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The consequences of ignoring a traffic ticket

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Traffic tickets

No driver wants to look in their rearview mirror and see the flashing lights of a police car. Nor do they want to return from an afternoon of shopping to see a parking ticket on their windshield. 

While it may be tempting to just put a traffic ticket in the glovebox and forget about it, ignoring that little slip of paper can lead to serious consequences in North Carolina.

Beyond the fine

Ignoring a traffic ticket will result in financial penalties. If you fail to pay your ticket or appear in court on the assigned date, the court may add late fees to the original fine. These additional costs can quickly add up, making the initial ticket even more expensive.

North Carolina operates under a point system for traffic violations. Points are added to your driving record, depending on the severity of the violation. Those accumulated points can lead to higher insurance premiums. Ignoring a traffic ticket can add more points to your record and also show a disregard for traffic laws, which may be viewed as risky behavior.

In addition to late fees and increased insurance premiums, the other financial impact of ignoring a traffic ticket is how it can negatively affect your credit score. Unpaid tickets can be sent to collections, which lowers your credit score, making it more difficult to get loans or even find a job. 

Another consequence of ignoring a traffic ticket is the potential suspension of your driving privileges. Failing to respond to a traffic citation within the specified time frame means the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) can suspend your driver’s license due to “Failure to Appear”.

The most severe consequence of ignoring a traffic ticket is that the court may issue a Failure to Appear (FTA), which could lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest.

It’s crucial to address any traffic tickets promptly and appropriately. If you’re unsure how to proceed or have questions regarding your violation, you may want to consider speaking with someone about your options and protecting your rights.