Traffic Ticket Options

What are my options if I receive a traffic ticket?

  1. Admit responsibility
  2. Admit responsibility with explanation
  3. Deny responsibility

1. To Admit Responsibility Without Explanation:

Appear at the court within 3 to 14 days from the date you received the ticket. Bring your copy of the ticket with you to the traffic counter on the 6th floor; or

Sign the back of your ticket and mail it along with your payment to the court. Payment must be received within 14 days.

To find the cost of your ticket, refer to the 54-A District Court's fine schedule. If your violation is not listed on the fine schedule, call the court to see if there is a scheduled fine or whether an appearance before a judge or magistrate is required.

2. To Admit Responsibility With Explanation:

If you do not dispute the violation but believe there were mitigating factors, you may write a letter explaining the circumstances, sign the back of the ticket, and mail the ticket along with your written explanation to the court. It must be received within 14 days from the date you received the ticket. Do not send payment with your explanation.

The court will read and consider your explanation and either mail a response with an amount owed, or schedule a hearing.

3. To Deny Responsibility:

Contact the court within 3 to 14 calendar days and request a hearing. If there is more than one charge listed on your ticket you must specify those charges you wish to deny. The court will mail a hearing notice to the address on record.

Unless a formal hearing is specifically requested, pleas of not responsible will be scheduled for an informal hearing with the magistrate. Attorneys are not allowed at an informal hearing. Both you and the officer who issued the ticket will be at the hearing. If you are found responsible, the magistrate will order you to pay the judgment within 30 days.

If you wish to appeal the decision, you must do so within 14 days of the magistrate's decision. If you appeal, you are required to post a bond equal to the amount of the judgment, and the case will be scheduled for a formal hearing before a judge.

You may choose to hire an attorney to represent you at the formal hearing. The officer will be represented by a city or county prosecutor.

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