In the world of criminal offenses, civil infractions are the least serious crimes. They typically don’t even result in court proceedings because the only penalty is financial. Most of the traffic violations that people get accused of in South Carolina are civil infractions.
Since there are no jail time risks, most drivers accused of a traffic violation will just pay the ticket and ignore the secondary consequences. However, some drivers will go to court to fight back against a traffic ticket.
Why would someone choose to spend the day in court fighting a ticket rather than just paying it outright?
They could lose their licenses
Each ticket that you get puts you at greater risk of the state revoking your driving privileges. Drivers will incur violation points against their license for each ticket they pay or traffic offense they plead guilty to in court. Having as few as 12 points on your license could lead to the state suspending it.
Traffic offenses in South Carolina each add two, four or six points to someone’s license. Exceeding the posted speed limit by less than 10 miles per hour is a two-point offense, while reckless driving carries six points. Driving on the wrong side of the road, unlawful turns and failing to yield the right of way can all add four points to someone’s license. Even dangerous parking or failing to dim lights can add two points to someone’s license.
Tickets can affect what someone pays for insurance
The fine associated with a ticket isn’t the only cost it causes for a driver. Having numerous recent tickets on your record will impact how much an insurance company charges to cover you. Paying a ticket is the same thing as pleading guilty to the citation, so the insurance company has justification to charge you more money. Your citations show that you are at greater risk of breaking traffic rules and possibly causing an expensive collision.
The more tickets or points on your record, the greater the increase in your insurance cost. Given that having multiple tickets could affect your finances or even your license, it makes sense that people defend against even first tickets to keep a clean record.
Learning the benefits of fighting a traffic ticket might motivate you to push back after a police officer cites you.