One of the worst feelings in the world is when you’re driving and you suddenly see those flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. Being ticketed for a traffic violation is the exact opposite of fun, and even the smallest of misdemeanor traffic offenses can have some pretty serious long-term consequences.
When you’re pulled over, the most important thing to remember is that you’ll have a better chance of getting out of a traffic ticket if you remain calm and courteous. Even if you still get ticketed, the fact that you didn’t cause a huge scene on the side of the road is something that will work in your favor.
After all of that, you have a few options about how to handle the situation:
- Accept the ticket and pay the fine. Many people don’t realize it, but if your only punishment for a traffic violation is a fine, you have no chance of getting out of a traffic ticket once you pay the fine — this payment is legally considered an admission of guilt. If you decide that it’s easier (and cheaper) to just accept a ticket, you’ll be required to send in some paperwork and the payment to the court. Once it’s received and processed, your case is closed.
- Provide proof for correctable misdemeanor traffic violations. Getting out of a traffic ticket for something that can be corrected, like a broken headlight, is fairly easy. You’ll be given a set amount of time to have the repairs made, and you’ll have to provide proof of the repairs. If you provide proof in time, the ticket will be rescinded and all will be right with the world again; if you fail to provide proof of correction, you’ll either have to accept or fight the ticket.
- Take your case to court. You can either try to get out of a traffic ticket through a written declaration in the mail, or you can schedule a trial date to be held in court. Offenders of serious traffic violations usually end up going to court and hiring a lawyer to help them out. In this case, you’ll have to decide whether you want to plead not guilty and fight the ticket completely, or just present mitigating evidence that will lessen your punishments.
If you find yourself with a traffic ticket and you aren’t sure which option is the best one for you — first of all, you’re not alone, because that’s how most people feel when they get ticketed. But second of all, make sure to do some research and ask a legal professional for advice before making any decisions. Find out more at this site.