Your First Speeding Ticket – What You Should Do
Whether you are 16 or 54 (like my mother was when she had her first traffic ticket) there are several things you can do to help your situation. You may have noticed on the ticket that it says “You don’t have to go to court”. What this means is, if you pay your ticket without going to court, you are guilty of all charges, the points on your record will go up and, for sure, your insurance rate will go up. If you are under 18 years old, the amount of your insurance may go up so high, you may not be able to afford it any longer.
So what should you do?
Since this is your first ticket, almost all court systems will allow you to go to traffic school. You will have to pay the fee to go to school, but the good news is that the ticket will not go on your record. This means your points will not go up and your insurance will not go up. Traffic school requires a certain number of hours be completed depending on your state. For example, you may be required to complete 8 hours of traffic school. This can be done on a Saturday, where all of your hours are completed in one day, or you may go to a 2-hour class that meets weekly for four weeks. Either way, it is worth every penny and moment of your time to keep it off your record.
If you think you are innocent
If you believe that the charges are incorrect, you must show some type of proof or challenge the ticket in some other logical way. The judge will not just take your word for it. Depending on the type of ticket, it may involve taking pictures of a covered or blocked speed limit sign. Getting a speedometer test for your car or challenging the method in which you were clocked speeding.
Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. If you can provide some doubt into the proceedings, you have a great chance of getting the charges dismissed.