Know Your Options After a Traffic Ticket

Even the safest drivers can sometimes experience a momentary lapse on the road and incur a traffic ticket. If you’ve never had a traffic ticket before, you may not be aware of your options. When traveling out of state, your options following a ticket may be even less clear.

Some people choose to simply pay the fine just to be done with the whole matter. However, before you decide to do that, you should at least understand what other options you have.

Options for a Traffic Ticket in Your Home Jurisdiction

In addition to pleading no-contest and paying the fine, there are other options available to you after a traffic ticket:


  •  Contest the Ticket This requires preparing your case by gathering evidence in your favor. The results are not guaranteed, but you may be successful in having the violation removed. If the officer who issued you the ticket does not show up to court, then the judge will automatically dismiss the case. Another common scenario is that you still have to pay the ticket but the fine is reduced.
  •  Seek a Reduction This is a way of resolving the matter outside of court. The court clerk may be willing to reduce the violation, and therefore the fee, when you go to the office to speak with him or her and request it. However, you will have to go to court if you want the fee completely removed. The court clerk doesn’t have the capability to do that for you, and again, the fee will only be removed if the judge decides in your favor or dismisses the case.
  •  Go to Traffic School It costs money to go to traffic school, and you still have to pay the fine on top of that if you choose this course of action. However, if you qualify, you may be able to avoid points on your record by going to traffic school. That could save you money in the long run by preventing your insurance rates from going up.


If you are still not sure what to do, the traffic violations bureau in your state may be a good source of information. You can visit the office directly or access the bureau’s website.

Options for an Out-of-State Traffic Ticket

Driving in another state can be a bewildering experience because the traffic laws may be different than what you are used to. However, the consequences for an out-of-state traffic ticket are usually comparable to those for a ticket in your jurisdiction. The options are similar as well. The main difference is that you have to make a return trip if you want to contest the ticket. Depending on factors such as how far you have to travel, this can be costly in terms of both time and money, and potentially more trouble than it is worth.

Whether you are local or from out of state, a traffic lawyer in Salem, VA can explain your legal options to you after a traffic violation. Contact a law office for more information.


Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into traffic law and your options after getting a ticket.