Traffic citations or tickets are essentially accusations of misconduct. The police officer who issued the ticket effectively uses the citation to accuse you of violating Hawaii’s traffic laws. The penalty for most traffic infractions will be a financial fine. When you pay that fine, you have effectively pleaded guilty to the alleged traffic offense.
Hawaii has gotten rid of the cumulative points system that once applied to traffic infractions. You don’t have to worry about a fixed number of points accruing on your record for every ticket you pay. Instead, the state now has the discretion to revoke or suspend licenses for drivers who have multiple tickets in their recent driving history.
Given that the only penalty for many traffic infractions will be a fine, you may not see the value in defending against the citation. However, the price you pay for the fine itself is only a fraction of what the ticket will actually cost.
Every ticket will increase your insurance rates
Drivers in Hawaii have to carry liability insurance to legally operate a vehicle. What they pay for coverage depends both on how much protection they have and how likely they are to make a claim. Someone with recent issues in their driving record, especially multiple infractions for bad driving habits, may represent more collision risk than a driver who doesn’t have any tickets on their record.
With each new infraction, you can expect what you pay for insurance to increase. Even one ticket will mean a surge in your premium costs. The average driver in Hawaii pays $1,127 for a year of insurance coverage, and that cost increases to $1,266 after just a single ticket. Multiple tickets and more serious traffic offenses may increase costs even more than the average ticket increase.
How do you defend against the ticket?
The nature of the traffic infraction and the evidence against you will influence what defense options you have. Depending on whether there was a radar gun or a traffic camera employed for the citation, there may be different defense strategies available.
The cost of fighting back against your ticket will potentially be less than the lasting impact of that citation on your insurance when combined with the fine that you must pay. Defending against traffic tickets will means protecting your driving record and keeping your driving costs low.