For most drivers in Indiana, paying a traffic citation is their automatic response to a ticket. Even when they feel like the police officer was unfair to them, they may simply send the state the amount of money necessary given the allegations made by the officer and move on with their lives.
Unfortunately, while this approach may be expedient, it is not necessarily the most cost-effective solution. Traffic tickets can carry fines that cost more than $150 in some cases. Additionally, they can add points to your driver’s license.
Once you have accrued numerous tickets or a single, high-value ticket, you may be subject to additional driver’s education requirements or even at risk of a license suspension. Defending against a recent traffic citation can protect you from those consequences.
Even minor tickets add points to your license
Indiana has a point schedule that allows the state to track those with numerous recent traffic infractions. Every time you pay a ticket, the state adds a set number of points to your license, where they will stay for two years.
Basic offenses, like low-level speeding, will only add two points to someone’s license. Texting while driving or excessive speeding may add four points, sometimes even six. Reckless driving can six points in general, eight points if there is property damage and ten points if someone gets hurt. Street racing will also add eight points to your license. Drivers may have to take a course after adding six points in two years or less to their license.
Why points can be expensive
The cost to undergo driver’s education programs is in itself expensive for some families, and it is a cost you have to pay in addition to the fine associated with the ticket. Additionally, you can expect that your insurance company will find out about your tickets even if you don’t call the company to advise them of your recent citation.
Each new infraction will likely increase your car insurance costs. Those with multiple citations could even end up forced to switch over to a high-risk pool for their policies, which can drastically increase coverage costs. Additionally, those who drive for work, especially if they have a commercial license, could face career consequences when they pay tickets and therefore effectively plead guilty to a traffic infraction.
Understanding the true impact of a recent traffic ticket can help you decide how to handle the allegations against you.