25 Oct What to do if you receive a traffic ticket
What to do if you receive a traffic ticket
We’ve all been there – you’re going about your business when suddenly the lights flash and the siren wails, bringing you to an abrupt stop. You got a traffic ticket! If this happens to you, then the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and stay calm – after all, it’s just a ticket, right? But it can feel like so much more if you don’t know what to do next, so here are three things you can do to handle your traffic ticket as quickly and painlessly as possible.
1) Check Your Local Government Website
Many local governments make available their municipal or county traffic codes online. These are usually posted on your state’s main site as well, but searching your state’s website for traffic code will usually direct you toward information that applies only to state-owned roads.
2) Get Some Legal Advice
In most states, traffic fines are steep enough that hiring an attorney is worth considering. Hiring an attorney will help ensure that your rights are protected and that you’re not hit with any hidden fees or penalties down the road. An attorney can also advise you on how much time you should expect to take off work in order to attend court dates and meetings with officials. In short, hiring an attorney when dealing with a traffic ticket might be money well spent.
3) Contact the Court Directly
The first thing you should do after receiving a traffic ticket is contact your court. The police officer who gave it to you may not know all of your options. Take advantage of free legal representation by calling your local courthouse and asking about traffic court. You can also find out what happens during your first appearance, what documents are required, and whether or not an attorney is necessary.
4) Check Into Driver Improvement Courses
In some states, these classes are known as defensive driving courses. They can teach you how to identify risks before they become problems, keep your eyes open on the road and help you develop safe driving habits. When available, check with your car insurance provider for discounts on your premium when enrolling in driver improvement courses. If you don’t have auto insurance or would like an additional discount on top of that offered by defensive driving course enrollment, then be sure to ask about it.