Traffic Tickets

728x90_2MM

Select your State:

iStock_000003575284_Large

If you’ve received a traffic ticket, you could be facing one or multiple of the following consequences:

  • Action against your driver’s license
  • Hefty fines
  • Court appearance
  • Demerit points on your driving record
  • Higher car insurance rates
  • Mandatory traffic school or defensive driving classes

The steps you’ll need to take to deal your traffic ticket will be determined by the traffic court in the jurisdiction where you were cited. Fees, points, and actions against your license will vary depending on the severity of your violation.

Choose your state above to find options for handling and paying traffic tickets or refer to the citation you received for more instructions.

Pay Ticket

Whether you get a speeding ticket, red light ticket, parking ticket, or fix-it ticket, you’ll likely face a fine. To find out specific information on how and where to plead guilty and pay your traffic ticket fines, choose your state.

Your ticket payment options will depend on the traffic court handling your citation. Ticket payment options include:

  • Paying your traffic ticket online
  • Mailing your ticket fine to the court
  • Delivering your traffic ticket payment to the court in person

Be sure to pay your traffic ticket on time. Fines usually increase if you don’t pay on time. Check your ticket for specific details about the fine amount and due date.

TIP: If you were issued a “fix-it” ticket for an equipment violation, your fine will generally be reduced if you provide proof of correction to the court. This usually involves asking a police officer to sign off on your citation.

Defensive Driving/Traffic School and Traffic Ticket Dismissal

In some cases, your traffic court may allow you complete a defensive driving or traffic school course to help you to become a more responsible driver. In doing so, you can often avoid adding any driver’s license points and dismiss the ticket. However, you may need to pay your traffic court fine before you can complete the course.

Fight Traffic Tickets

If you believe you received your traffic ticket in error or have grounds to argue the citation, you should plead not guilty to the offense and fight the ticket in court.

You may find information on how to fight a ticket on the back of the citation you received. You can also contact the traffic court handling your citation for more information on how to plead not guilty. You can even hire a traffic ticket attorney to represent you through the legal process.

If the traffic court finds you not guilty of the violation, you will avoid the fine and points on your driving record.

TIP: If you received a red light ticket and were not the driver in the photograph, you should follow the instructions provided to dispute the ticket and avoid points on your driving record.

Lost Traffic Tickets

Tickets hold important information that you need to handle your ticket. In that case that you do lose your ticket, most traffic courts have services to help you find citation numbers to recover your ticket, such as online search tools.

If you are not able to find your traffic ticket online, you should contact your traffic court as soon as possible.

You’re still expected to pay your fines on time, even if you’ve lost your ticket. Be sure to deal with a lost ticket responsibly or your driver’s license may be suspended if you neglect to pay your traffic ticket for too long.

Tickets and Your Driver’s License

Having demerit points added to your driving record can cause increases to your auto insurance rates. It can sometimes even cause the loss of some driving privileges. Some severe traffic law violations come with automatic driver’s license suspensions.

Many traffic courts and state DMVs allow drivers to take defensive driving/driving school in order to have points removed from their driving records. If you are guilty of a traffic violation, check to see if you can supplement it with traffic school.

Some of the following violations may result in immediate driver’s license suspensions:

  • Extreme speeding
  • DUI/drinking and driving offenses
  • Causing a serious accident
  • Pedestrian endangerment violations

If you accumulate too many demerit points as a result of multiple traffic violations, you may have your license suspended or revoked.

Keep track of your driving record to monitor your license points and prior traffic law violations.

Car Insurance Violations

While getting traffic tickets may contribute to higher car insurance rates, being guilty of a car insurance violation can affect you even more.

Most states require you to have car insurance and proof of your policy. If you are caught without coverage, you will be penalized for driving without insurance with hefty fines. You may also face penalties against your driver’s license and holds on your vehicle registration.

In some states, insurance companies can cancel your policy for insurance violations. This typically means that you will have to find a new car insurance company that will likely charge you with much high car insurance rates because of your previous violations.

TIP: If you received a traffic ticket for failing to provide proof of your insurance policy, you may be able to reduce your fine by providing the traffic court with proof of coverage from the time you received the ticket.

r_27_f