So you’ve received a civil traffic ticket, and you’re trying to decide what to do. The goal of this page is to present options and possible outcomes for various civil traffic tickets.
This post explains why it is difficult to fight civil traffic tickets; Read it before continuing on this page. In the case of a civil moving violation, it almost always makes sense to take defensive driving school to get the ticket dismissed, rather than fighting the ticket.
What are the options with a civil traffic ticket?
- Pay the fine.
- Request a civil traffic hearing.
- Take defensive driving school (if it is an eligible moving violation, and if you are eligible to take defensive driving school).
When does it make sense to fight a civil traffic ticket?
1. If you get any more points, your license will be suspended.
If this is the case, you have nothing to lose by fighting the ticket, other than your time and some money if you use an attorney. Another situation we frequently encounter is drivers who have received multiple photo enforcement tickets in a short time. While the driver may be eligible for defensive driving, they can only do that for a single ticket and the remaining tickets are sufficient to cause a license suspension if the driver is found responsible for all of them. It may make sense to not use the defensive driving option right away and fight all of the tickets, and then use the defensive driving for the ticket that eventually presents the worst odds for success.
2. You are not eligible for defensive driving.
Here again, you have nothing to lose other than some of your time and some money if you use an attorney. While the odds of success are not great, they are better than if you simply admit responsibility and pay the ticket. Even when a driver is ineligible for defensive driving, they often choose to just pay the fine rather than hire an attorney. Our office charges at least $650 to take on a civil traffic ticket, which is usually far more than the fine. With a low likelihood of success, there is a good chance the driver will end up paying an attorney and paying the fine.
3. The violation involved a traffic accident.
If you received a ticket for an accident, you may want to fight it if it relates to an insurance claim. Even here, taking defensive driving is not an admission of liability, and is often the best course of action.
Common Civil Traffic Violations – More Information
If you have read through this page and the linked articles, and you believe your best option is to fight your ticket, give us a call and let’s talk about how we can fight your ticket.