What Is Your Due Date
Due date is the date that is indicated on your traffic ticket that shows the day that you are supposed to appear in court or pay fine. The date is clearly specified on your ticket, but if you have any difficulties finding it, you should contact the court. Paying up for your ticket is easy. If you are planning to contest your traffic ticket, you should contact the court to get directions on how you will proceed.
The court can be contacted via the telephone, or you can visit the court’s website. In some police department websites you will only find contacts while in others, you will find information on how traffic violations are handled and the online system that you can use to pay for your ticket.
What Are Your Options After You Get A Traffic Ticket?
When the traffic ticket is mailed to you, you should check the due date and act before that due date. Below are a few other actions that you can take:
1. Pay The Fine
You can plead guilty and bailout. You should send a copy of the citation to the court when sending your payment. If the notice requires correctable actions, for instance, expired registration, you should include the proof of correction. If the mistake has not been corrected, you should appear in court to determine the amount of fine you are supposed to pay.
The traffic violation will be added to your driving license. If you had a clean record, your insurance premiums or driving privileges could be affected, if there are multiple offenses, your driving privileges may be suspended. If you choose to pay the fine, going to court will not be necessary especially if the ticket was about alcohol violations, speed limit or reckless driving. In case you get involved in an accident, you will be required to go to the court.
If you cannot afford to pay the full amount due to your financial crisis, in your court appearance, you should request for a payment plan, a reduction of the amount stated for your conviction or even ask for community service.
Suppose You Fail To Appear in Court?
You make a promise immediately when you sign your traffic ticket. Failure to comply with the written promise makes you guilty of a misdemeanor. You can avoid additional legal action and fines if you appear on the set date.
Valid Reasons For Failure To Appear in Court
Avoid additional penalties if you do not have a valid excuse for not appearing in the court. However, some of the varied excuses that can be accepted include; jail confinement paperwork, military duty or medical emergencies.
2. Paying To Go To A Traffic School If You Are Eligible
The court will give you instructions that you should follow if you qualify to go to a traffic school. Your record will remain clean if you go to the traffic school. You can request a reduction of traffic school fees if you are facing financial hardships.
You will be required to pay an administrative fee and the full fine. You can select the traffic school that you will attend and pay the tuition fees. You can also choose an online course. You will then submit the certificate after completing the course, and your file will remain confidential unless you commit another offense within a period of 18 months. In case you fail to pay the full fine, your case will be transferred to a collecting agency, and the traffic school certificate will be invalid.
3. Provision Of Proof To A Correctable Violation
You can provide proof of the corrected violation, for instance, broken equipment. This will only apply to correctable violations which can be fixed.
4. Court Appearance
You can also present yourself to court on the date indicated on your ticket. You can also contact the court before the date indicated. When contacting the court, you should have your ticket. Let the clerk clarify the following questions for you:
- Whether the date indicated on your ticket is the correct date. You will then decide if you will fight the ticket or just pay it.
- The steps that you will follow when fighting your ticket.
- Whether you qualify for traffic school, and
- Whether you can get a time extension to decide if you want to schedule a trial date or contest the ticket.
You can also request for an arraignment. You can get plea if you are granted the arraignment. You can plead guilty and ask for a payment plan or community service, or plead not guilty and request a trial date.
You may also ask the court to write a citation that states that you will pay the fine in full. In some cases, you will have to post bail if you set a trial date and you do not want to appear at an arraignment. You have to post a bail if you choose trial by declaration.
5. Asking For A Trial If You Are Not Guilty
You do not have to appear in court and ask for a trial. You can also contact the court before the due date and ask for a written declaration which is also referred to as trial by mail or request for trial by a judicial officer. If you choose a trial by a judicial officer, you will be granted your wish. However, the identity of the judicial officer will be known on the day of the hearing.
The police officer who cited you will not be present in the court unless you select an in person trial. The officer will be notified to appear after a trial has been set. After the trial you will either be found guilty or not guilty. In case you are found guilty, you will get additional fines and driving privileges may be suspended for at least thirty days.