Getting a speeding ticket doesn’t just cost you money to the court. It’s likely that your insurance rates will go up. When too many traffic tickets end up on your driving record, it can affect your ability to keep your license. If you’re wondering whether you need a traffic ticket lawyer Sacramento or whether you can DIY your ticket yourself, here are five ways to keep your ticket off your record.
Take a Defensive Driving Class
California offers an opportunity to dismiss your ticket if you go to traffic school. You can only use this option if you haven’t used it in the past 18 months for another ticket. You must have a valid license, and the ticket cannot have occurred in a commercial vehicle. Not every ticket is eligible for this option. You do have to pay the fee to the school for a DMV-approved traffic school. Plus, you learn ways to avoid accidents and stay safer on the road.
Get a Deferral
A deferral means that the court finds you guilty but agrees to defer the ticket for a period of time. A judge or the district attorney must approve the deferral. For the deferral period, usually one year, you cannot get another ticket. If you don’t get another ticket, the ticket is dismissed and doesn’t go on your record. If you do get another ticket, both tickets will go on your record. You roll the dice with your driving record. The court may charge you a fee, too.
Delay the Court Date
Ask for a continuance before the court date listed on the ticket. Essentially, you’re just postponing the inevitable. However, if the officer who issued the ticket isn’t working for the agency any longer, due to retirement, firing, a transfer or quitting, you can ask the ticket be dismissed. A ticket lawyer Los Angeles can help you determine whether this course of action would be viable in your case.
Ask for Mitigation
In this scenario, you ask the court for leniency. You plead guilty but provide an explanation for why you got the ticket. Maybe you were speeding to get to the hospital. This can be a gamble, because the judge may still make you pay the fine. You may be given options to keep the ticket off your record, such as deferral or defensive driving school.
Hire a Traffic Ticket Lawyer
One of the best ways to fight a ticket is to hire a traffic lawyer to help you contest the ticket. Look for errors on the citation. Find an argument that would void the ticket. You may be able to get out of the ticket through a technicality. Having a lawyer increases your chance of success through knowledge of the law and the ins and outs of the legal system. However, if you lose your case, you may be expected to pay court costs and the fine for the ticket.
If you need help fighting a ticket to keep it off your record, contact a law firm that specializes in California traffic court cases.