Getting a traffic ticket is an awful feeling, and looking at the amount of the fine itself is even worse. What many people do not realize is that there are ways to reduce and even get out of your ticket, regardless of what state you live in. In each state, you have a right to plead not guilty to your ticket. In addition, many states will allow you to take a driving safety course, which will drastically reduce the price of your ticket. There is never a reason to simply pay your ticket; with the proper knowledge of what to do you will have a good chance of paying only part of or none of the ticket.
Check the "not guilty" box on the ticket you received. Mail in the ticket; it will already come pre-addressed to the courthouse. In addition to mailing the ticket, write a polite, concise letter to the judge stating your side of the story and explaining why the ticket was unfair. Mail this in with the ticket. In many cases the judge will simply dismiss the case.
Call the courthouse using the number printed on the ticket, and ask if there are drivers' safety courses that the court can recommend that would lower the ticket. Many states offer these courses, and if the judge approves your request to take one you can enroll through your state's DMV office. Once you complete the course and show your certificate to the judge, your ticket will be reduced.
Read More: How Can I Get My Traffic Ticket Waived?
File for a change of venue if you are given a court date. You have a right to change the venue to a courthouse closer to where you live. This will greatly increase the chance that the ticketing officer will not show up.
File as many continuances as the judge will allow. Reasons for continuances can include scheduled vacations, illness, work and a variety of other excuses. Each continuance further increases the likelihood that the officer will not show up.
Attend your hearing on the schedule date and argue your side of the story to the court. If the court rules in your favor, you will not have to pay the ticket.
James Wiley graduated from Providence College in 2009 as a double major in global studies and Spanish. Wiley's capstone thesis paper was published in the Providence College database. He has also competed in international script-writing competitions and coauthored a pilot which placed in the top 15 percent of international entries over the past year.