When people think about their right to a defense, they usually think about serious crimes, not traffic violations. However, although traffic violations only result in a citation or ticket, you still have the legal right to defend yourself against one. In some cases, defending against a pending citation or ticket is the best option.
Depending on the nature of the citation, traffic tickets can cost anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred dollars. They can also have an impact on your career and your finances that last well beyond when the fine is paid. The more serious the traffic offense, the more reason you have to consider developing a defense and heading to court.
North Carolina, like many other states, uses a point system for traffic violations. Each citation you receive carries a specific number of points. When you have too many points, the state may suspend your license. You will then have to pay significant fees in order to reinstate your license.
Points also have an impact on how much you pay for insurance. The greater the number of points on your license, the higher your insurance premium will be. Insurance companies need to balance reasonable cost to their customers with the likely expenses a new policy could incur for the company.
People with many points on their license or a history of frequent traffic violations are more likely to have future issues that could cost the company money. People with more points on their license often get placed into higher risk pools for insurance, which can result in substantially higher cost to keep your vehicle insured and legal on the road.
You may think that if you get a ticket while driving your own vehicle, it won’t impact your job. However, that is not always the case. Especially if you drive for a living, having a number of points on your license or serious violations on your record can impact your professional future.
Specific offenses, such as impaired driving, could preclude you from retaining a commercial license. Even if all you have is a chauffeur’s license, your employer may have strict standards about the number of points on your license or your driving record.
If you already have points on your license, if you drive for a living or if the citation is for a serious moving offense, it may be worth looking into defending against the traffic ticket. The amount of money you save on insurance costs and licensing expenses may offset the cost of going to court to defend yourself.