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Collateral Damage

A traffic ticket in Mojave can affect your wallet in more ways that you expect.

In addition to the direct costs (fines, court costs and so on) and the possibility of higher auto insurance premiums, your life insurance premiums may skyrocket. You may even be denied coverage altogether. Seeing that about 115 drivers a day die in traffic accidents, insurance underwriters see traffic tickets as very risky behavior, somewhat akin to smoking or riding a motorcycle. Insurance companies routinely review driving records, even if these records aren't requested during the application - driving records are public records that can easily be accessed by almost anyone.

Industry insiders encourage people to continually shop around for the best rates: the older the ticket gets, the less of a risk you pose to underwriters.

This issue has been in the news a lot in California over the past several years, since the legislature drastically increased "penalty assessments" and other add-ons back in the early 2000s. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger freely admitted that the increases were designed to increase revenue, and had little if anything to do with safety.

Thirty years ago, it might have made sense to pay the fine for a stop-sign or speeding ticket and just wait for it to fall off your record. But this is not your father's California. Traffic ticket fines in The Golden State are among the highest in the country and, if some legislators have their way, the costs may go even higher.

It just makes sense to partner with an attorney practicing in Fresno to fight your traffic ticket, or at least get the fines and/or the points reduced in a plea bargain arrangement.