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What are your options if you have received a traffic ticket? [infographic]

NerdWallet reports that a traffic ticket for speeding in Minnesota will cost drivers an average of $520. While there may be a fine written on the citation, drivers have to consider the fact that their insurance rate will increase and they may face additional administrative penalties, such as license suspension. As traffic violation attorneys in Minnesota know, people who receive a ticket have several options at their disposal to preserve their wallets and their driving records.

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Paying the ticket

In many cases, drivers will simply pay the fine. It is important to note that paying the fine is considered an admission of guilt. For some drivers, this option may result in a license suspension and an increase in car insurance rates. Depending on where the ticket was issued, a driver may be able to pay the fee over the phone, via the mail or even online. There are court-required citations that will mandate that the driver appear in court, regardless of paying the fine or not. Failing to appear may prompt a warrant for arrest.

Scheduling a hearing

As traffic violation attorneys in Minnesota have seen, it can be beneficial to fight a traffic ticket. Not only could this preserve someone’s wallet and driving record, but it could also prevent criminal charges. Some traffic violations, such as DUI, will be added to a defendant’s criminal record in the event of a conviction.

In order to contest a ticket, a motorist will have to contact the county in which the ticket was issued in order to make an appointment with a hearing officer. In some cases, a driver can negotiate a settlement at the hearing, which could be any of the following:

  • A reduced fine
  • Doing community service to keep the violation off a driving record
  • Getting a ticket dismissed

According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, roughly 90 percent of people who meet with a hearing officer are able to settle the case regarding a traffic ticket. For drivers who cannot reach an agreement with the hearing officer, there is the option of going to trial.

Going to trial

A final option is to go to trial, which will require drivers to either represent themselves or hire an attorney to build a defense. During the trial, the defendant will be able to present evidence and argument as to why the citation and fines should not stick.

People who fail to respond to the citation within the specified timeframe will have to pay a late fee. The Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services can even suspend a driver’s license when someone fails to pay the fees or otherwise respond to the ticket. Anyone with questions regarding this matter should consult with traffic violation attorneys in Minnesota.

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