Traffic violations, particularly speed limit infractions, have a reputation for being charged while one is travelling outside of their home state. There seems to be some truth to this ill-fame for a number of reasons. Another assumption about out of state tickets is that somehow they will be easy to escape and that one’s home-state insurer will not find out about them. While it can be more difficult for a state to force payment from the resident of another state, yet due to voluntary information sharing among the states, the chances are that all major offenses committed out of your state will be reported and also affect insurance premiums at some point.
The Probability of Getting an Out of State Traffic Ticket
An out of state license plate seen whizzing by at a speed exceeding local speed controls is more likely to be chased down by a police officer than an in-state plate going past at the same speed. Once stopped; and it has been statistically demonstrated that the out of state driver has a 20% higher chance of being ticketed than his in state counterpart.
- The fact is that ticketing the resident of a different state brings more revenue across state lines, instead of just shuffling around money that is already there.
- Also, the local residents have the power to curb over-zealous officers through the voting booth and that it is not in the interest of local police to overly irritate those paying their salaries and none of these is a factor when ticketing someone merely passing through.
- Law enforcement officers have a valuable job to perform, but they also have end of the month quotas to meet, and it is a far more attractive option to meet them with a little help from visitors from other states.
- Finally, it is rather inconvenient to go to a different state, particularly a far-off state, to challenge a ticket– and the locals know it.
How An Out of State Ticket Can Affect You Back Home
Contrary to popular belief, out of state traffic tickets do indeed follow you home.
- States have vast databases devoted to sharing such information for the purposes of preventing highly-ticketed drivers from getting a license in their state just because the tickets were issued in another state.
- Some states even will penalize you for out of state violations.
- Not all states share the same amount of information- some only bother to publicize more serious tickets, but all of them share some.
- DUIs in particular, along with reckless driving and 20 plus mph over the limit speeding tickets will usually find you back home.
Furthermore, your home state auto insurance company will sooner or later discover that out of state ticket if your home state’s government has been informed of its occurrence. How the insurance company reacts will depend on the nature of the offense, your home state’s insurance laws, and the policies of the individual insurer.
What To Do When Faced With Out Of State Charges
One option is to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney, but you will have to look for a law firm that has an impressive track record of dismissing out of state traffic tickets. In some cases, it is suggested to hire a lawyer who resides in the ticketing state and understands that state’s laws and court process well. They can help you fight the ticket; perhaps aiming for a plea deal that can get the charges reduced significantly if not dropped.
To summarize all the details discussed above, its in the best interest of any driver who is issued a traffic citation outside their state to take it seriously and deal with it lawfully. With the advent of modern databases and information sharing, it probably won’t do to just ignore the ticket that may affect your driving record and raise your insurance charges.