What Happens If You Don’t Pay a Speeding Ticket?
Did you get a speeding ticket recently? Are you willing to settle the fine but cannot do so at the moment?
As simple as it may seem, failing to pay a parking ticket may lead to more headaches in the future. Believe it or not, over seven million Americans have suspended driver’s license.
And you know what the main reason is? Failing to pay tickets.
Now there are many reasons why drivers get tickets. One of the most prevalent ones involves speeding. The question is what happens if you don’t pay a speeding ticket?
Read further below as we look into the repercussions and what you can do about it.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay a Speeding Ticket?
Issuing of speeding tickets is common in the United States. In Tampa in Florida, for example, people are always in a hurry. Even the most cautious drivers tend to speed up more than they should.
But with speed limits in place, traffic officers will likely pull them over. After getting your ticket, the law requires you to pay a fine.
Unfortunately, the average speeding ticket in the U.S. costs a hefty $150. So what happens if you don’t pay a speeding ticket?
Let’s discuss the repercussions below:
After getting your speeding ticket, you have 30 days to settle the amount. You also have the option to enter a not guilty plea. If you don’t take any action within the grace period, you risk paying higher fines.
On top of your ticket’s amount, the courts may add a civil assessment. A civil assessment can go as high as $300 in certain parts of the country.
If you still ignore the civil assessment and let the grace period pass without taking action, the court may forward your case to collections. You do not want the collections department bugging your place, right?
Sometimes, failing to pay your speeding ticket may lead to misdemeanor charges. This happens when you get a court order for your traffic violation.
The court summons you to appear. You, on the other hand, fail to do so. Hence, the court charges you with a “failure to appear.”
This is a case of breach of contract. When you signed your violation ticket, you promised to appear in court if the latter summons you.
Moreover, the court may also charge you an additional amount. This is for your failure to pay for your ticket.
Suspension of License
If you fail to pay and avoid appearing in court, you will likely face suspension of your driver’s license. Now this will open up a myriad of problems for you.
If your main reason for not paying the ticket is financial hardship, things will worsen if you don’t have your license. This means you cannot drive your way to work.
In addition, you will have to shell out more money to reinstate your license. And you can only do so the moment the court gives you clearance.
A speeding ticket that is not paid will also give you trouble when it’s time to register your vehicle. Not only does this mean paying more penalties, but you may also need to hire a traffic ticket attorney who can get you out of your situation.
In a worst-case scenario, failing to pay your ticket can lead to an arrest warrant. This rarely happens but if the factors compound, this is certainly a possibility.
This scenario happens to people who have numerous points on their driving record. Add to that a criminal history. This can also happen if you show extreme disrespect to the court or the arresting officer.
You can avoid these complicated matters by simply paying your speeding ticket.
What You Can Do
You already know the consequences of not paying your traffic violation ticket. Now let’s discuss the options that you have if a traffic officer issues you a speeding ticket.
Pay the Fine
To simplify things, you can pay the fine. This will help you avoid complicating the matter. Paying a speeding ticket means you are guilty of the violation.
This means you are waiving your right to challenge the violation in court. There is also a risk of your car insurance rates going up.
Request a Mitigation Hearing
Your second option is to request a mitigation hearing. This type of hearing aims to reduce your fine, among other things. Like paying the ticket, a mitigation hearing also equates to entering a guilty plea.
Aside from fine reduction, the mitigation may also result in agreeing to a monthly payment plan. This is perfect for violators who cannot afford to pay the entire penalty up front.
In some cases, the mitigation may also lead to some community service. All of these repercussions depend on the gravity of your violation.
Request a Contested Hearing
Last, you can request a contested hearing. You can take this route if you firmly believe that you are not guilty of the violation.
During a contested hearing, you can either represent yourself or hire an attorney. Going for the latter is the wiser move to make. A traffic ticket attorney has the knowledge and expertise necessary to win your case or reduce the penalties, at the very least.
In the event that the court convicts you of your traffic violation, you will receive points on your driving record. This, of course, depends on the state you are driving in.
In some cases, violators take traffic safety courses. This, in turn, will reduce their points.
Get the Right Help, Today!
Knowing what happens if you don’t pay a speeding ticket is half the battle. Understanding your next steps will put you in a better position.
But when things go array, it is best to hire a reputable traffic ticket attorney. Get in touch with us and let us know your current situation. Our team of lawyers will guide you in every step of the way.
We handle different kinds of traffic-related cases. We also assist clients facing violations concerning careless driving, traffic control devices, and disobeying traffic lights, among others.