5 Ways a Traffic Ticket Costs You Money

Thomas Jeter • August 1, 2014

5 Ways a Traffic Ticket Costs You Money

There is little doubt that receiving a traffic citation is going to have a dollar amount tied to it. Many people are unaware at all the expenses associated with such a violation, as the actual figure goes beyond the basic ticket fee. Here are five ways that receiving a citation can adversely impact your wallet:

1. Ticket Cost

In North Carolina, there are standard fine amounts associated with the type of violation. The state sets a basic fee in addition to the administrative cost of a ticket. For example, speeding in a school zone will merit a ticket of $250 plus costs. Failure to reduce speed will result in a $50 fee plus costs. Those costs can be upward of hundreds of dollars depending on when and where the ticket is issued. It is also possible that having outstanding tickets or prior violations will increase the amount of the fine.

2. Insurance Fees

One of the biggest hidden costs of a traffic ticket is its effect on auto insurance premiums. Even the most basic offense can cause a significant spike. According to Insurance.com, drivers with a single-car policy and just one violation see an average jump of 18 percent on their insurance premiums. Multiple offenses can mean a 50 percent increase. A major violation, such as a drunk driving charge, can almost double the rate.

3. Court Fees

Not all moving violations require that the accused person goes to court, but some do. Drivers who attend court will be responsible for paying the associated court costs, which range depending on the violation and other specifics. It is important to note that those who are cleared of charges typically do not have to pay the fees.

4. Traffic School

In North Carolina and in most other states, there is a driver’s license point system. Incurring a traffic violation will result in points on the license. Once drivers accumulate seven points, they are required to attend a traffic safety school program, which will cost $50. The plus side of this is that attending school will lower the number of points on a driver’s license.

5. Missing Time From Work

Attending court or traffic school typically means that drivers have to take time off work, which can be costly. People who do not have vacation time or are paid by the hour will see a lower paycheck. A single court appearance can last all day, and typical traffic school programs are four hours long.

Once you start adding up the true cost of a traffic violation, you see it goes well beyond the simple fine itself. At Nosal & Jeter, LLP we regularly work with clients to help them avoid the exorbitant expenses associated with citations. Let us review your case and discuss your options.