Does Paying A Traffic Ticket Mean You Are Admitting Guilt?

Randall Page

So, you got a traffic ticket. That should not be a big deal, right?

Actually, a traffic ticket could certainly be a big deal for you. While It is not uncommon to see a law enforcement officer on the side of the road writing somebody a ticket, things are a little bit different when you are on the receiving end of the citation. Here, we want you to understand what happens when you just decide to pay your ticket without challenging the citation in court. At Randall Page, P.C., our qualified and experienced traffic citation attorneys regularly help those who receive traffic tickets in the Courtland, Suffolk, Emporia, and Lawrenceville areas. Here, we want to discuss what it means for you if you just pay the ticket.

What happens when you receive a citation?

When you receive a traffic citation in Virginia, such as for failing to obey a traffic signal or failing to yield the right of way, your citation will tell you that you are required to appear in court for your hearing. Typically, these hearings take place a few weeks or even a few months after you were cited.

Many people simply choose to pay their fine in order to avoid various inconveniences – waiting in the security line at court, getting patted down by police officers at court, sorting through forms in the clerk’s office, taking time off from work, etc. It is not terribly difficult to pay a traffic citation once you receive one. This can be done through the mail or even online with your debit or credit card.

Agreeing to pay your fine seems like a quick and easy fix to make the ticket disappear. However, the reality is that many people do not think through the consequences of simply paying the ticket.

What is the big deal with paying the citation?

When we turn to Virginia Code Section 19.2-254.1, we can see that the law states that a person who tenders payment for a traffic citation waives their right to a court appearance and enters a guilty plea for the citation. Essentially, when you pay your ticket, you are admitting that you are guilty of the offense.

An admission of guilt can have various consequences that you may not have thought of:

  • Enhanced penalties for future traffic citations, criminal citations, or convictions.
  • Issues in civil suits, particularly if your citation was issued due to a traffic accident incident. If you have been accused of causing an accident, and you pay for any traffic ticket that was issued, this is an admission of guilt that could be used against you in a civil lawsuit regarding the incident.
  • Demerit points can be taken against your license by the DMV if you pay your traffic ticket. Demerit points remain on your DMV record for two years, but a “guilty” conviction may remain there for an even longer period of time. Accumulating too many demerit points within a specified amount of time could result in your license being suspended.

Turn to an attorney for a free consultation

If you or somebody you care about has received a traffic citation and the Courtland, Suffolk, Emporia, and Lawrenceville areas of Virginia, contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Randall Page, P.C., our qualified and experienced team is ready to step up and help you handle the traffic citation. We understand that even a seemingly minor traffic violation can have a big impact on your life. When you need a Virginia traffic citation attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 757-517-8956.

Review
X
What Our Clients are Saying
Jacquvalon Brown