Maybe you do not always drive the speed limits posted throughout Minnesota, and perhaps you feel that you sometimes press your luck when it comes to getting a traffic ticket. Knowing what is at stake if you were to have a run-in with the police could turn you into one of the safest drivers in the state.

U.S. News & World Report digs into the facts regarding the full cost of a traffic violation. It could be time to rethink your bad driving habits.

Higher insurance rates 

insurance companies are all about retaining as much of their money as possible, not spending it on avoidable accident claims. Should your agent get the impression that you are a reckless driver, as evidenced by a traffic ticket, she or he could bump up your rates. That rate increase could last for several years, long after you pay your ticket and work on becoming a safer driver.

Assessment fees  

Depending on your current driving record, you may have to pay a driver responsibility assessment fee after a traffic violation. Much like insurance premium increases, assessment fees can last for several years. How much you pay and how long you have to pay both depend on your driving infraction.

Criminal charges 

Some states hit drivers with criminal charges for reckless driving; bear in mind that traffic violations cross state lines. Besides a fine that could be hundreds of thousands of dollars, you may even have to serve time behind bars for serious traffic infractions. Depending on how long a conviction for reckless driving stays on your record, it could impact your employment and housing opportunities.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.