How to Deal with Speeding Tickets

Written By: Francesca

Speeding ticket fines and technicalities may vary from state to state, but one thing is for certain: those tickets will cost you a lot of time and money. In some cases, a speeding violation can even cause your insurance rates to shoot up.

Yes, speeding tickets can be a pain, and they should be avoided like a plague. (As the cliché goes, prevention is always better than cure.) Still though, even the best and most careful drivers can sometimes find themselves being written up for a ticket. If you fall into such a situation, it's best to know your options and the next steps that you should take to properly deal with your violation.

Paying the Fine

Planning to just accept the violation and pay the necessary fines? If so, then avoid complications by acting quickly. Don't procrastinate. As soon as you get your ticket in the mail, pay for it immediately. If your budget doesn't allow this, mark the ticket deadline on your calendar and be sure to pay for it by then. If your state allows you to process your ticket online, do it as soon as you can. You may also choose to extend your deadline (usually from 3 - 6 months) but again, it's crucial that you take note of the date to avoid missing your payment.

A lot of people find themselves in hot water and end up paying higher fines simply because they forgot to pay their ticket. Avoid falling into this trap by acting quickly and diligently monitoring the status of your violation.

On top of paying for your ticket, you may also want to attend traffic school if you're eligible. Eligibility and the amount of traffic school that you get may depend on your traffic record and the nature of your violation, but in most cases, successfully completing traffic school will remove the violation “points” from your driving record.

Taking matters to court

If you think that you didn't deserve the speeding ticket or if you would like to lower the fine, you can consider going to traffic court to either contest your ticket or to request for a lower fine, permission to attend traffic school, or any other requests.

The process of going to court will vary from one county to the next, so be sure to read up on the necessary paperwork and procedures that you need to go through for your corresponding court house.

In most cases however, you can expect to go through this process when you're in court: You head to the court house, wait for the judge to call your name, and you can plead not guilty, guilty, or guilty with explanation. Again, procedures are different in each state or county, but depending on your plea, you could walk out of court with any of the following: 1) A case dismissal; 2) A judgment (i.e. your fine and whether or not you should take traffic school or do community service; or 3) A rescheduled hearing.

Resources

To learn more about dealing with speeding tickets, visit the following resources:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/traffic-tickets - NOLO's list of articles relating to traffic tickets. Here you'll find information on traffic ticket basics, how to deal with them, and how to fight them.
http://blog.trapster.com/2009/08/18/speeding-tickets/ - The Trapster Blog share speeding facts and resources. You can learn how deal about your ticket, read stories from other motorists, and even see some speeding ticket fun facts.
http://dmvanswers.com/ - DMV Answers is privately owned website that dishes out facts and tip for dealing drivers. For those looking up information on traffic tickets, the site has an entire section dedicated to reports, records, and laws.
http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/traffic/ui/HandleTicket.aspx - If you received a traffic ticket in California, refer to LA Superior Court Page to learn your options and next steps.
http://www.dmv.org/traffic-tickets.php - Another privately held website, DMV.org provides traffic information for motorists of all US States. For speeding ticket information, visit its section on Tickets & Violation.
http://traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets/ - Learn the ins and outs of traffic tickets, from the different types, various state laws, as well as traffic fines and punishments. It also has a section on how to fight traffic tickets.
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/safety-regulatory-devices/traffic-ticket.htm - This is a lengthy article that gives you a ton of information about traffic tickets. It tells you everything, from one a traffic ticket is, what to do when you're pulled over, how to deal with tickets, and how to avoid them.

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