Should I fight a speeding ticket or go to traffic school? This question gets asked in my office a few times a week, so I thought I'd address it here. There are pros and cons to each, so let me explain.
It is almost always in your best interest to fight a speeding ticket (or any ticket you receive for that matter) instead of electing to go to traffic school and here's why.
When you elect traffic school, you are immediately surrendering.
You are basically saying you're done, don't want to fight anymore. You are being your own judge, jury, and executioner and have decided that it's time for your punishment. And the punishment you have chosen is . . .traffic school. Either 4, 8, or 12 hours of pure bliss, AFTER paying full price for your ticket.
That's right, in Florida, you no longer get a reduction in your fine if you elect traffic school, you must pay the full price of your ticket. And with today's fines averaging around $200-$250, you are sticking it to yourself pretty good.
Don't forget, you still need to pay for the school, which is around $40. But the worst part of electing traffic school isn't the wasted time (although 4 hours or more of your time has to be worth something), it's that you are creating a record for yourself that your insurance company and everyone else who looks at your driving record can see and use against you.
I will say this, traffic school does give you an immediate end to your outstanding traffic ticket problem, and you are able to completely determine your out of pocket expense, so I can see how this would appeal to some people. Additionally, you can now attend traffic school online, but you still must spend the full 4,8 or 12 hours of time, so other than the driving back and forth, you aren't saving much time.
About the only people we recommend attend traffic school, are the people who received a traffic ticket in a county in which there are no attorneys fighting tickets. The easiest way to determine which counties those are, is to call up some traffic attorneys and ask if they go to court in the county in which you received your ticket. You could also just click here.
If, after reading the above, you still want to attend traffic school, knock yourself out. But for the rest of you, keep reading.
Fighting a speeding ticket is the only way to get a ticket dismissed. And when I say "dismissed," I mean dismissed. Sayonara! Adios! Meaning you pay nothing, and there is no record of it.
In my opinion, unless you fall under the exception listed above, you are almost always better off to fight your speeding ticket in court. Do yourself a favor and read the attached links below on those two options, because I think when you do, you will realize the benefits.
Other than getting a dismissal, you can still benefit from not having to attend traffic school, and you may only have to pay a fraction of the fine you would have had to pay if you chose to attend school.
It's ultimately up to the judge but your attitude and past driving history can play a part in determining how much you end up paying. But, when it's all over, I think you will agree that you came out ahead.
If you didn't, let me know, I'd love to hear your story.
Whatever you do, make sure you do something. If you don't pay a speeding ticket, you can get in a heap of trouble. Then you'll have no choice but to seek legal help, and you'll end up paying more than the original speeding ticket you ignored.
Other related articles to help you decide:
- Three big mistakes people make in traffic court
- Five mistakes people make when hiring a traffic ticket attorney
- How to beat a speeding ticket in court. . .Part I