Understanding the likelihood of success can help you decide whether or not a Virginia traffic ticket is worth fighting. Here are some scenarios to consider that can help you fight the ticket with confidence – or simply pay it and move on with your life.
Evaluate your clean driving record
When you get a traffic ticket, you are faced with a fine to pay, and simply paying it one way of dealing with the citation. The alternative is to fight it, which involves contesting the traffic ticket in court.
If you successfully contest the citation, it might result in a reduction of the fine. Better yet, if the fine is disputed completely, the fine is entirely eliminated, and you don’t have to pay a dime.
With some traffic violations, it’s obvious who was at fault and what happened on the road. Other times, there may be some wiggle room for you to argue the facts if officers, witnesses and the evidence offer less certainty.
If you’ve never gotten a ticket before, it might be easier to make a strong case. And with a clean driving record, you’re more likely to get light treatment at all levels: from the officer who pulls you over all the way up to the judge who oversees your case. A clean driving record may help keep your car insurance rate low and open you up to safe driver discount opportunities as well, so it might be worth keeping it that way.
Beware of driving demerits
There are 41 states that give demerits to keep track of individuals’ traffic violations in the form of a points system. Virginia is on this list. At a certain point, you might be facing a suspension of your license from the points that a citation would add to your total. In those cases, fighting is the best option if you want to keep driving legally.
If the citation seems like an anomaly and you don’t think you’ll get another one soon, it may be easier for you just to get the ticket paid instead of fighting. After all, the ticket will be gone from your record relatively quickly.