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When you received your traffic ticket, the issuing office might have told you that if you paid your ticket, you would not need to appear in court. Is this true? Why might you have to appear in court? What methods are available to pay a traffic fine? These are all probably questions you have in your head, especially if you have never received a traffic ticket before. It is natural to have questions, and this guide, along with a traffic lawyer, like from The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt, will answer them.
Paying Your Ticket
Chances are good that you can simply pay your traffic ticket and be done with it. No court appearance is necessary in these cases. You can pay your fine directly to the clerk’s office online, through the mail, or in person.
It is important to note that if you are traveling when you receive a traffic ticket, you need to pay the ticket to the clerk’s office in the county where the ticket was issued. This is a good reason to pay online or through mail, so you do not need to travel to that county again.
Appearing in Court
So why is appearing in court even an option? Under what circumstances would you appear in court? You always have the option to contest any ticket, regardless of how big or small it is. To do so, you simply need to appear in court at the time and location listed on the ticket.
This will be the date of your arraignment, which is the first preliminary court appearance. At your arraignment, you can declare your intentions to contest your ticket, at which point a date will be set for your traffic court hearing. You can also request to have the fine reduced at your arraignment. Some judges are more open to the idea of reducing a fine than others. While waiting for your turn, you should pay attention to other drivers who go before you to see how successful these attempts are.
For more severe traffic violations, it may be mandatory to appear in court for an arraignment. If you have no intention of contesting these tickets, the judge will determine how much your fine should be and potentially determine other forms of punishment, such as community service or a license suspension.
If you do contest your ticket, you will appear at a later date for a full traffic court hearing. The officer who issued the ticket must appear or the ticket will be dismissed. You can also present evidence for why the ticket should be dismissed at this time and hope to convince the judge.