If you received a traffic citation, paying it online may seem like the easiest and most convenient option. However, paying the ticket before considering other options may not always be in your best interest.
Before deciding how to handle your ticket, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Manassas traffic ticket lawyer who can assess your case and provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.
Why Paying a Traffic Ticket May Not Be Your Best Option
You may think getting a traffic citation is no big deal, but you face long-term consequences if you pay the fine online. You should consider these negative ramifications of not fighting the ticket:
- Admitting guilt. When you pay a traffic ticket, you admit guilt for the alleged violation and agree to accept the punishment under Virginia law. This admission can have consequences beyond the fine itself. You need to consider the potential impact on your driving record and what could happen if you receive future citations before making a hasty decision to pay the ticket.
- Waiving defenses. You would forfeit your right to present your defenses in court if you pay the ticket without contesting it. You may have strong defenses that could result in the ticket being dismissed even if you believe you committed the traffic violation.
- Increased driving record points. Traffic violations often carry demerit points that are added to your driving record upon conviction and stay on your record for years. You risk your driver’s license suspension or revocation if you collect too many points within a specific timeframe. If you pay a ticket online, points may immediately be added to your driving record. However, you may get the demerit points eliminated or reduced by fighting the ticket.
- Higher insurance costs. Insurance companies consider traffic violations as indicators of risky behavior. If you pay a traffic ticket, they could significantly increase your motor vehicle insurance premiums. You may be able to mitigate these potential long-term financial consequences by raising your defenses in court.
For these reasons, it’s essential to consult an experienced Manassas traffic ticket attorney to discuss whether you should pay the ticket online or explore other options.