Being stopped for speeding can lead to panic. The source of the panic is typically the stress of knowing that you are about to have some associated costs (ticket cost, possible insurance rate increases, etc.). If you haven’t ever received a ticket, or it has been a number of years, you may not realize that there may be options available to handle a speeding ticket so it is reduced, dismissed, or forgiven.
When you have been pulled over, it is always beneficial to remain calm and collected while interacting with the police officer. For example, if this is your first speeding ticket or the officer is just in a generous mood, they might just let you off with a warning. Being rude or argumentative will only limit that possibility.
If you aren’t one of the lucky ones to get off with a warning and you receive the citation, you will typically be faced with a few options. Keep in mind that many states have slightly different systems for handling tickets, so step 1 after getting a ticket is to read the ticket thoroughly for all instructions and also familiarize yourself with your state’s process for handling tickets and your driving record so you are informed; Generally speaking, you should have a few options available to you to handle your ticket.
First, you can simply pay the fine and let the ticket (and the associated points) go on your record. Doing this is not advisable if other options exist because if you have multiple tickets in a specified amount of time or you reach point thresholds on your driving record, you could face further fines and/or license suspensions.
Second, you should have the option of disputing the ticket. If you feel the ticket was unjust, you should review the ticket instructions on how to notify the court that you intend to fight the ticket and request a court appearance date to appear in front of the court / judge. If you go down this route, it is recommended that you write down as many details as possible about the circumstance that resulted in the ticket so you have them when it comes time to make your case.
Another option that is available in most cases, but it does depend on your state rules and your driving record at the time of the citation, is to take a course (driver safety, traffic school, driver improvement, etc.) which may fully dismiss the ticket to keep it off your record or to have points reduced on your record.
Check out the following infographic, which provides further details on how to handle a speeding ticket. Then, visit Ticket School today to enroll in a defensive driving course.