The overwhelming majority of drivers have been ticketed during their lifetimes, most often for relatively minor offenses. However, minor tickets can add up, or some Connecticut traffic offenses are considered major enough that you could actually be facing jail time. If you have been ticketed for a traffic offense, it can be tempting to simply plead guilty and pay the fine, or comply with other requirements, but this can open you up to potentially serious legal trouble.
Do Not Ignore Traffic Tickets
People who are ticketed for moving violations or other traffic offenses do not often treat them with the seriousness they should. Because the consequences are often seen as inconsequential - for example, a well-off driver cited for speeding may face a small fine, especially if it is a first offense - many people simply choose to pay the ticket, unaware that they are basically admitting guilt when they do so. In Connecticut, paying a traffic ticket without contesting it is considered a plea of nolo contendere (“no contest”), meaning you do not dispute what you are being charged with.
Any kind of guilty plea carries consequences - it may place one or more points on your driver’s license, as well as requiring driver re-education courses and rarely, may even result in a license suspension. That said, some traffic offenses are, of course, more serious than others, resulting in property damage, injury, or even death. Offenses like evading responsibility (also known as leaving the scene of an accident), driving a vehicle without permission (which can be charged as grand theft auto), or vehicular homicide will usually result in not only in the driving consequences articulated, but also, potentially, in a long prison term.