When a police officer issues a traffic ticket, they accuse the driver involved of violating Illinois state law. Traffic violations are usually civil infractions unless they are more serious offenses like impaired driving or reckless driving.
For the most part, traffic tickets will not lead to a criminal record but rather a blemish on your traffic record. Many people think nothing of just paying a traffic ticket and treating the whole experience as an expensive inconvenience.
When they do so, they likely take a short-sighted approach to the matter without considering the long-term implications of their decision. Defending yourself against a traffic ticket in court can be a worthwhile endeavor because of how much the ticket will cost you over the next few years.
The fine and fees are only part of the price
Illinois fines are expensive but not prohibitively so. The average driver might think that paying for a defense attorney over those fines would mean a financial net loss. Although the fines and fees for a basic speed-related traffic ticket will usually be under $200, those direct costs are only part of the financial impact of the citation.
The points that the ticket adds to your license will also increase how much you pay for your motor vehicle insurance policy. The average 40-year-old driver will see their annual policy costs for a full-coverage policy increase by $320. That will add up to nearly $1,000 in extra costs for the same coverage you had before the ticket.
Fighting a ticket often requires professional help
An attorney familiar with Illinois traffic laws and traffic ticket defense can help you defend yourself and your driving record. What you pay for their representation may be less than what you stand to lose if you pay the ticket. Additionally, you simply cannot put a price on the vindication that comes from fighting back against claims that you broke the law and the winnings.
Just paying a traffic ticket and absorbing not just the cost of the ticket but also multiple years of increased insurance costs is not the best response to a traffic ticket. Fighting traffic tickets in court is the best way to reduce the long-term consequences of that ticket on your life.