Do speeding tickets affect automobile insurance?
In short, they don’t, IF THE TICKET NEVER GETS REPORTED TO THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND ENTERED ON YOUR DRIVING RECORD IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Those who have been issued a speeding ticket likely know that receiving a citation can end up negatively affecting auto insurance rates. For many individuals, being issued a speeding ticket results in an unwelcome increase in their insurance rates. This usually happens to the poor fellow who is unrepresented and who simply does not know that paying a ticket, while it “takes care of the ticket,” results in a reportable conviction. Yes, paying a ticket, without more, whether in person, through the mail, or online, is an admission of guilt and a permanent conviction on your driving record.
How speeding ticket convictions affect insurance rates varies, as different insurance companies use different algorithms and methods to determine rate hikes. One company’s increase will not necessarily mirror another’s. Perhaps the most critical factor is the number of speeding convictions coupled with the time between each. Sometimes, too many moving speeding convictions too close together triggers an action by DPS to suspend a driver license for being an habitual offender.
The bottom line is that paying the fine for a speeding ticket is not the end of it. However, by enlisting the help of a lawyer who is well versed in traffic offenses, your insurance worries could be greatly reduced or possibly even eliminated.
How Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance Premiums?
Depending on the state in which you live and the specific insurance company under which you are insured, a speeding ticket’s effect on your insurance premiums will fluctuate. Although it is common for insurance companies to offer a comparable base rate, many drivers find that once the first speeding conviction hits your driving record, the jump in price is not comparable. It all depends on your particular insurance company’s methodology for underwriting the risk it is taking that you might have an accident during the policy period.
Even if a driver decides to look for a new insurance company instead of renewing their policy, a speeding ticket on their record follows them from company to company. This can make new insurance expensive, not to mention hard to get if the driver has multiple tickets already on their driving record.
Some drivers may be able to utilize defensive driving to keep their insurance rates from getting out of hand after a speeding ticket. However, this may not be your best option. Why?
- The course is 6 hours long
- You must pay court costs
- Enrollment costs
- Your driving record will show that you took the course to dismiss a ticket
- Insurance companies can still see that you used the course to dismiss a moving violation
- You must pay for a copy of your driving record to show to the court
- Once you use up this option, you must wait an entire year before you are eligible to use it again (if you receive a moving violation during the next 12 months, you are prohibited from using this option without the judge’s consent)
- You must hold a valid Texas driver license
- You must not hold a commercial driver license
- Your speed must be less than 25 mph over the limit
- You cannot be speeding in a construction zone when workers are present
- You must have valid liability insurance in your name
- You cannot utilize it for passing a school bus while loading or unloading
- You only have 90 days to complete the course, receive your driving record and completion certificate, and turn it in to the court
- Failure to complete all the requirements results in a permanent conviction on your record
However, enlisting the help of a lawyer to handle a speeding ticket is usually the best option to protect your driving record against a speeding conviction. An experienced traffic attorney will have an intimate understanding of local and state traffic laws and procedures that can be used to your advantage in defending against a speeding ticket.
Some of the ways a traffic ticket lawyer can assist may include:
- Handling the initial arraignment so you do not have to go to court on the date written on the ticket
- If your time is valuable and you do not want to fight your ticket in a jury trial or attend court, a traffic ticket lawyer may be able to work your case out so that it does not get reported on your driving record without your having to drive to court
- Causing the prosecutor to dismiss the ticket, depending on the circumstances
- Avoiding defensive driving when legal to do so
- Attending court with you
- Speaking on your behalf in court
- Counseling you and explaining all of your options, including costs of court, if any, so that together you will be able to decide the best course of action to protect your driving record, even if you are guilty as charged
- Trying your case to a jury, which includes selecting the jury, making an opening statement and closing argument, and cross examining the police officer
The point of retaining a competent traffic lawyer is reduce your anxiety and time in court, and to keep traffic tickets from negatively affecting your cost of living.
Finding the Right Lawyer
When fighting a speeding ticket, drivers don’t just want any lawyer. They want the right lawyer for them and their case. It is reasonable to assume that a driver’s odds of getting a ticket dismissed or reduced ticket penalties may only be as good as their lawyer, so finding the right one matters.
Always check them out on YELP or other social media platforms. Honest reviews from past clients are the best way to judge a traffic ticket lawyer.
Does the law firm know how to clear up holds or other blemishes that are causing you to be unable to renew your drivers license?
Is the staff otherwise knowledgeable and helpful?
Do they promptly answer the phone when you call?
Do they promptly follow up your emails? Speeding tickets can seem like no big deal until they translate into a massive hike in the cost of auto insurance premiums, a license suspension, or the loss of a job opportunity. When that happens, it is too late. Still, a good driver license and traffic ticket attorney can help you get your license back and keep it clear. Make it a priority to enlist the help of a reputable ticket lawyer to have the best chance at getting the ticket dismissed to avoid increased insurance rates, license suspensions, and other unforeseen consequences .