It happens to almost everyone at some point in time: some type of traffic ticket. Unless you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, odds are the police officer will write up a traffic citation and send you on your way. That is not the end of it, though.

Your traffic ticket will tell you that you have the option of paying a fine or going to traffic court and explaining to the judge why you shouldn’t have to pay. Unless you have a very good reason, the judge is going to make you pay the fine. There are different circumstances that can lower or raise a fine. Having legal representation will help get the fine lowered.

It isn’t just the fine that you should be concerned about, though. Most traffic tickets will also result in points on your driving record, which will equate to higher insurance rates. Most points will stay on your record for a minimum of three years. That would mean three years of higher insurance premium payments. However, a lawyer can help you negotiate so that there are no points put on your license and save you a lot of money in the long run. For serious moving violations, there might also be harsher penalties like community service and license suspension, but an attorney can help you with those as well.

If you get a traffic ticket, don’t just toss it in your glove box and forget about it. Talk to an attorney and find out all your options before you just pay the fine.