What Happens If You Plead Not Guilty to a Traffic Ticket
When you receive a traffic ticket, you may feel inclined to simply pay the fine and move on. However, you always have the option to plead not guilty and fight the ticket in court. This may be a good idea if you believe you were wrongly accused or if the consequences of paying the ticket are severe.
Unfortunately, entering a plea of not guilty can result in the start of a complex and expensive process requiring the services of an attorney or other legal representative. In this article, we will describe what happens when you plead not guilty to a traffic ticket. You will also discover how DoNotPay can act on your behalf to clear the traffic charge without costly court fees and a drawn out legal battle.
When Should You Plead Not Guilty to a Traffic Ticket?
There are a few situations where it may be advisable to enter a not guilty plea for a traffic ticket:
- You believe that you were wrongly accused or targeted by law enforcement.
- The consequences of paying the ticket would increase your insurance premium.
- The ticket would affect your employment status, such as if you are a driver for a company.
- The ticket would result in suspension of your license.
- You want to try to avoid the addition of points to your driving record.
- You want to ensure that your rights are protected, and you have the opportunity to present a strong defense in court.
Should You Hire an Attorney to Plead Not Guilty to a Traffic Ticket?
While you do have the option of representing yourself in court to enter your plea and fight your ticket, there are many benefits to hiring an attorney to assist you.
- Attorneys have the legal experience and knowledge of traffic laws. A qualified lawyer will understand the nuances of traffic laws and be able to navigate the legal system to achieve a favorable outcome for your case.
- A skilled lawyer will be able to present your case in a compelling way, making a strong argument on your behalf and convincing the court of your innocence.
- Lawyers have access to resources that are not available to ordinary citizens, such as expert witnesses or compelling evidence that can be used to strengthen your case.
- A lawyer has the ability to negotiate with the court to reduce your charges or have them dismissed altogether.
- If you are found guilty, a lawyer may be able to help you receive a lighter penalty.
- A lawyer may be able to help you avoid paying court fees or fines, as well as other associated costs.
- Hiring a lawyer can also simplify the administrative process for fighting your traffic ticket, helping you to complete all of the necessary paperwork.
What Steps Should You Take Prior to Pleading Not Guilty?
The following steps should be taken as you prepare to enter a not guilty plea:
- Seek the help of an experienced and recommended defense attorney.
- Review the evidence against you with your attorney and the strategies to defend your plea.
- Prepare a statement to present to the court regarding the reasons for entering a not guilty plea.
- Be prepared for any questions the court may ask you regarding the charge.
What to Expect at the Arraignment for a Traffic Ticket
An arraignment hearing is typically the first court appearance for the ticket and is required if you have entered a not guilty plea. At the arraignment, you will be formally charged with the offense as outlined on your ticket. You are then required to formally enter your not guilty plea. This is done through your attorney, if you hired one.
The arraignment will be followed by additional court hearings which can involve pretrial motions, jury selection, and ultimately the trial itself. The court will set the dates for the next hearing for your case. If more time is needed to prepare your case, your attorney can file for a continuance to obtain more evidence that may be relevant.
What Happens if You Are Found Guilty?
Before you enter a not guilty plea, you should know ahead of time what this action may result in if you are found guilty. Here are some possible outcomes:
- You will be responsible for additional fees, including court costs and attorney's fees.
- Points will be added to your driving record.
- Your insurance premiums may be increased.
- You may have difficulty obtaining certain types of employment.
- In more severe cases, such as unpaid fines, bodily injury to another party from an accident, or driving with a revoked license, you may face jail time and/or community service obligations.
What's Next if You Win Your Case?
If you win your traffic ticket case, the charges against you are dismissed, and you are no longer responsible for the fines. You may also be able to get your driving record expunged, meaning the incident will not appear on your record.
If the ticket resulted in losing your license or privilege to drive, you will be reinstated. Your insurance premiums will not rise since you were found not guilty of the offense.
How DoNotPay Can Help You Dispute a Traffic Citation in Any City
Pleading not guilty to a traffic ticket can open the door to a time-consuming and expensive legal battle. However, DoNotPay can help clear you of your traffic charge quickly and easily. In fact, DoNotPay has successfully handled over 200,000 tickets, including those in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and other cities in California.
Here's how to get started:
- Log-in to DoNotPay and go to the Ticket Disputes category. Select the correct product based on your traffic ticket.
- Upload a photo of your citation.
- Provide us with some details on why you believe the citation issued is a mistake.
- Select whether or not you want the letter mailed to the traffic ticket issuer on your behalf!
- That's it! You'll receive an appeal letter that contains state vehicle codes to boost your case.
It's really that simple! Look out for your traffic ticket issuer's response to discover whether you won!
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
In addition to helping you fight traffic tickets, DoNotPay can help you with driving-related situations such as:
|Scheduling an appointment with the DMV||Appealing parking tickets||Renewing your car registration|
|Making insurance claims||Disputing seatbelt tickets||Car lease negotiations|
DoNotPay can also help you with other tasks such as:
DoNotPay cuts through bureaucratic red tape to save you time and money. With our extensive website of guides and solutions, we help you solve many of life's common administrative annoyances.