Most drivers have gotten a ticket at some point. Traffic infractions are so common that people may believe they’re no big deal. However, some people learn that traffic tickets may not be as minor as you think only after experiencing the consequences. Let’s look at some of the reasons why traffic tickets should be taken more seriously. Please note that the consequences differ based on the type of ticket you received.
Fines, Penalties, and Suspensions
Unless you protest or fight your traffic ticket, you may face stiff fines. For the most severe offenses, fines could be several hundred dollars, not including court costs. The driver may face other penalties, including suspension of your driver’s license.
For example, if you have six moving violations in a 12-month period or seven moving violations in a 24-month period, your license may be suspended for 60 days and one year of probation. A driver’s license suspension can have far-ranging effects on your life, especially if you do not have access to public transportation.
Increased Insurance Costs
We cannot predict the action your automobile insurance company will take. However, insurers tend to increase premiums for drivers with traffic-related infractions and may require that a driver attend a driving school. In severe cases, an insurance company may cancel a driver’s insurance. Since Washington State requires drivers to buy insurance, you may be grounded until you find another company to insure you.
Lawsuits, Divorces, and Child Custody
If your traffic ticket involved an accident that injured someone or caused property damage, you might be sued in civil court. During a divorce, anything you have done may be used against you. If your children were in the car when you got the ticket, and the ticket is for a serious infraction, the judge may feel you put the children in danger. Multiple traffic tickets may make it appear you are irresponsible or suffering from an addiction that affects your judgment. Rather than simply paying your fines, it may be in your best interest to fight your ticket.
Adverse Employment Actions
The most obvious problem is that you may not be able to get to work if you lose your driver’s license. A messy driving record can put jobs that involve driving out of reach, especially if you have had one or more moving traffic infractions.
Have an Experienced Attorney Review Your Traffic Tickets
Ignoring a ticket or taking the wrong action can lead to long-term, serious consequences. Don’t take a chance on your future and try to do this alone. Get the help you need from a lawyer who knows Washington State traffic laws.
Call (425) 747-0582 for a free consultation with lawyer Sarah Cho. From her office located in Bellevue, Washington, Ms. Cho represents clients throughout the Seattle area. The sooner you call, the faster she can help.