It is common for drivers to underestimate the repercussions of receiving a speeding ticket. Speeding tickets come with heavy fines and cause insurance rates to skyrocket. This can be a significant inconvenience as many of us don’t budget for the need to pay hundreds of dollars in traffic ticket fines and higher insurance premiums. Therefore, many drivers choose to fight their speeding tickets in court in hopes to get the judge to at least reduce the fine. But do you have to go to court for a speeding ticket? Or is there another way to fight speeding tickets?
What Could a Ticket Violation Do?
No one wants to see the blue lights flashing in the rearview mirror, be pulled over and then handed a speeding ticket. However, it does happen and if you do find yourself pulled over and in receipt of a speeding ticket, here are some of the things that will happen:
- Your driving record will be affected. Every moving violation will add one to two points to your driving record. In some cases and depending on the speed in which you were going or if you have previous traffic tickets, you could find that your license is suspended – not ideal.
- You will have to pay a large fine for a speeding ticket because of the additional surcharges and county fees.
- You will end up paying higher car insurance rates. Maybe even up to 20%-40% more for the next three years.
So Do I Have to Go to Court For a Speeding Ticket?
There are other ways to deal with a speeding ticket other than going to court. One is you can just pay the ticket online. But with how expensive California traffic tickets are this is not a good option. The next alternative is the best and easiest way to fight a ticket. It is called a trial by written declaration. A trial by written declaration is fighting your ticket in writing. According to CVC 40902, the defendant can fight their traffic ticket via mail instead of physically appearing in the court.
Should I Fight a Traffic Ticket in the Courtroom or Through Mail?
Again, a trial by written declaration is the best way to get a ticket dismissed compared to in-person trial. The reasons include:
- For an in-person trial, you have to take time out from your busy schedule to appear in the court and fight your ticket, but with a trial by written declaration, you can write your defense at the most convenient time for you and and from the comfort of your home.
- If you select the in-person trial over the written declaration, the judge may not allow you to finish your explanation and defense. Moreover, the judge could be irritated when surrounded by a busy courtroom. If you choose a written declaration, the judge will read your entire written defense in privacy without the court room’s influence. Most likely the judge will be in a better mood inside their chambers.
- If you lose the in-person trial on the first attempt, you won’t have any chance to apply for a retrial. However, you can get a retrial if you fight your ticket via a written declaration; this factor alone increases the success chances of your ticket getting dismissed.
- The biggest reason a trial by written declaration is more successful than in-person is a police officer is incentivized to appear in court while an officer is NOT incentivized to reply to written paperwork on your case. If an officer does not fill out the paperwork required for a written declaration then your ticket will be dismissed.
When Do I Have to Go to Court for a Speeding Ticket?
There are certain types of traffic tickets that do require a court appearance. Here are a few times where you will have to go to court to handle the matter:
- You went more than 25+ over the intended speed limit
- You hit a car, or individual, and you didn’t stop
- You carried on driving despite a suspended license
- You were caught driving recklessly
- You caused an accident and that accident involved serious injuries or fatalities
Those violations are not ones that you should go to court alone for. You will need representation in court and while it may be tempting to skip it entirely, you could make the whole situation worse as then you would be in violation of a court order. When you don’t pay a traffic ticket, or you don’t appear in court when told to, you could face misdemeanor charges, further fines and further consequences.
We have helped tens of thousands of California drivers dismiss their traffic tickets using the trial by written declaration method. Our defense system builds a case for you in writing. All you have to do is tell us what happened, download the documents and send them to court. It is that easy! Call us today: 800-850-8038 or get started online.