While getting one minor speeding ticket may not seem like a major problem and might only put a minor dent in your wallet, an accumulation of more serious driving offenses can have a serious impact on your life. Your driving record begins the day you receive your Georgia license until the day you stop driving for good. Furthermore, the more violations you rack up, the more the consequences can affect your life.
A simple speeding ticket might only cause your insurance rates to go up fractionally but a citation for reckless driving, a driving under the influence (DUI) charge or other more serious offenses can impact not only your finances but your professional life as well. You could also be in danger of losing your right to vote. Here are some ways that a bad driving record can wreck your life.
Your credit score could drop
Believe it or not, a traffic ticket might affect your credit score. For instance, if you fail to pay a traffic ticket, the city or county might add on failure to pay fees. If these remain unpaid, the jurisdiction might send the outstanding amount to a collection agency. This can cause your credit rating to fall and you might suffer additional problems down the road the next time you apply for a credit card, car loan or even if you try to rent a new apartment.
You could get arrested
Another result of an unpaid traffic violation is the possible issuance of a warrant. You could face a misdemeanor charge for failure to pay or failure to appear which might cause the court to issue a warrant for your arrest. The next time a law enforcement officer pulls you over, you might find yourself under arrest.
You might be convicted of a felony
Some traffic violations are serious enough for the court to classify them as felonies. For example, in many areas, a second or third DUI within a certain period of time might be a felony. If reckless or drunk driving ends in a fatal accident, the court could consider the act a felony offense. A conviction for a felony may cost you your right to vote, hold public office or receive federal financial aid for university tuition.
You could lose your job
Even if you do not find yourself in prison due to a felony charge, certain traffic violations might cost you your driver's license. Without a driver's license, you may find it much more difficult to get to work. If you are unable to get to work, you might lose your job. Or, if you have to take too many days off to deal with the legal matters surrounding traffic violations, your employer may decide to let you go.
A simple speeding ticket may not be enough to cause you too many problems, but an accumulation of traffic violations or offenses like a DUI can have some serious and long-lasting consequences. Fortunately, you may still have some options. If you are facing a DUI charge or other traffic violations, you might be able to successfully defend yourself in court and avoid a conviction.