Do I have to go to court for my traffic ticket?

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by David Shurman

Whether you must appear in court depends on the type of violation.  You may always appear in court to challenge your ticket or to plead guilty to the charges.  Certain traffic offenses may be handled without going to court by paying the fine and court costs prior to the court date listed on your citation. These traffic offenses are commonly referred to as “waivable” offenses because you are waiving your right to appear in court. Your citation should indicate whether your violation is one that is waivable, and if so, the fines and costs associated with it.

If you choose to dispose of the offense by paying the fines and court costs without appearing in court, you will be treated the same as if you were found guilty or responsible in court. This may affect your driver’s license points and your auto insurance rates.  Accumulation of points over time may result in suspension or revocation of your license, so you should get the advice of an experienced traffic attorney if you have any questions about your legal rights and options before deciding whether or not to appear in court.

If you’ve received a traffic ticket, please contact us to discuss your rights and responsibilities.

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