A Missouri police officer who thinks you violated the law may write you a ticket. That citation is a notice that you have violated the law. You theoretically have the right to defend yourself against that citation. However, many drivers do not make use of that right.
Instead, they just pay the ticket. What they may not realize is that paying a citation is effectively the same thing as pleading guilty to a traffic offense. That traffic violation will go on your record and will have two significant consequences.
It will add points to your license
The state of Missouri tracks the performance of individual drivers by recording traffic violations. Each citation carries a specific number of points that are applied to someone’s license. A low-level speeding ticket might add three points to your license, while allegations of driving with a suspended license could mean 12 more points on your license.
Especially if you have previous tickets on your record, defending against a traffic citation could help you protect your license. After eight points accrued in 18 months, the state will suspend your license.
It will increase what you pay for insurance
Your insurance company looks at numerous factors when estimating how much risk insuring you will involve. Your age, your sex, the value of your vehicle and your driving record will all influence how much your coverage cost. A single traffic ticket can significantly increase how much you pay for insurance.
Defending against the ticket can be a great option for many drivers. It helps them keep a clean driving record, and the costs involved in defending against a citation may be less than the long-term impact of those points on someone’s insurance costs. Learning more about traffic citations and their consequences can help you respond after a police officer writes you a ticket.