What to Expect at a Traffic Court Hearing

Speeding Ticket Lawyer

Even the best of drivers can find themselves distracted while on the road. Traffic tickets can result from a variety of actions, including speeding, reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident. When you find yourself signing a ticket, you’re agreeing to show up for court or pay the fine, and that might leave you wondering how to take your next steps. While procedures change depending on your state, these are the general outcomes you can expect from your hearing.

What Is a Hearing?

When you show up to court on the date appointed on your ticket, you aren’t going on trial. Instead, you’re attending a hearing, which means you’ll stand before a judge to plead guilty or not guilty. What you choose will decide whether a trial will follow or if your fine is reduced, as decided by the judge.

Upon your arrival to the courtroom, you’ll find you aren’t the only one present. There will be a list of people with traffic violations to plead their cases before the judge. If you are farther down the list (it is usually alphabetical by last name), you’ll have the opportunity to see how the judge is viewing cases, and if he or she is being lenient on others. This can help determine which of the following three choices to make once you are called forward.

Paying the Ticket

This is an automatic admission of guilt, meaning every consequence of that ticket (such as revoked points from your license) will play out. If you’ve decided the ticket isn’t worth your time and the consequences aren’t severe enough to fight, then paying is probably your best option. You don’t need to show up to court for this. Instead, pay your fine by the due date.

Requesting Mitigation

If the fine on your ticket is particularly high or you’re going to get points revoked from your license — but you know you’re guilty of the violation — seeking mitigation is your best bet. This means you’ll need to arrive at your court hearing and explain your situation to the judge. You are still pleading guilty, but the judge will listen to your case and determine whether to reduce the penalty.

Fighting the Ticket in Court

If you think you are not guilty of the violation, you will show up to your hearing and request a traffic court trial. The date for the trial will be set at this time, and you’ll have until then to organize your case.

No matter what you choose, it’s good to be prepared for all outcomes. If you’re ever unsure of which step is right for you, don’t be afraid to ask traffic lawyer for assistance.

Source: Speeding Ticket Lawyer Abingdon, VA, The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt

Close Menu