Should You Go to Court to Pay Your Traffic Ticket?
You got a traffic ticket for speeding. The officer probably told you that you have to appear in court. Maybe you were also told you could avoid court by paying the fine and fees to court clerk before the court date. What should you do? As a traffic ticket attorney from a firm like Rispoli & Borneo can explain, appearing in court may sound scary, but it might be the right choice for you.
What Are Your Best Options For Dealing With the Ticket?
Before you can decide whether to pay the ticket or fight it in court, you should look at the factors around the ticket. If the officer was using a radar device, it’s possible that the device wasn’t calibrated accurately. If the speed limit sign was hidden, you may have a case to get the ticket dropped. A traffic ticket lawyer may be able to help you decide if the ticket was fair or not and whether you have a case in court to fight the ticket. Before paying the ticket, think about your driving record. If you pay the fine and fees, you are admitting guilt in a way. The ticket will go on your record. If you have a way to keep the ticket off your record, by taking a defensive driving course, this can be a better route. Paying the ticket may be the path of least resistance in the short term, but the violation does go on your record for three or more years.
What If You Decide to Go to Court?
Going to court for a traffic ticket isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Sometimes, just by showing up, you may get the ticket dismissed if the officer who issued the ticket isn’t present. You shouldn’t rely on this, but it is one way to get out of paying the ticket. Make sure to know when to show up for court. Dress appropriately, business casual is preferred. Come with an argument to show that you didn’t deserve the ticket. Telling the court that you were speeding, but everyone else was isn’t a good strategy. You’ve just admitted to speeding. In some cases, tickets can be dismissed for errors, but you shouldn’t rely on that either. Don’t claim ignorance of the law or that the officer is lying. Giving a judge a sad story may not work either.
A traffic ticket attorney may be able to help you defend against a ticket by helping you see if you have a valid legal defense. Make an appointment with a lawyer to discuss your situation and decide what is the best way to proceed in your case.