If you receive a traffic ticket, there is a chance you will have to appear in court. This usually depends on the severity of the violation. Additionally, you always have the option to contest any ticket you receive, which will involve going to court. It can be incredibly intimidating if you are required to or choose to go to a traffic court hearing. This guide will explain what happens during a traffic court hearing, as well as provide some advice on how to handle it with confidence.
Usually, you will have to go to an arraignment first. This is essentially just a preliminary court appearance to handle some administrative aspects. If you have the option not to appear in court, choosing not to come to the arraignment means you have agreed to simply pay the traffic ticket.
At your arraignment, there will be many people who are all having their arraignment at the same time. The judge will usually go through people in alphabetical order. While waiting for your turn, pay attention to how the judge treats others before you. Watch for what works and what does not. If the judge is reducing the fine for many people who request it, you know that it may be worth a shot.
When it is your turn, you need to approach the podium and answer the judge’s questions. The most important thing that happens is you must declare whether you intend to contest the ticket or not. If you do, a court date will be assigned for the traffic court hearing. Sometimes, it may be the same day. If you do not want to contest, the judge will tell you how much you owe.
Traffic Court Hearing
At a traffic court hearing, there may be a few other arraignments that get to go before yours. Wait patiently for them to be taken care of, then the traffic hearings will begin, usually in alphabetical order.
The officer who issued your ticket must appear to argue why the ticket is valid. If the officer does not appear, then your ticket will likely be dismissed immediately. If the officer does appear, then you must present evidence for why the ticket should not have been issued. It is not necessary to have an attorney argue your case for you, but it is a very good idea to speak with a lawyer, like a traffic defense lawyer from May Law, LLP, in advance to get advice on the best way to present your argument. Of course, if you want to hire an attorney, that is okay, but it is not very common.