Q: “Will points on my driver’s license affect my car insurance?”
A: “Yes—so I hope you’ve got a rainy day fund stashed away because your car insurance rates are definitely going to increase.”
You see, insurance companies evaluate risk of future loss by looking at people’s driving records. The more tickets, convictions, and points on your record, the more of a risk the insurance company believes you are and the more they’ll charge you. According to a new analysis of December 2012 car insurance rates, Insure.com found that the average annual car insurance premium for a driver with a clean driving record in Florida was $1,364 a year.[i] Considering that the average Floridian made $40,344 last year, that’s a whopping 3.38% of annual income spent on just car insurance payments![ii] And that’s for a clean driving record! The last thing you want is to have to shell out even more of your hard earned money to your car insurance provider because you got points on your license. Fortunately, if you receive a traffic ticket, you can typically avoid the assessment of points on your license and the associated costly insurance rate increases.
There are two ways you can get points assessed on your license in Florida: paying your ticket outright since doing so is an admission of guilt, or going to traffic court where you are convicted and there is an adjudication of guilt for the violation resulting in a permanent mark on your driving record. To avoid points on your license, never pay your traffic ticket outright. Instead, hire a lawyer immediately after receiving a ticket for a civil or criminal traffic offense, getting in a car accident, or getting arrested for an offense such as DUI. A Miami criminal defense attorney or a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney like the ones at the South Florida law firm of Galanter Law will do everything in their power to try to get your ticket dismissed in court. If a dismissal isn’t possible, your attorney will try to negotiate with the traffic court judge for a withhold of adjudication, which will keep points off your record and keep your insurance rates from increasing.
Your Miami and Fort Lauderdale Traffic Ticket Defense
Retaining a lawyer to defend your traffic ticket, accident, or arrest is relatively inexpensive compared to having your insurance rates increase over time and having a permanent mark on your driving record. Once points are assessed on your license, it can be very difficult, time consuming, and expensive to get them off of your record. The easiest and most inexpensive way to avoid points and insurance rate increases is to hire a Miami ticket defense lawyer or Fort Lauderdale ticket defense lawyer before the points are assessed on your license. If points have already been assessed on your license, our office, in most circumstances, can help you get them removed by attempting to vacate the underlying charges on which they are based. If the charges can be vacated, the points will be removed from your license and your insurance rates will not go up.
If you think the assessment of a few points on your license is no big deal, think again. Even just a couple of points will increase your insurance rates. Also, if you get enough points on your license within a certain period of time, your license will be suspended which may affect your ability to work and will require you to pay reinstatement fee. If you received a traffic ticket, don’t not pay your ticket but instead immediately contact our offices.
Commentary by Fort Lauderdale Traffic Ticket Attorney Yale Galanter:
Yale Galanter, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer, has over 30 years of experience providing discreet and aggressive legal counseling to both public figures and clients looking for precise and excellent legal defense. Yale Galanter is known for his personal representation and attention to your criminal matter.
For more information on traffic violations or other traffic crime offenses such as:
- DUI Manslaughter
- Culpable Negligence
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident, or Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injury and/or Property Damage
- Reckless Driving
- Careless Driving
- Unlawful Turn
- Disobey Traffic Control Device
- Driving While License Suspended
[i] Marquand, Barbara. “The Most and Least Expensive States for Car Insurance in 2013.” Insure.com. N.p., 14 Mar. 2013. Web. 5 May 2013.
[ii] Gehrke-White, Donna. “Income Grows 3.2% in Florida in 2012.” Sun Sentinel. N.p., 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 05 May 2013.