When you receive a traffic ticket, you may not think it is a big deal. After all, almost everyone gets one sometime, right? All you have to do is pay the fine, take a class and move on with life, right?

Wrong. Traffic tickets can have unforeseen consequences if you do not handle them correctly, whether by late payments or fighting them without representation. Have the help of a criminal defense lawyer so you can avoid the negative effects of traffic tickets in North Carolina.

Immediate or potential loss of driver’s license

Every time you receive a traffic citation, points go onto your driver’s license record. How many depends on the nature of your traffic violation. Once you reach 12 points in three years, you lose your license. Some violations, such as driving while intoxicated, may lead to an automatic suspension or revocation of your license regardless of how many points you have. Without your license, you may have difficulty showing up to work and other obligations. 

Increase in insurance rates

Insurers like to reward safe, obedient drivers and punish those who cost them money. You can likely count on a rise in your insurance premium, the percentage of which relies on the infraction or misdemeanor you committed. The good news is that it may go down after a few years if you do not get any further tickets.

Steep fines

In addition to the fine and court fees you must pay as restitution, you may experience additional fines for not taking care of tickets right away. If you forget about a ticket and/or miss your court date, your payment amount will go up significantly. You risk losing your license, as well. For more severe violations, you also face the possibility of arrest. If you miss your court date, reschedule through the county clerk’s office in the area you received the ticket.