Getting a Traffic ticket in Arkansas comes with consequences. As a responsible driver, you owe it to yourself to learn about Arkansas traffic tickets before you map out your course of action. You have choices, but making the wrong choice costs you.
What to Do If You Get a Traffic Ticket in Arkansas
Do not file the ticket away with the intention of taking care of it later. All traffic tickets in Arkansas are driven by the Arkansas Vehicle Code. When you are cited for a traffic infraction, the vehicle code, fine and due date is clearly printed on the ticket. Whatever action plan you take, make certain do not let the due date slip by, or you will end up with a warrant.
Is a Court Appearance Required?
Some drivers who receive Arkansas traffic tickets may have to appear in court. This will be indicated clearly on the back of the ticket. Depending on your driving record and the offense itself, you might want to hire an attorney to represent you. You can attempt to research Title 27 Transportation on the state's web site, but these is a massive amount of specialized information, and if you feel you may be taking a chance by guessing what is best for your situation, contact an attorney.
If you think you can do enough research to represent yourself, you most likely will not end up solving the issue successfully. Going to court and pleading “not guilty” on your own could be an unwise choice and might lead to serious consequences where you would have no choice but to retain a traffic attorney.
If you choose to fight your Arkansas traffic ticket, contact your court to confirm your hearing date. Always ensure you contact them if you unable to make that date!
If you do choose to hire an attorney, he or she will explain the different pleas available and best suited for you.
You do have options when it comes to managing traffic tickets in Arkansas. Below are some options for you to consider:
Option 1 - Pay Your Ticket
In some situations, especially if you are not facing criminal charges, you may desire to pay the ticket and get on with your life. For example, if you have knowledge of your own guilt, and cannot fathom any way to dodge a guilty verdict, nor would you want to go to the trouble, just plead "guilty" and pay the fine by certified mail. Be sure to enclose a self-addressed envelope with a note kindly asking the cashier to return your receipt. In some Arkansas jurisdictions, you can pay online.
Option 2 - Plead Not Guilty and Request Trial
If you do not think that you are guilty, you can plead "not guilty" to the traffic charge. Simply check the box on the back of the ticket indicating "not guilty" and mail in the ticket to the court within five working days. Await your hearing date. Should you decide to fight the charges outright, you will need to carefully consider hiring an attorney who specializes in traffic law to help you. Your case is then heard by a judge. It is usually best to have your lawyer do the talking.
If you are found guilty of the charge, you must pay the fine as well as any surcharges. You can also still accrue the points on your license, depending on the judge's decision.
Option 3 - Appeal Your Case
When you receive a ticket in Arkansas, may submit a Notice of Appeal to the local court requesting an appeal hearing. It is best to hire an attorney to help you with this.
Option 4 - Take an Online Defensive Driving Course
A moving violation traffic ticket in Arkansas will most certainly cost you points on your license. Demerits range from three points for speeding up to ten miles per hour over the speed limit. You can get a whopping eight points for reckless driving. 14 points buys you a suspension hearing where you get to discuss your driving privileges with a judge. In this instance, don't expect to win.
Several Arkansas courts offer you the chance you to take an Arkansas defensive driving course to avoid the points.
If this interests you, contact the contact your jurisdiction and ask if online traffic school is an option for you. It's a no brainer. Saving points means lower insurance, and you may even get your traffic ticket dismissed.