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Got Your First Traffic Ticket? Here’s How You Can Handle It
The first traffic ticket can be one of the most frightening experiences you may experience. You might be charged a speeding ticket, most probably. Speeding is speeding regardless of whether or not you are aware of the speed limit. But, remember- you need not freak out just because you have been charged a traffic ticket.
Most people do not take any action after receiving a ticket. Either they forgot all about it, or they just put it in the glove box and assume that it would disappear on its own. But, the fact is that a seemingly small traffic ticket can quickly become a major headache.
You should take proactive steps after receiving a traffic ticket.
Be aware that you may be assigned points on your driver’s license, and your insurance premiums could rise if you don’t pay it all.
Recognize your options
After receiving a traffic ticket, there are many options. There are three options available to you after receiving a traffic ticket: You can plead as guilty, not guilty, or no contest (nolo contender). You can plead guilty or not guilty to admit that you drove too fast for the conditions. You have two choices in this situation: pay the fine and any applicable fees to the court, and allow the citation (as well as the points) to remain on your driving record. Another option is to request that the ticket be dismissed by taking a state-approved driver safety class. You must contact the court following the instructions on the ticket to let them know your intentions before the deadline.
You can fight the traffic ticket in court if you wish to plead not guilty. Texas law gives you the right to present your case to the court, with or without legal counsel, to show why the ticket was incorrectly issued. Based on the information provided, the court will decide whether to dismiss or affirm the ticket.
Is it possible to get the ticket dismissed?
Before you plead not guilty to a traffic violation, there are some things that you need to be aware of. Many factors can either increase or decrease the chance of your ticket being dismissed.
Take a look at your ticket to see what violations were listed. Did you get a speeding ticket or other violations? These are some of the most common traffic violations that can be combined with speeding tickets:
Driving without a driving license
Driving when your license is suspended or revoked
There is no evidence that you have automobile insurance.
Vehicle registration expired
The license plate has been changed
How To Defend Your Traffic Ticket
By choosing not to fight your ticket, you are effectively putting it “layaway.” You will not have to pay your ticket until your trial ends. If your case is dismissed, then you won’t be required to pay a fine.
Learn defensive driving.
Select a traffic school. Traffic schools expect you to spend at most four hours each day in the classroom.
As part of the ticket remission process for speeding offenses (and other moving violations), successful completion of the Driver Safety Course (defensive driving course) will be required. Most often, a driver safety class will be required to get your ticket dismissed. This will prevent future violations (and the points) from showing up on your driving record.
To avoid any future fees such as insurance increases, DPS surcharges, and so forth, it is essential to complete a driver safety course. Even if your ticket is dismissed through this process, you will still need to pay a court/dismissal charge. This will be in addition to the fine. To avoid any further punishment or disciplinary action, you will have 90 days from the time you submit your request to dismiss the ticket. Failure to appear at court on the scheduled date will result in the ticket being recorded in your name. In certain cases, a warrant could be issued. A defensive driving course is a smart and easy way to maintain a clean driving record. It can also help you to refresh your driving skills while you work.