Actions such as speeding or making an improper lane change are generally considered to be infractions. This means that a Tennessee officer will typically issue a notice to appear in court. If convicted, you’ll likely pay a fine and have points added to your license. However, you can also choose to waive your right to appear in court and pay the amount listed on the ticket itself.
Reasons to pay the fine
If the evidence against you is overwhelming, it may be best to simply pay the ticket. For example, if you were caught on camera making an unsafe lane change, it may be difficult to dispute that you violated the law. It’s possible that the prosecutor in your case will reduce the charge in exchange for a guilty plea. This may result in fewer points on your license or a reduced fine. It may also be worthwhile to pay the fine if you don’t have time to fight the case in court and the violation was a relatively minor one.
Reasons to fight a ticket
Fighting a ticket may be smart because a conviction could result in an increase to your monthly auto insurance payment. Furthermore, if you are charged with a DUI or other serious crimes in addition to a simple infraction, it may be best to take your case to court.
Finally, if you believe that you cited by mistake, it may be in your best interest to challenge the citation as opposed to incurring penalties for something that you didn’t do. It may also be possible to get a citation dismissed if you committed a traffic violation in an effort to avoid an accident or some other more severe outcome.
Although a traffic ticket is generally less serious than a misdemeanor or felony charge, a conviction could still have a negative impact on your life. However, it may be possible to get a citation reduced or dismissed by casting doubt on the visual or other evidence used to justify issuing it.