Every traffic citation carries a fixed financial penalty. You will have to pay a specific amount of money if a police officer pulls you over and cites you for a moving violation. The average person thinks that the amount of money they pay for the ticket is what the ticket cost them, but that is an oversimplification.
In reality, the cost of the citation is only a fraction of what the total financial impact of the ticket might be. How can you determine what the actual financial consequences of your ticket will be?
Look at your insurance premium
You can expect to pay more for motor vehicle liability insurance when you have a moving infraction on your recent driving record. Your age, sex and insurance company will all influence exactly how much your premium goes up after a ticket.
Older drivers, who pay less for insurance overall, will see a bigger percentage increase in their premiums than younger drivers, and males may see a slightly bigger increase than female drivers will. Adults may see as much as a 20% increase in their annual premium over one speeding ticket.
Consider your overall driving record
The state of Louisiana does not impose a points-based penalty system for traffic infractions like some states do. However, the state does keep information about traffic violations and will report that information to others, including insurance providers, for sometimes as long as 10 years.
If you have multiple previous traffic infractions on your record or this citation is particularly serious, the consequences that you could face include the suspension of your license.
Consider the possible workplace consequences
Do you have a commercial driver’s license? Traffic infractions can have big consequences for those whose profession primarily involves driving. Even if you only occasionally drive for work, your ticket could affect your employer’s willingness to let you perform travel-based job responsibilities.
Overall, especially when you consider possibly paying 20% more than before in insurance for several years, the ticket could actually cost well over $1,000. Defending against a traffic ticket may cost more in the immediate future than just paying it, but it will save you money and protect your driving record in the long run.