I received a traffic ticket while driving to work. Do I just pay the fine and attend traffic school or can I go to court to fight it?

This depends upon a number of factors, including the reason you were ticketed, whether you are required to appear in court, and in some cases, your personal preference.

If you are not required to appear in court (your ticket will state whether or not you must appear), you have the option of simply paying the fine listed on the ticket by mail. While this seems like a quick and easy solution, you should know that paying the fine may result in a conviction, which remains on your driving record for a set period of time. Depending upon the number of convictions you receive within a given time period, this can result in higher insurance rates and even a license suspension.

In order to avoid a conviction, you can request court supervision. Supervision can result in a fine and court costs, community service, and/or attendance of traffic school. If the period of supervision is satisfactorily completed, the supervision ends without a conviction on your driving record.

If you are required to appear in court, be sure to arrive at least fifteen minutes early and to dress appropriately (see our General FAQs for tips on what to bring and wear to court). Traffic cases that go to trial are often conducted as bench trials, meaning the judge (instead of a jury) listens to the evidence and decides the case based on the facts presented.

Every case is unique and the law can be applied in any number of ways to each situation. If you are uncertain whether an attorney can help resolve your particular situation, contact us for a free consultation.

*DISCLAIMER: The questions and answers presented on this website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they establish an attorney-client relationship.