If you are cited for speeding, running a red light or other traffic offenses, you may receive a citation. Traffic tickets may be classified either as infractions or misdemeanor offenses. In most cases, you must appear in court to answer a ticket issued for misdemeanor offenses.
Don’t ignore the instructions on the ticket
Failing to respond to a traffic ticket within 60 days may result in the suspension of your driver’s license. The same may be true if you miss a court date or fail to pay your fine in a timely manner. If you are caught driving while your license is suspended, you could be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. If your license was suspended because of a traffic ticket after July 2009, you will be required to pay a $70 fee to reinstate it.
Be proactive about the status of your case
Generally speaking, it is your responsibility to ensure that you respond to your ticket or that you know when your court date is. This may be done by contacting the court where the case is being heard or the prosecutor overseeing the matter. If you have a legal representative, he or she may be able to keep track of your upcoming court dates or inquire as to the status of a given ticket. It is important to note that your attorney cannot enter a plea on your behalf.
Make sure to update your address with the court
A notice will be sent to the address that is on file with the court hearing your case. If you move, be sure to update your address as quickly as possible. Changing your address is generally not considered a valid defense to not responding to a traffic ticket or missing a court date.
In many cases, traffic tickets will result in fines or points on a drivers license. However, it is important that you take them seriously and respond to any notices that you receive. An attorney may be able to assist in your case.