Determining Whether a Court Appearance Is Needed for a Traffic Ticket

Car Accident Lawyer

When a police officer issues a traffic ticket, he or she may say something about appearing in court. Many people do not realize it, but some traffic violations do require a court appearance. This matter is quite simple to understand, but perhaps not quite as simple as you may have initially assumed. Regardless, you will have a full understanding of how this works after reading this guide.

Appearing in Court

The way forced court appearances for traffic violations typically work is like this:

  • For minor violations, you will never have to appear in court.
  • For more serious versions of otherwise minor violations, you do need to appear in court.
  • There is a list of violations where a court appearance is necessary.

The specific limits of what violations require a court appearance vary from one state to the next. For example, in most states, going more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit requires a court appearance, even if speeding tickets typically do not. However, there are some states where this is not the case. It is important to research what the laws are in the state you were issued the ticket. Remember, it is the issuing state that matters, rather than the state you live in.

Finally, the police officer who issues the ticket will likely tell you if a court appearance is needed. The ticket itself will specify, even if the officer does not mention it. And, of course, police officers are not the final authority on whether a court appearance is needed. The officer may be mistaken, so you should research the matter on your own.

Other Options

There are a few other notes you should be aware of. First, you can choose to contest any traffic ticket. This involves going to court, even if an appearance is not normally required. However, there is a chance you can get the fine dismissed entirely.

On the other hand, you can admit your guilt remotely and simply pay the fine by phone or mail to save yourself the trouble of going to court.

Finally, if you do contest the ticket and go to traffic court, the police officer who issued the ticket must appear to present the case against you. If the police officer does not appear, then the ticket will almost certainly be dropped entirely.

If you have any questions about how to handle your ticket, it is a good idea to speak with a traffic ticket attorney sooner rather than later.

Thank you to the experts at the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their input on traffic tickets and the law.