Receiving a traffic ticket is often an unexpected and unpleasant situation, especially when you are a first-time offender. Once a police officer gives you your ticket, it may have some instructions on how to proceed with payment or what you can do to contest it, but otherwise, you may not be sure about how to proceed. Handling your traffic ticket does not have to be difficult, however, and there are a few steps you can take to resolve it.
1. Decide Your Course Of Action
When you first receive your traffic ticket, consider how you want to proceed. You can either admit to the offense and pay a fine or, if your state offers traffic school in lieu of a fine or points on your license, you may have that option as well. You can also decide to contest the ticket, but this is not simple to accomplish alone and you may require legal help.
2. Hire a Lawyer
If you believe the ticket you were given is incorrect or that you did not commit a traffic offense, you can fight the ticket with the help of an attorney. An initial consultation can offer you the opportunity to explain your case, why you believe the ticket is not valid and whether you have any valid arguments the lawyer can present to a judge.
3. Attend Court
If you decide to contest the ticket, your local traffic court will assign you a date and time to stand up before a judge. If you decide to let your attorney speak on your behalf and contest the ticket, you may not interact with the judge at all. As a first-time offender, you may have the option of attending traffic school to avoid paying a fine, if your state offers such a program.
4. Fulfill the Judgement Order
If the court decides the issuance of the traffic ticket is valid and you must pay a fine, it is important that you act in a timely manner to avoid future tickets or warrants, which may be put in place if tickets go unpaid. Ask the court clerk about payment options, including installments, which may ease any financial stress associated with the ticket. Ignoring your responsibility will not resolve the issue and could cause you more stress and frustration later on.
Whether you are a young driver or have plenty of experience behind the wheel, getting a traffic ticket can lead to many questions. Contact a criminal defense lawyer from a law firm like Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for further assistance or to make an appointment for your initial consultation.