There are several types of tickets that a motorist in Minnesota may receive. According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, a payable citation is one that does not require a court appearance. An administrative citation is one that must be settled with the city government that issued the ticket. Lastly, there are court-required citations, which mandate that the driver appear in court. Failing to do so could result in an arrest.
As a traffic offense lawyer in Minneapolis knows, each of these citations leaves room for challenging the charge.
Consequences of a traffic ticket
Paying a ticket is an admission of guilt, and motorists who do so forfeit their right to fighting the charge. Even seemingly small traffic violations may create significant consequences for a motorist. According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the cost of a speeding ticket alone can be between $145 and $378. Beyond the fines, however, are several other repercussions to consider, such as the following:
- Tickets add points to a driver’s license that can remain there for years.
- Auto insurance companies will raise their rates based on most infractions.
- Some violations may result in license suspension.
Any traffic offense lawyer in Minneapolis knows that some citations can even result in jail time, such as a drunk driving charge. There are misdemeanor charges, which can involve up to a year in jail, and felony charges that will result in prison time of more than a year. Instead of dealing with these unpleasant consequences, people may choose to fight the charges.
Options for challenging an infraction
There are several options for those who want to fight a traffic ticket. The first is to meet with a hearing officer in Minnesota, who may be able to negotiate a settlement. This could result in keeping the violation off a driving record, dismissing the ticket, reducing the fine or coming up with a plan for payment.
When an agreement with a hearing officer cannot be reached, some people may choose to go to court to present their case. During the court hearing, drivers are able to present evidence and witnesses that support their innocence. While motorists will be responsible for paying court fees, they will be absolved of any fines should the court dismiss the ticket. If a court finds a defendant guilty, then all fines must be paid.
Challenging a traffic ticket may not be the best option for everyone, but it can mean preserving a driving record, money and even freedom for many. People who wish to fight a citation should consult with a traffic offense lawyer in Minneapolis.