? Let us help you get rid of it!
Some states may give you a third option, which is enrolling in traffic school. This one basically involves taking a driver’s safety class or defensive driving course. If you successfully complete the course, you can get the ticket removed from your driving record, which means it will not impact your car insurance rates whatsoever. For Virginia speeding laws, click this to see our info guide.
If you try to ignore the ticket, a bench warrant will be issued by a judge. This means that you could get placed under arrest next time your car is pulled over by an officer.
Paying Your Ticket
You can choose to simply admit guilt and pay your speeding ticket. There are ways to reduce your speeding ticket, though. But if you choose to pay, most jurisdictions allow you to do this online or in person.
Paying your ticket online can be extremely convenient, but it sometimes comes with an additional fee. Then again, all you have to do is visit the appropriate website and enter the number on your citation.
But before you simply pay the speeding ticket, make sure that you are fully aware of all the fees that you’ll have to pay before making a decision. In states like California, there tend to be lots of additional fees on most traffic and speeding tickets.
Alternatively, if you want to pay your ticket in person, you’ll need to visit your local courthouse. But before you do, find out which forms of payment are accepted.
Going to Court
If you make the decision to plead not guilty and go to court, there is a process you’ll have to go through. You will be assigned one court date, which you need to take seriously. Make sure that you know what to say in court and show up early just in case.
It’s a good idea to do this if it’s your very first speeding ticket because you can probably get it reduced or even dismissed. Talk to the prosecutor to see if they’d be willing to bring it down to some lesser charge. This can potentially save you money and points on your license. While the judge makes the final decision, it’s something worth trying.
Why Fight a Speeding Ticket?
Choosing to fight the first ticket you receive in court is a good idea for numerous reasons. This type of ticket usually comes with points on your driving record, which is the last thing you want. If you get enough points on your record, you could have your license permanently revoked by the state.
Another good reason to fight your first ticket is that you won’t have to worry about a steep increase in your insurance rate (if it is dismissed). Admitting guilt and paying your ticket might seem like the easier option, but it can cost you a lot with your insurance. Some people end up paying upwards of $300 extra for their car insurance as a result of a speeding ticket. If fighting your speeding ticket seems like a good option for you, here’s our tip for getting your speeding ticket dismissed.
Got A Speeding Ticket? Let us help you get rid of it!
Many people who get a speeding ticket for the first time choose to enroll in traffic school. This is a wise decision, as it means no points on your license. Most states offer this option as well, and it’s convenient because you can do it entirely online. You don’t have to worry too much, traffic school basically teaches you about how to be a safe driver and tests your knowledge at the end. Considering everything else, this won’t take a long time and it’s definitely worth the slight inconvenience for a clean record.
Your Insurance Rate
Getting speeding tickets can send your car insurance rate through the roof, but only if you admit guilt of going over the posted speed limit or if you can’t take care of the ticket in some way. If you are planning to admit guilt and pay the ticket, you should get in touch with your insurer right away. It is important that you know what to expect in terms of how much your rate will increase, especially if it’s your first speeding ticket and you don’t have any clue at all.
The extra amount that you will have to pay for your insurance is going to depend on a few factors, including your speed. For instance, a ticket for 5 mph over the limit might not affect your rate at all, while going 20 mph over definitely will.