How to deal with my traffic ticket is a question on the minds of anyone who has been given a citation for a driving offense. Luckily this isn’t a charge that might result in jail time, but it will accrue points on your driving record which can increase insurance costs and more. Here we will take a look at the steps you’ll need to take when you have a traffic ticket that you want to take care of.
How to Deal with my Traffic Ticket: The First Steps
First and foremost, you need to review the ticket to make sure you understand the offense that you supposedly committed and the fines and fees that are assessed against you. Is your license, name and vehicle numbers correct? Next, your traffic citation or ticket will have a date or time that you are supposed to appear in court? There are 2 main options that you can respond to with a traffic ticket. You can either choose to go ahead and appear in court at the time and date and location as listed on the ticket or summons, or choose not to appear in court by admitting guilt and paying the fine either online or by mail. If by mail you choose to check the not guilty box, the court will assign a trial date by jury.
In court, pleas consist of the following: Not Guilty, Guilty, or No Contest. A plea of Not Guilty will result in a trial by jury. You and your lawyer may choose not to have a trial by jury if an acceptable deal is worked out between your lawyer and the prosecutor. A guilty plea will have the court find you guilty and assess a fine, and a plea of No Contest is essentially the same as a guilty plea but can prevent you from any further civil proceedings. It is important to understand what happens with each type of plea. How to deal with my traffic ticket is much easier when you understand the possible pleas.
Look at your ticket and be sure to respond within the given time frame. Depending on your area and jurisdiction, there can be fines and fees assessed to even a driver’s license suspension or warrant for failure to complete steps required. If you are sending in a guilty plea by mail or a not guilty plea, be sure to read the directions on the ticket and follow them exactly. If you are unsure, there will be a number to call on the back of the ticket. If there is no number to call, there will be an address on the back of the court and the number can be looked up. In most areas, if you do not have the funds to pay the citation, you may contact the court to arrange a payment hearing.
Take Care of your Traffic Ticket
No one wants to get a traffic ticket, but it is nice to know how to handle the matter when it happens. Following the above steps will ensure that you are in compliance with the law and the summons of the court.