North Carolina has some of the most punitive traffic laws in the country and Smithfield, NC is no exception to this. Despite this, there is a simple formula for keeping your insurance rates low and affordable: Don’t get a speeding ticket! Easier said than done, right? Getting a speeding ticket probably wasn’t on your to-do list, and if you want to keep your insurance rate low do not simply pay off your ticket without first consulting with a traffic attorney just to be done with it. The true cost of a speeding ticket is much deeper than the court costs and fines listed on your traffic citation.
For example: you're driving at a speed of 70 mph in a 65 mph zone. That feels innocent enough, especially since everyone's doing it, right? But then, you don't notice the speed limit drop to 55 mph and the next thing you know you're getting pulled over. With your busy schedule in mind, you decide to pay for the speeding ticket online to avoid the hassle of showing up to court. Unfortunately, by paying the ticket, you would have admitted guilt and would receive three points on your license which causes your NC auto insurance premiums to increase dramatically.
North Carolina has rather affordable auto insurance rates for good drivers, but the catch is that a single ticket could make those rates skyrocket. This is all part of an intentional scheme to keep the roads safe. The North Carolina Department of Insurance created the Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP) to “give drivers a financial incentive to practice safe driving habits.”
Court costs and fines for your Smithfield, NC speeding ticket can regularly range between $188 and $250 on average ($188 court costs plus $10–50 for the speeding fine itself), while expensive, it seems like a bargain to avoid court. However, these costs are only the tip of the iceberg.
By paying off a traffic ticket and pleading guilty, even the lowest level of a moving violation would carry 1 insurance point, which increases your family’s insurance premiums 30%. Speeding citations on the other hand usually can carry a risk of between 2-4 insurance points accumulation (45-80% insurance increases).
For simplicity sake, say your family’s annual insurance premium is $1,000. In the example above, where you chose to pay off your speeding ticket for speeding 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. That would carry 2 insurance points, resulting in a likely 45% increase of your NC insurance premium for the next 3 years.
That’s $450 per year, which would be an additional $1,350 total to your current premium over those 3 years.
In other words, making the wrong move in handling your speeding ticket in Smithfield could cost more than 6 times the cost of the actual ticket (court costs and fines). Not only can paying the ticket cost you an arm and a leg, there are also other less known consequences to worry about, such as license suspension. Our experienced Traffic Attorneys at iTicket.Law and their team can walk you through your legal options - and what reductions may be available to keep the “true cost” of your speeding ticket as low as possible.
Have more questions? Give us a call at 919-200-0822 if you'd like to learn what possible outcomes may be available in your case.