Getting a traffic ticket, even if it's for something simple like going a few miles over the speed limit, is annoying and inconvenient. You usually have a range of options for dealing with the ticket, even if it doesn't seem like it at first. The key to handling the situation well is to act fast and decisively. The sooner you take care of the ticket, the sooner you can get back to dealing with the rest of your life.
Decide if You'll Pay, Learn, or Fight
The first step is to decide if you're going to pay it, learn from it at traffic school, or fight it. For first offenses, that ticket you got after years of good driving, you usually have traffic school as an option. That or paying the ticket are often the easiest and fastest options. But additional tickets usually mean traffic school is out – and tickets for additional offenses are more expensive. They may also occur in situations where you think you were actually in the right, or it may look like the ticket was meant for someone else, but the cop transposed a couple of figures on the license plate, accidentally assigning a ticket to your car. In those cases, fighting is better.
Contact the Court Immediately if You Can't Pay or if You Need Hearing Information
If you decide you want to fight it, or if you don't have the money to pay it, you need to contact the court immediately. In terms of not being able to pay, sometimes the court can reduce the fine. But if you're planning to fight, you need to know how your state's traffic court is set up and what you need to do if you plan to fight the ticket. For example, are there forms you need to fill out? Do you simply go online and schedule a court date?
Find a Lawyer to Help You Fight the Ticket
If you are going to fight, your next step is to find a traffic law attorney. Many attorneys offer free consultations, so you can speak to a few to find one who you think will be able to truly help you. You'll need to bring proof of why you think the ticket needs to be dismissed; you and the attorney will discuss what happened, and the attorney will let you know if your case seems like one that could win. Sometimes there's not enough evidence that is good enough to pass in court, but if the attorney thinks that's the case, they'll let you know why.
No one wants traffic tickets, but most people have to deal with them at least once in their lives. If you've decided that these tickets shouldn't be in your life and that they should be dismissed, you need to contact a traffic law attorney like David A. Mansfield to learn more.