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What to Do When You Get a Traffic Ticket

Traffic Tickets
jason-baxtorJason Baxter

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Getting a traffic ticket, especially if it’s your first one, can be a very stressful and emotional time. You can be concerned about being in “trouble”, paying the ticket fine, needing to go to court, and/or an increase in your car insurance rates. 

If this is your first traffic offence, even if it’s a speeding ticket, chances are very good that nothing will happen when you receive the ticket. The police officer will probably just hand you the ticket and send you on your way.

The consequences that most people worry about when they first get a ticket generally will not occur unless they are found guilty of the charge on the ticket.

4 Things to Do When You Get a Traffic Ticket

The tips below will not only help you understand what to do when you get a ticket, but they will also help you avoid a lot of the stress and reduce your chances of being found guilty or having to pay the ticket.

  1. Remain Calm & Polite – Getting angry or questioning an officer will not help your case, no matter how innocent you feel.
  2. Don’t Admit to Anything – Police officers will often ask if you know why you were stopped. Even if you do, say no. Even if you feel the ticket is justified, don’t say so.
  3. Choose an Option for Dealing with the Ticket – You have three options for what to do with your ticket, which is listed on the back of the ticket. You don’t have to do anything right away, and admitting to the offence can limit your options.
    1. If you feel the ticket is justified and you want to just pay the fine and be done with it, you can choose the first option. If so, you can simply pay the ticket online before the due date listed on the ticket.

      Remember, paying the fine means you are guilty of the offence. You may receive demerit points on your driver’s record, and your car insurance company might raise rates.
    2. Your second option is to plead guilty with an explanation. If you choose this option, a court date will be assigned to you and you will need to defend yourself against the ticket in court.

      Even if the prosecutor or justice of the peace reduces or eliminates your fine based on your explanation, you will likely still be found guilty of the offence, and your auto insurance rates might go up.
    3. Your third choice is the trial option. If you want to minimize the chance of having to pay the fine, getting demerit points on your driving record, and/or having your insurance rates increase, you should always choose the trial option
  4. Hire a Specialized Traffic Ticket Attorney – One of the reasons why you should never pay the ticket or plead guilty is that there are many factors that could lead to you being found not guilty or having the charges against you dismissed.

    X-Copper’s team of traffic ticket lawyers and former police officers understand court procedures, know how to defend your rights, and get the best possible outcome for you. 

To learn more about what happens when you get a traffic ticket, check out our article “How Do Demerit Points Affect Auto Insurance?”.


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