Should You Fight Your Traffic Ticket?

Here are some important points to consider when deciding if you should fight your traffic ticket.

When you get cited for a traffic violation, you typically have several options for dealing with it. Here are some things to consider before deciding whether to fight a traffic ticket.

Consequences of a Traffic Ticket

Before deciding whether to fight a ticket, it might be helpful to consider the consequences of a traffic violation conviction. A traffic conviction could lead to:

In some states, a traffic ticket can also lead to jail time. But even in these states, serving time in jail for a minor traffic violation isn't common.

Knowing the possible consequences of a conviction can help inform your decision about how to handle your ticket. For example, if you're trying to avoid points and rising insurance costs, traffic school can be a good option. And, if you aren't eligible for traffic school and another conviction will lead to license suspension, fighting the ticket might be the way to go. In other situations, it might be better to just pay up and move on with your life.

Knowing What You're Getting Into by Fighting a Ticket

If you want to fight a ticket, one route to take is to hire a traffic attorney. Hiring an attorney will, of course, cost money but minimize the time and energy you'll spend fighting the ticket.

However, if you want to fight a ticket on your own, you should expect to:

  • spend at least a few hours preparing for your trial
  • go to court at least twice (once for the first court date and once for the trial), and
  • experience a certain amount of stress related to preparation and the like.

Of course, every case is different. So, the investment of time and energy necessary to do a good job will depend on the circumstances.

    Are Tickets Impossible toBeat?

    It's definitely possible to beat a ticket in court. In fact, many drivers beat tickets just by showing up to court. If you come to court on your trial date and the officer doesn't, you win. But even when the officer does show up, you might be able to win your case by preparing a reasonable defense and convincing the judge there's reasonable doubt as to your guilt.

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