Driving Instruction

So I Got A Traffic Ticket...Now What Do I Do?

June 29, 2021

So I Got A Traffic Ticket...Now What Do I Do?

Getting a traffic ticket can be frustrating, especially if it is your first one.

Your next steps depend on a few factors, primarily the traffic laws of the state and county where you were pulled over. It is ultimately up to the traffic court in the jurisdiction where you were pulled over to determine how to handle your ticket. And that will determine what your next moves will be in having the issue resolved.

It’s important to know what the state laws are regarding different traffic violations, and you can find this on the DMV website for your state.

Regardless of the type of ticket, most times you will have a fine that has to be paid. To find out how much your fine is, you can call or visit the website of the jurisdiction from which the ticket was issued (if they have a website). You should be able to look up the fine by the violation code or have someone tell you how much your ticket will be if you call by phone. Once you find out the cost of your ticket, it’s important to make sure you know how long you have to pay your ticket.

Note the date and decide if you want to pay the ticket online, by phone, by mail or deliver the fine by hand. It’s important to pay on time, because if you don’t you could be subject to fine increases. If you happen to lose your ticket, you could be in big trouble. Many traffic courts are able to look up your citation and help you recover a lost ticket if that happens, but that’s not always the case. Regardless, you will still be held responsible for paying the ticket, so make sure that you keep up with the ticket at all costs.

If you believe that you were wrongly given a citation or traffic ticket, it is your right to fight the ticket in traffic court.

Most tickets may have a date that you can appear in court or other information regarding traffic court located on the back of the citation. If you choose to fight the ticket in court, it would be a good idea to get a traffic court attorney to help with your case. Depending on your traffic violation, you could face having it suspended, car insurance penalties, mandatory traffic school or defensive driving courses, or other requirements.

If you believe you could face higher interest rates, you can call your insurance company or look up their policies online to see if you could be in violation of your insurance terms. Most states require that you have insurance coverage, and if you get a ticket without coverage, you could face additional penalties.

Safe Points and Demerit Points in Virginia

Virginia has a demerit point system in regards to driving as many other states do. This means that points go against your record whenever you receive a traffic ticket. These demerits can lead to eventual fines or suspension of license. However, Virginia also offers Safe Points - which can be earned through each year spent without incident. Another way that you can earn Safe Points, or help to counteract points that might be going against your record for a driving violation is to take a DMV approved traffic school. If you would like to learn more about building up Safe Points or have just recently received a traffic ticket, call us today at Colonial Driving School.

The important thing to remember is to stay proactive when faced with a ticket. The longer you wait, the more the likelihood of other problems increases. For more information on traffic laws and citations, visit the DMV website at www.dmv.org.