When an officer pulls you over, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed and even afraid. Once you get your ticket, you might feel tempted to simply pay it off and wash your hands of the event as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, though, the negative consequences of a speeding ticket can last long after the incident itself. For that and other reasons, you may want to think twice before cracking your wallet open on reflex.
Deciding to pay the ticket
NerdWallet examines your paths of action after an officer gives you a speeding ticket. First, you can pay for the ticket. If you do this, the law considers it an admission of guilt and the ticket will go on your driving record. It will stay there for years, and during this period of time, your car insurance company will likely raise your rates and keep them up until the ticket leaves your record. This alone can cost you hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars every year. Of course, you will have to pay for the initial ticket, too.
Choosing to fight the ticket
If you choose not to pay the ticket without a fight, you must challenge the ticket in court. This entails proving evidence and showing that you were not actually at fault for the incident in question. For example, did foliage obstruct the speeding signs in the area? Did the police officer that ticketed you properly calibrate their equipment?
Taking your case to court may seem like a hassle, but in the end, you will likely save more by this due to the high insurance rates that would otherwise await you.