If you’ve been pulled over and ticketed, one of your first thoughts may be that you’ll just ignore it. It’s just a traffic ticket, right? It couldn’t be too serious, or you would have been arrested, you might think. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
If you ignore your traffic ticket, what really happens? Sadly, the penalties could be serious, and they could affect your future moving forward. You may need to talk to an attorney before you decide to ignore your case—the consequences could haunt you.
Losing a Ticket Isn’t an Excuse
Many people try to claim that they just lost their ticket. It’s an honest mistake, and there are many reasons you could have lost your ticket. Rain or water damage, pets, and little kids are all prone to damaging important papers.
However, if something happens to your ticket, that won’t wipe away the police’s report. In Illinois, you’ll be expected to pick up a new copy. If you don’t, the process will continue without you.
That means, rather than putting it off because you lost your ticket, the court will treat this as a failure to respond. Failing to appear at your court date or to pay your fines could land you in major trouble, and the penalties could haunt you for some time.
Penalties for Failing to Respond
One of the biggest impacts of failing to pay a traffic ticket is financial. First, your financial obligations will increase for as long as you don’t pay your ticket. That means a ticket that was worth a hundred dollars could be worth thousands of dollars if you fail to pay over time.
Your insurance policy will suffer for this, too. Your insurance company will see the traffic ticket on your record anyway, and they’ll see other penalties imposed because you failed to pay. They may decide to raise the costs of your insurance, which could make it unaffordable, or they may drop your coverage completely, leaving you struggling to find comparable insurance coverage.
If you ignore your ticket long enough, the penalties will be more than financial. Your license could be suspended, leaving you without the personal transportation you need and relying on public transportation.
You Could Be Arrested
If you still don’t act, your situation could worsen over time. If you continue to fail to appear for court, pay your fines, or answer for your ticket, the judge may issue a bench warrant. This type of warrant is served like an arrest warrant, but it’s given by the judge because you failed to appear.
From there, you could be arrested at any time and taken to court for your case. That could mean being arrested during a routine traffic stop, at home, or even at work. That could damage not just your future as a driver, but also your reputation.
How to Handle Your Traffic Ticket the Right Way
Because things can go so wrong so fast if you ignore your traffic ticket, you need to take the right steps to handle your traffic ticket. Ignoring your traffic ticket will only hurt you, so seeking out a Traffic Ticket Lawyer in Chicago and acting on your traffic ticket is certainly better than ignoring it.
First, you’ll need to plead not guilty within thirty days of the accident. From there, you’ll address your ticket in traffic court, where you’ll present your evidence and show you shouldn’t have received the ticket.
After that, the judge will make their decision based on your evidence and the evidence provided by the police officer. With the right help on your side, that could mean a reduction in your charges or even a complete dismissal.
Get Legal Guidance for a Traffic Ticket
If you’ve been pulled over and issued a ticket, you may wonder whether you should even bother with responding to it. What can they really do if you fail to answer?
Sadly, there’s plenty they can do to make things more difficult for you if you fail to respond, which is why it’s so important to avoid these penalties and fight your ticket. Paying for the ticket could have unseen consequences, and failing to respond to your ticket could lead to even bigger trouble.
Fortunately, you don’t have to face those struggles and issues alone. Get help fighting your ticket, rather than ignoring it. Your ticket won’t just go away, but a lawyer can help you beat that ticket.