Many drivers consider a traffic violation, such as speeding, to be a minor infraction. Besides the inconvenience of having to pay a, sometimes hefty, fine, it may seem like it is not a big deal.
However, having even one traffic violation on the driving record can have numerous long-term consequences. Because of this, fighting the ticket is often a smart choice.
Penalties for traffic violations
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there are numerous consequences that a driver may face for committing a traffic violation. The violation is part of the person’s driving record for a certain period of time depending on the violation’s severity. A traffic violation also results in demerit points, which range from three to six points. For example, speeding one to nine mph over the speed limit results in three demerit points, while speeding 20 or more mph over the limit results in six points.
Traffic violations also affect insurance rates. The insurance company assigns points based on the severity of the violation, and this increases the amount the driver must pay to keep coverage.
If the violation is severe enough, or if the driver has too many traffic violations, it may result in license suspension or a significant increase in insurance rates. According to FindLaw, there are certain strategies that may overturn a violation conviction or lessen its severity. Some examples include:
- Disputing the evidence by using diagrams, photographs or eyewitness statements
- Challenging the officer’s personal judgment about what happened
- Justifying illegal driving due to safety reasons or to prevent further harm
- Arguing that the violation was a mistake of fact
Being able to present new evidence or successfully argue against evidence presented by the officer can help someone’s case immensely.