Almost all drivers will get a ticket sometime in their life. While it’s “normal” to get a traffic ticket, it doesn’t mean it’s cheap or enjoyable to deal with. Luckily, most people can fight a traffic ticket in court. Here’s a short guide on how to fight the ticket– and figure out if it’s worth your time to fight it in the first place.
When Should I Fight a Ticket?
Not all traffic tickets are created equally. Some are worth fighting and others are not. To figure out if your traffic ticket is worth trying to fight, there are two things to check (assuming you did commit a traffic infraction). Firstly, how much would it cost to simply pay for the ticket? The price to pay off a traffic ticket will depend on what kind of driving infraction you committed. Depending on the Florida ticket lawyer you use, the cost for fighting a ticket can be as low as $50 or cost hundreds. If this cost is more than the ticket itself, then it is not worth fighting.
Secondly, would the ticket add points to your license or would you be required to take a driving class? If you can answer “no” to both of these questions, then the ticket may not be worth fighting. Simply pay the fee and move on.
When Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you are an American citizen, you have the right to a lawyer. If you cannot afford one, you will be given a public defender. Public defenders are real lawyers, but they often have many cases on their plate at a time and may not have the time or attention your case needs. So, if you can afford a lawyer, it’s usually best to do so.
If you decide to use a traffic lawyer, there are a few things that they can do for you. A good lawyer will have a better understanding of the law than the average person. They can find provide drivers with informed legal advice based on previous cases. A lawyer who specializes in traffic court will have the most information on how to get a person out of a ticket.
Perhaps the best reason to hire a traffic lawyer is that they are great at negotiating. The average speeding ticket won’t require negotiations (unless you have many of them racked up) but more serious crimes, like a DUI or a hit-and-run might. In more serious cases, a lawyer may not be able to get you out of a ticket entirely, but he or she may be able to lower the fees associated with the crime.
How Do I Pay for a Ticket?
Sometimes a ticket cannot be fought or it’s not worth your time to try to fight it. When this happens, it’s best to pay the ticket off as soon as possible to avoid getting into further trouble. In the state of Florida, there are two types of traffic tickets (Uniform Traffic Citation and Uniform Commercial Citation) that a person could get.
If you are given a UTC, then you MUST pay off the ticket within 30 days to avoid further fines. These tickets are most common for regular driving or parking infractions. Depending on where you live, you may be able to pay for the ticket online. If you are unsure of how to pay for the ticket, contact the county clerk’s office in the country in which you received your ticket. Paying for this ticket may add points to your license.
To pay for a UCC, you can almost always submit payment online by using this link. If you are unsure of how this works, you can also call the Penalty Collection Unit at +1 (800) 688-5479. These types of tickets are most commonly given to drivers who do not have a driving infraction but for something else. These infractions can include failing to register a vehicle or violating the International Fuel Tax Agreement.
No one wants to pay for a ticket, but sometimes it’s just a fact of life. Check the price and point associations on the ticket to see if it is worth your time to fight or if you are better off paying it in full. Once you figure this out, get a lawyer or pay the ticket within 30 days to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Paying for these types of tickets does not usually add points to your license; however, make sure to ask when you pay off the ticket just to make sure.