Ticket School > Blog > Texas > What to Do After Getting Your First Texas Traffic Ticket
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There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than seeing those red and blue lights flashing behind you as you’re driving. What’s even worse is the likely consequence: a speeding ticket! Whether you didn’t know the speed limit or were simply in a rush, speeding is speeding.

The good news is that getting your first speeding ticket in Texas isn’t the end of the world. While your natural instinct may be to freak out, don’t! Getting a speeding ticket doesn’t have to increase your car insurance rates nor does it have to be a permanent mark on your record.

Keep reading to learn the proactive actions you can take after getting a traffic ticket.

Know Your Options

After getting a traffic ticket, you have a few options. You can choose to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest (nolo contender). If you decide to plead guilty or no contest, this means that you’re admitting that you were speeding. In this scenario, you can either pay the fine (and any other applicable fees) to the court and let the citation (and the associated points) go on your driving record or you can request to have the ticket dismissed by taking a state approved driver safety course (aka defensive driving). It is important that you contact the court per the instructions on the ticket to notify them of your intent on or before the date required.

On the other hand, if you plead not guilty, you can fight the traffic ticket in court. In Texas, you have the legal right to make your case to the judge (whether through representation or not) to show why you think the ticket was inaccurately given. Based on the information provided, the judge will then decide to dismiss the ticket or confirm it.

Can Your Ticket Be Dismissed?

Before pleading not guilty for a speeding ticket in Texas, there are some things you’ll want to know. There are several factors that will either increase or decrease your chance of getting your ticket dismissed.

First, consider the violations listed on your ticket. Were you just cited for speeding, or were there other violations at the time you were pulled over? Some of the most common violations that coincide with a speeding ticket include:

  • Not having a driver’s license
  • Driving with an expired license
  • No proof of auto insurance
  • Expired vehicle registration
  • Altered license plate

A speeding ticket also can’t be dismissed in Texas if you were driving 25 MPH or more over the speed limit, driving 95 MPH or faster, or violating rules in a construction or school zone.

If you have a relatively clean Texas driving record and were caught speeding by less than 25 MPH, you may be able to get your ticket dismissed.

Take a Safety Driving Course

Part of the ticket dismissal process on a speeding violation (and other moving violations) will be to successfully complete a state approved Texas Driver Safety Course (aka defensive driving course). Taking a driver safety course to have your ticket dismissed will, in most cases, prevent the violation (and the associated points) from going on your driving record. This is important to avoid future expenses like insurance increases, DPS surcharges, etc. Getting your ticket dismissed through this process doesn’t mean that you avoid the fine completely because you will likely still be required to pay a court / dismissal fee. When you make the dismissal request you will be given 90 days to complete the course and turn in the certificate of completion to avoid further penalty. If you miss the deadline, the ticket will go on your record and in some cases a warrant can be issued as well.

Taking a defensive driving course is a simple and smart way to keep your driving record clean and also a great way to refresh your driving knowledge. Another added benefit is that many auto insurance providers offer discounts for taking the course.  You’ll learn about Texas traffic laws, as well as how to anticipate road dangers while building confidence in your driving skills.

Enroll at Ticket School

black vehicle instrument cluster panel

Not all defensive driving courses are the same. After you have plead guilty or no contest and requested that your ticket be dismissed by taking a state approved defensive driving course for your speeding ticket in Texas, you’ll want to enroll in a course at TicketSchool.com.

Our course is not only inexpensive, but it can be completed entirely online! Ticket School’s defensive driving course is mobile device compatible. This means you can complete the course from anywhere at any time using any internet enabled device.

After completing the course, your certificate of completion will be emailed to you. This means no more waiting days for your certificate to arrive in the mail.

Don’t let a traffic ticket ruin your driving record or increase your auto insurance rates. Register for our Texas defensive driving course today!