The Consequences of Not Paying a Speeding Ticket

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Don't ignore your speeding tickets -- unless you don't mind some big trouble later on. Penalties such as high fines, losing your license, damage to your credit rating, having your car booted, and even going to jail are no joke. Take action now, such as paying the tickets or contacting a lawyer for help, to avoid unpleasantness later.

Additional Fines

  • If you don't pay your speeding ticket, eventually your fine will increase. If you have more than one speeding ticket, costs can add-up quickly. In some places, it's possible to avoid fines entirely by going to traffic school. If money is a significant problem for you, ask the court about working out a payment plan. Also, check the local news to see if your community is running an amnesty program for people with unpaid tickets. You might be able to save some money and ongoing hassle by participating.

License Suspension

  • In many places, the consequences of having one or more unpaid tickets is temporarily losing your license. While you can sometimes negotiate with the court to have some driving privileges, such as driving to work or taking your kids to school, your license will be useless until you pay up and meet any other requirements set by the court.

Impoundment

  • Your unpaid speeding tickets can cost you your car, at least temporarily. Some cities will boot your car if you have several unpaid tickets on your record. Not only will you have to pay all your fines, but you'll also have to pay to have the boot removed. Even worse, the city may eventually tow your car, which means that you'll have to pay your fines, then get a ride to the tow yard and pay to get your car back.

Collections and Credit Reporting

  • Municipalities will sometimes turn uncollected fines over to collection agencies. Not only will you have to deal with daily calls from bill collectors, but your credit score might take a hit. Many collection agencies report debts, including traffic collections, to the credit bureaus.

Arrest

  • If you ignore your unpaid speeding tickets too long, you might find yourself in jail. If you're arrested for not paying your tickets, you'll have to add court costs, additional fines, and legal fees to what you already owe on the tickets. Other consequences include having to live with a criminal record, possibly losing your job, your marriage or your kids.

References

  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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