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The Hidden Cost Of Traffic Tickets: More Than Just Fines

While the majority of people are familiar with the concept of traffic tickets, and likely know someone who has received at least a speeding violation at some point in their lives, many people do not understand the full implications of these violations. At Driving Defense Law, we want our clients to understand the hidden costs of traffic tickets and make educated decisions regarding their future. 

When you work with us, you can expect a personalized plan for your traffic case to avoid the long-term consequences of receiving a traffic ticket. Through our comprehensive traffic ticket defense approach, we have been able to have these tickets dismissed for countless Virginia drivers. To learn more about how we can help, consider scheduling a free consultation with us by calling or texting Driving Defense Law at (757) 929-0335 today. 

How Much Do Speeding Tickets Cost?

Virginia was ranked the second-highest state for speeding tickets in the country, with 15.76% of drivers having a speeding ticket on record. This is a whooping 34% higher than the national average, indicating that excessive speed is a major problem on Virginia roadways. On average, Virginia speeding tickets cost between $250 and $450, including taxes and other fees. The costs can be even higher if a person is caught driving at extremely high speeds, which may be met with a charge for reckless driving rather than excessive speed. 

While the financial costs of speeding tickets in Virginia are substantial, there are numerous other hidden costs that can impact a person’s life. The following are six of the most notable hidden traffic ticket costs that you should be aware of when navigating your speeding violation.

Increased Insurance Costs

It is not a myth that insurance rates increase after receiving a traffic ticket. Your insurance rate is influenced by a number of factors, including state requirements, vehicle make and model, and your driving history. 

According to a Forbes advisor analysis, the national car insurance rate increase for drivers who receive a speeding ticket is 24%, but this increase can reach up to 45% in some situations. This increased rate can follow you around for years. This is especially true in Virginia, where a speeding ticket will remain on your driving record for a minimum of two years. Depending on the seriousness of the traffic infraction, however, a speeding conviction can stay on your record for up to 11 years. 

To put this into perspective, let us assume that your current insurance premium is $1,200 per year. At a humble 30% increase after a speeding ticket, your annual rates will jump to $1,560 per year – an additional $360 per year. That would translate to an extra $720 over the two years it takes before your premium returns to its pre-speeding ticket rate. The long-term costs of increased insurance rates can greatly exceed the actual fines associated with the speeding ticket. 

Paying Court Costs

Traffic ticket costs include much more than the actual fine for the violation. It is important to understand the distinction between fines and court costs, as these costs can quickly compound. Rule 3B:2 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia sets forth the requirements for court costs depending on the nature of the speeding violation. In certain circumstances, the courts are given permission to increase the costs to account for administrative expenses. Generally, you can expect court costs of $51, depending on the jurisdiction of the speeding violation. 

Attending Driving School

In some situations, voluntarily opting to attend traffic school may be the ideal option to reduce long-term costs. If you plan to work in driving-related jobs in the future, you may benefit from having the speeding violation expunged from your record. As an additional benefit, attending driving school may prevent an increase in your insurance premium. While the price of attending driving school varies, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars to complete the entire course. 

Taking Time Off Work

Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may be required to attend traffic school or complete community service as a component of your sentence. Completing these tasks is mandatory, and the court will not account for your work schedule when assigning these duties. This means that you will likely be required to take time off work to attend traffic school or complete community service, thereby resulting in a loss of income. 

Increased Life Insurance Premiums

The majority of drivers are not aware that speeding violations can impact their life insurance policy, but certain life insurance providers will regard speeding tickets in the same way that auto insurance companies do. Most of the time, a reckless driving charge is required for life insurance companies to increase their premiums, but a consistent record of speeding violations is enough to solicit action from your provider. Your life insurance provider may view you as a riskier person to insure and increase your premium to mitigate their risk. 

Losing Employment Opportunities

It is possible that receiving a traffic ticket can impact your ability to secure employment in the future. In rare cases, it can even cause you to lose your current job. If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License or work as a rideshare driver, for example, you may be terminated due to mere speeding violations. Likewise, if you are applying for jobs with multiple traffic violations on your record, this may be sufficient to prevent the employer from hiring you. While these situations are somewhat rare, they should be taken into consideration when assessing the hidden costs of traffic tickets. 

Defending Your Rights with Driving Defense Law

If you received a traffic ticket, it is important to act quickly and take steps to mitigate the fallout of your violation. Above all, do not ignore your traffic ticket or attempt to represent yourself in court. Doing so can have serious consequences including costly fines, increased insurance rates, and even jail time. 

At Driving Defense Law, the role of our traffic ticket defense attorneys is to defend the rights of our clients. Above all, we work tirelessly to mitigate the hidden costs of traffic tickets and successfully avoid the long-term expenses associated with traffic violations in the state. To begin strategizing your case, consider scheduling a free consultation with our team at (757) 929-0335 today.