Each year, just under 10% of all motorists will get pulled over and accused of a traffic violation.
While a lucky few may get let off with a warning, most will receive a traffic ticket. Except for more serious violations, like charges related to impaired driving or a reckless driving charge, these tickets will not involve the possibility jail time.
People may not want to go through the process, but they drivers who do receive a ticket have the option of trying to fight the charge or negotiate for a lighter penalty.
One ticket can cost thousands of dollars
While it might be tempting to just pay the few hundred dollars to get a traffic violation resolved quickly, the overall financial consequences are usually a lot higher.
For instance, even seemingly minor violations that have nothing to do with driving, like driving with an expired tag for instance, can on average hike annual insurance premiums by around 10%, which can be well over $100 a year.
Traffic violations which do involve unsafe driving, even if it is just a speeding ticket for 10 miles per hour over the limit, will spike premiums by over 20%, or over $300 per year. Assuming the premiums stay elevated for 3 years, this means one ticket costs close to $1,000 in insurance alone.
The most serious charges, like impaired driving or a hit-and-run accident, can easily cost over $1,200 per year in additional premiums.
Other penalties for traffic violations
Like other states, Maryland has a system under which license drivers receive points for certain traffic violations. If a driver gets too many people in a short amount of time, she may face a license suspension.
The possibility of a license suspension is another reason why someone with a traffic ticket may want to explore his legal options.