Yes, you would generally benefit from defending against a traffic ticket. It would at least probably be a good idea to determine two things. The first: whether you have a defense under New Jersey law. The second: the full extent of the consequences from your violation’s penalty.
There are many good reasons for defending against your ticket, but the most important one is the simplest. Defense could represent a possibility for a favorable outcome. Paying off your ticket and taking a conviction would not have the same options.
Have you ever heard someone describe a law-abiding citizen? In many cases, it is a variation on this phrase: not even a traffic ticket. Tickets have the potential to stay on your record for a considerable amount of time in New Jersey, and the consequences of subsequent convictions compound.
Of course, not all citations are equal. There are a variety of traffic violations that would indicate a greater need to mount a defense. Here are some examples from FindLaw’s section on the traffic laws in the state:
- Reckless driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Action in case of accident
- Driving without a license
If resources are an issue, then it could be informative to look at your decision from a practical point of view. Many speeding, red-light and other traffic violations often have immediate and long-term consequences for those convicted. These consequences could easily result in losses that equal or exceed the cost of a criminal defense. In short, is important not to assume that defending is more expensive.
The bottom line is that any traffic ticket you receive would represent a unique case based on your history and your goals. Therefore, please do not use this article as specific legal advice. It is only meant as background information.