What to do If You Get a Traffic Ticket in Iowa
Every time you get behind the wheel, you run the risk of receiving a traffic ticket. Some are more prone to receiving citation than others due to the choice they make while driving. Receiving traffic tickets in Iowa, are pocket draining, time consuming, and stressful. Let’s take a look at how one can minimize the financial burden and some of the stress after a traffic ticket is received.
Is a Court Appearance Required?
Receiving traffic tickets in Iowa, having to appear in court could be avoided if you have gotten a minor citation. If you received a major ticket like DUI, excessive speed, or a school zone infraction, court could be in your future.
Receiving that ticket isn’t the end of the world. There are options open to you and some of them are listed below.
Option 1 – Pay Your Ticket
You do have the option of paying the minor traffic ticket, in which case, you will be admitting that you are guilty of the citation. The fine payment must be received by the date that is printed on the traffic ticket.
There are three way for you to pay your fine.
1) You may pay your ticket online. The Iowa courts have a site that you can go to enter your information. Please note though in Utah, if you received a non-scheduled ticket or an unsecured ticket, you have to make an appearance in court. The number of the citation doesn’t need to be entered, but you must know what county gave you the citation.
2) Mail your payment in. You can mail your payment in to the address that is on the back of your citation. Make sure that you include the citation number on the check or money order.
3) In person. If you can, you may also pay your fine by going to the county court in which the citation was issued.
In the state of Iowa, the courts will let you know in what form of payment they will accept. Make sure that you find out what payment is acceptable with the citation court on your ticket by contacting the clerk.
Option 2 – Plead Not Guilty and Request a Trial
If you feel that you were given a ticket unfairly, you have the option of going to court and disputing the ticket and request a trial. You may choose to represent yourself or hire you can hire an attorney. You will need to let the court know of your decision before the deadline date that is on the ticket.
You also have the option of hiring an attorney. The attorney may be able to have your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. The date on your ticket is the date that you will need to be in court.
Option 3 – Appeal Your Case
If you would like to appeal your case, you can either represent yourself or hire an attorney.
When you represent yourself, you’re responsible for gathering evidence to further your case. This may include interviewing witnesses and making sure they appear in court. A copy of your driver’s license record may not be a bad idea either, as long as it is a record that the court sees as upstanding.
In choosing to hire an attorney, the attorney will do the gathering of evidence in hopes of making a strong case. He may be able to have the charges and fines dropped which in turn would save your insurance rated from rising.
When you appear in court, the judge will listen to both sides and then make his decision.
If the judge decides that he believes that you are innocent, he could be drop all charges and remove all fines. You may still be responsible for court costs and if you hired an attorney, legal fees.
If the judge renders his verdict against you, meaning that you are guilty, he will let you know how much the court costs are and how to pay them, along with the violation fees. If there are any other penalties, the judge will tell you what they are and when they will take effect.
If you don’t feel that the judge rendered a correct verdict, you can let your attorney know and he will begin the appeal process. He will then let your know about fees and deadlines.
Option 4 – Take an Online Defensive Driving Course
At this time, Iowa does not offer point reduction or ticket dismissal for taking and passing a driver improvement school class although, if you have been convicted of 3 moving violations in a twelve month period, you may be ordered to take an improvement course for drivers in order to keep your license.
Iowa traffic tickets can be financially straining. To make sure that you don’t add unwanted expenses, you can look into attending a driver improvement class. You may be able to have a reduction in your vehicle insurance premiums.
To learn more about the Iowa's Motor Vehicle Division click here..