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Paying your traffic tickets could cost you your license

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2022 | Traffic Tickets |

No one wants to get pulled over by the police. Even if you know that you should drive at a speed a little closer to the limit, you probably still don’t expect a traffic stop when one occurs.

Waiting for an officer to check your plates and write you a ticket could make you late for wherever you needed to be. The ticket itself will cost you a couple of hundred dollars and will probably affect how much you pay for insurance in the future.

Your citation could also cost you your license. The possibility of a driver’s license suspension is one reason why you might want to defend against a traffic ticket in North Carolina.

Every ticket add points to your license

When an officer writes you a citation, they accuse you of breaking the law. Since it is a civil infraction and not an offense that carries jail time, they don’t arrest you. Still, when you pay the ticket, that is the equivalent of pleading guilty to the traffic offense.

The state applies points to your license based on the citation you received. Once you have 12 points accumulated within three years, the state could suspend your license. It’s easier to reach that threshold than you might think. Just tossing trash out of your window could result in a one-point citation for littering.

Speeding, failing to yield or running a red light will all add three points to your license for each citation. Failing to yield to smaller vehicles, like bicycles, will add four points. So will illegal passing or driving on the wrong side of the road. Aggressive driving or passing a stopped school bus are both offenses that carry five points per citation.

How do you fight a traffic ticket?

The nature of the offense and your driving record will determine the best strategy for fighting back against a ticket. Sometimes, like with claims of aggressive or reckless driving, you can challenge an officer’s interpretation of your actions. Other times, you could challenge the accuracy of their report.

Only by fighting back against the pending ticket can you avoid the points that come with it and all the consequences those points can cause. Understanding what happens when you pay a traffic ticket might help you decide if it is worth fighting back against it instead.