For some people, the fines and fees that come with traffic tickets can be a mere nuisance. On the other hand, if you are struggling to make ends meet, you may have to make many hard choices.
For instance, one choice could be whether to pay the ticket or pay the rent that you are already behind on. In such a case, the choice seems obvious: Pay the rent. So, being pulled over a few times for speeding or failing to use a turn signal could eventually result in a suspended or revoked license due to not paying fees and fines. If law enforcement catches you driving on a suspended or revoked license, things get serious and can lead to criminal charges.
Is it a valid defense to cite work reasons?
It can absolutely be a good defense to explain that you had to keep driving despite your license suspension in order to work. Otherwise, you and your family would have fallen on hard times. However, this type of defense, while seemingly straightforward, still has many nuances, and other approaches might work better.
You may be able to get a hardship license at some point. It lets you drive to certain places, for example, only work and back home. Your chances of getting this type of license can be more successful if your initial offenses were not too bad. For example, say that it was minor speeding and failing to signal that racked up points on your license. That led to the suspension, and then it was another failure to signal that got you pulled over again and charged with driving with a suspended license. In this case, a judge may not consider you a driver who is dangerous to others. On the other hand, if it was excessive speeding, DUI and reckless driving getting the points on your license, that could be problematic.