A traffic ticket is generally considered an infraction, which means you are only facing a fine if convicted. However, there could be additional consequences if you fail to answer the ticket or show up at your court date. Although the violation and the penalty may be minor, an attorney still may be of assistance in your case.
An Attorney Can Represent You in Court
In most cases, you don’t have to actually appear in court if you have a representative there in your place. This means that your attorney can answer the charge and argue for you in front of a judge. It may be the option for those who either can’t get out of work or other commitments or can’t get the date moved because the judge won’t reschedule. While cases can generally be postponed, it may only be done in extraordinary circumstances, and an attempt to delay the case is generally not a good reason.
What Happens if No One Shows Up?
If you don’t show up to your court date, a default judgment will most likely be entered against you. This means that you will need to pay a fine as well as have points added to your license if applicable. Typically, you will receive notice of the judgment against you as well as when the fine must be paid. If the fine is not paid by that date, your license may be suspended.
What Happens If I Drive on a Suspended License?
Driving on a suspended license is a violation in itself that generally comes with a fine as well as points added to your license. If you are pulled over for DUI or commit an aggravated offense while driving on a suspended license, the penalties for all offenses could increase. The only way to get your license renewed is to pay all penalties related to your traffic ticket or ask for another hearing to dispute the charge.
Your Insurance May Lapse Because of a Suspended License
It is possible that your auto insurance will either lapse or be cancelled if you don’t have a valid license. This is yet another offense you could be charged with if pulled over before you take care of the issue. In such a situation, your attorney may be able to argue that you didn’t know about the cancellation or that you had actually taken care of the ticket. If successful, you should have all charges dropped and the case resolved in your favor.
Traffic Tickets Don’t Take Long to Resolve
Depending on the severity of your offense, it may be possible to mail your plea as opposed to actually going to court. However, if you are required to go to court, it only takes a few minutes to talk to the judge and get a verdict. Therefore, even if you have to take time off of work, it won’t be more than a couple of hours or half a day.
In a typical case involving a traffic ticket, you will pay a fine of $500 or less. Depending on your offense, you could get rid of points or other penalties by going to traffic school or staying out of trouble for a certain amount of time. Remember, you have the right to representation if you want it, which means that you shouldn’t hesitate to contact an attorney if you need assistance in your case.