What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Traffic Ticket?

By Joel Hancock

Receiving a traffic ticket can be an unwelcome inconvenience, but ignoring it can lead to more serious consequences down the road. If you’ve been issued a traffic ticket in North Carolina and are contemplating not paying it, it’s crucial to understand the potential repercussions. Here’s what can happen if you fail to pay your traffic ticket.

1. License Suspension

One of the most immediate consequences of not paying your traffic ticket in North Carolina is the risk of having your driver’s license suspended. Failure to address the ticket by the specified deadline can result in the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspending your driving privileges. This can lead to additional fines, reinstatement fees, and inconvenience, as you may be unable to legally drive until the matter is resolved.

 2. Increased Fines and Penalties

 Ignoring a traffic ticket won’t make it disappear; in fact, it can result in the accumulation of additional fines and penalties. North Carolina imposes late fees and other penalties for overdue traffic citations, which can significantly increase the amount you owe. Moreover, failure to pay your ticket can also result in your case being escalated to court, where you may face even steeper fines and legal consequences.

 3. Warrants and Arrests

 Continuously ignoring a traffic ticket can escalate the situation further, potentially leading to the issuance of a warrant for your arrest. In North Carolina, failure to appear in court or pay fines can result in a bench warrant being issued against you. This means that law enforcement officers may arrest you if you’re stopped for another traffic violation or during routine encounters with the police.

 4. Impact on Insurance Rates

 Unpaid traffic tickets can also have indirect consequences, such as an increase in your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies may view traffic violations as indicators of risky behavior, leading to higher premiums or even policy cancellations. Addressing your traffic ticket promptly and maintaining a clean driving record can help mitigate the impact on your insurance rates.

 5. Legal Consequences

 Beyond the immediate repercussions of not paying your traffic ticket, there can be long-term legal consequences as well. Failure to resolve traffic citations can result in a permanent mark on your driving record, which may impact your ability to obtain certain jobs, professional licenses, or security clearances in the future. It’s essential to address traffic tickets promptly to avoid these potential ramifications.

 The Attorneys at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Help Those in North Carolina Who Have Received a Traffic Ticket

 If you’ve received a traffic ticket, it’s in your best interest to address it promptly by paying the fine or exploring your options for contesting the citation. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can help you understand your rights and navigate the process effectively, potentially minimizing the impact on your driving record and future opportunities. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take action to resolve your traffic ticket today.

 At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Joel Hancock is a native of Carteret County, NC. He devotes 100% of his practice to defending those accused of traffic infractions, DWI, misdemeanors, and felonies in Carteret County, NC.